Laboratory Team

Elizabeth Marino, Ph.D.
Co-Director; Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sustainability

Dr. Marino is interested in how people perceive risk, make decisions and create meaning in their social and environmental contexts. Her research focuses on climate change policy, traditional and local knowledge, and the use of core values to navigate novel situations. In the Laboratory for the American Conversation, Dr. Marino is a qualitative researcher who specializes in discourse analysis. She also loves hanging out with hunters, gatherers, fishers, farmers and other people who pay close attention to the land and water.

Christopher Wolsko, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Wolsko is oriented toward promoting the health and well-being of diverse peoples and the places they inhabit. His research examines the cultural construction of health behaviors, experiences of flourishing in natural environments, and communication about contentious societal issues. Chris supports the Laboratory for the American Conversation's work with expertise in social psychology, experimental methods, quantitative analysis and extended rumination on vicious cycles of fear mongering and existential threat.

Susan Keys, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Public Health (retired)

Prior to her academic career, Dr. Keys was the executive director of the Inspire USA Foundation, a nonprofit focused on using technology to promote well-being among young Americans and prevent youth suicide. Dr. Keys served as branch chief for prevention at the Center for Mental Health Services within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, where she oversaw national programs for suicide prevention, school-based youth violence prevention and young child wellness.


Vaughn Robison
Graduate Student

Vaughn Robison is a graduate student in OSU's Environmental Arts and Humanities, and Fisheries Management programs. He studies the communication of complex and oftentimes contentious issues of fisheries conservation and management. His interdisciplinary research is situated at the intersection of the humanities and various social sciences, and is grounded by a career in communication and a multi-generational family history in fisheries across the Pacific.

Board of Advisors

Katie Hayden-Lewis, Ph.D., L.P.C.
Rural Services Director, Early Assessment and Support Alliance
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland State University, School of Public Health

Susan Keys, Ph.D.
Retired Associate Professor
Oregon State University - Cascades
Johns Hopkins University

David Katz, MBA
Vice President, Global Sales
San Francisco

Erin MacDonald, J.D.
Managing Partner
Karnopp Petersen

Josh Newton, J.D.
Karnopp Petersen

Margaret Richardson, J.D.
Vice President of Trust
San Francisco