HCII Seminar Series - Danny Pimentel
Assistant Professor of Immersive Media Psychology, University of Oregon
Newell-Simon Hall 1305
"Changing Tides: Using Technology to Bridge Human-Nature Gaps and Spur Environmental Advocacy"
Despite heightened societal awareness of climate change and its impact on biodiversity loss, human efforts to mitigate such threats remain stagnant for various reasons, namely the psychological distance between communities, threatened wildlife, and the environmental issues affecting them. In this talk, Dr. Danny Pimentel discusses how emergent media technologies (e.g., virtual and augmented reality) can be leveraged by industry, academic, and scientific groups to motivate audiences to mitigate environmental threats. Specifically, Danny will share findings from ongoing AR/VR projects with partners (e.g., The Hydrous, Meta, Snapchat), highlight the potential of immersive storytelling for mobilizing audiences around environmental issues, and discuss best practices for designing XR experiences in such contexts.
Dr. Danny Pimentel is an Assistant Professor of Immersive Media Psychology at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication in Portland. His research primarily focuses on the prosocial and proenvironmental implications of immersive storytelling through extended reality (XR) platforms: virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). His research has been featured in peer-reviewed journals such as New Media and Society, Journal of Nature Conservation, and Nature Scientific Reports, as well as reputed technology conferences such as Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHIPLAY), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Games, Entertainment and Media (IEEE GEM), and IEEE VR. His research has been funded by Unity 3D, National Geographic, and Meta, among others. Danny also carries several years of XR industry experience working with companies like Meta, Magic Leap, and Snap Inc. He also serves on the advisory board of The Hydrous, a non-profit organization dedicated to using immersive technology to build ocean empathy and science literacy. Danny received his PhD in Communications from The University of Florida (’20).