Toolbox Team

orourkeMichael O’Rourke

Professor of Philosophy, Michigan State University


Michael O’Rourke is Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University. His research interests include the nature of epistemic integration and communication in collaborative, cross-disciplinary research (CDR), the nature of linguistic communication between intelligent agents, and environmental philosophy. He co-taught the Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Production IGERT seminar at UI in spring 2005 that yielded Eigenbrode et al. (2007), an essay that provides philosophical technology designed to improve communication and understanding among members of CDR teams. He is Director of the Toolbox Project. He has published extensively on the topics of communication, interdisciplinary theory and practice, and robotic agent design. He has been a co-principal investigator or collaborator on funded projects involving autonomous underwater vehicles, sustainable agriculture, and resilience in environmental systems. He co-founded and served as co-director of the Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, an interdisciplinary conference on philosophical themes, and as co-editor of the Topics in Contemporary Philosophy series published by MIT Press.

Vasko-bio picStephanie E. Vasko

Research Associate & Program Manager, The Toolbox Dialogue Initiative


Stephanie E. Vasko, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on the Toolbox Project and lover of all things interdisciplinary. She received her B.A. (magna cum laude) in Chemistry from Carleton College (2007) and her Ph.D. in Chemistry & Nanotechnology from the University of Washington (2012). Her work at Michigan State University focuses on sustainability, nanotechnology, antimicrobial resistance, power dynamics, and art/craft/design/STEM teams. Her personal research interests include emerging technologies and the intersection and interplay between arts, craft, design and STEM. Dr. Vasko also writes for popular audiences; her work has been featured online at Slate and Women’s Running. (Photo copyright: S.E. Vasko, CC BY-NC-ND)

Senior Personnel

Nilsa Bosque-Pérez, Professor of Entomology, University of Idaho

Stephen Crowley, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Boise State University

Shannon Donovan, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies in the Geography and Environmental Studies Program, University of Alaska Anchorage

Sanford Eigenbrode, Professor of Entomology and Director of REACCH, University of Idaho

Chad Gonnerman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern Indiana

Troy E. Hall, Professor and Head, Forest Ecosystems & Society, Oregon State University

Graham Hubbs, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Idaho

Brian Robinson, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Collaborators and Former Collaborators

Brian Crist, M.A., Department of Philosophy, University of Idaho, 2010

Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, Small Farms Adviser, University of California Cooperative Extension Fresno County

Frank Davis, Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and Director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara

Paul Griffiths, Professor of Philosophy, University of Sydney

Renée Hill, Ph.D., Environmental Science, University of Idaho, 2014

Justin Horn, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Philosophy, University of Auckland

Julie Thompson Klein, Professor of Humanities, Emerita, Wayne State University

Chris Looney, Entomologist, Washington State Department of Agriculture

Ian O’Loughlin, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Pacific University

Steven Orzack, President and Senior Research Scientist, Fresh Pond Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Sara Pepper, Former President, Community Health Partnerships, Moscow, Idaho

Liela Rotschy, M.A., Teaching English as a Second Language, Department of English, University of Idaho, 2011

Lori Stinson, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, Lewis-Clark State College

Chris Williams, Professor of Statistical Science, Professor of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, University of Idaho