About DWELL Projects

The Digital Writing Environments, Location, and Localization (DWELL) Lab’s projects investigate how to use emerging media for science and environmental communication. The goal of these projects is to support research and scholarship that promotes public science communication and scientific literacy within the University of Rhode Island, the writing and rhetoric community, and other diverse publics.

Grant-Funded Lab Projects

Manissean Walking Tour

“Manissean” is the name given to the indigenous people who lived on the island of “Manisses”, renamed Block Island after the Dutch explorer, Adrian Block. The Manissean peoples are a distinct tribal community that shares ancestors with members of the Narragansett, Wampanoag, Niantic, and Pequot peoples of the region and who used the island as a place to make wampum, hunt, fish, clam, and live in shifting patterns over the course of the year in varying degrees of permanent residence. Current signage tends to erase contemporary Manissean life from the public sphere. In response, the Manissean AR tour serves as a portal or threshold for the tour users, inviting them into a space of mixed reality content designed by tribal leaders and culture bearers. Learn more on the DWELL Block Island project page.

Augmenting the North Woods

An immersive multimedia “classroom in the forest” experience for the North Woods on URI’s campus. This project combines augmented reality (AR), web development, and digital mapping to lay the groundwork for an ongoing research and teaching project the North Woods Stewardship Council. Learn more on the DWELL NWP project page.

Sources, Transport, Exposure & Effects of PFAS (STEEP II)

The STEEP II project (2022-2027) is studying the effects of PFAS (or or poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances) on environmental and human health. As part of this research, the Research Translation Core team is sharing information on PFASs and their human health impacts using creative, community-engaged strategies to make important findings visible and meaningful for the public. Learn more on the STEEP Website.

RI Agriculture & Food Systems Fellows Program

The Rhode Island Agriculture and Food Systems Fellows Program (RIAFSFP) was established in 2022 to engage and train students passionate about careers centered on food–as producers, processors, policymakers, educators, advocates, or communicators through funded, year-long experiential learning opportunities with academic researchers and industry professionals. You can learn more on the AFSFP Program Website.

Stormwater Innovation Collab

DWELL is partnering with the Providence Stormwater Innovation Center in Roger Williams Park to map and model the green stormwater infrastructure sites in the park and produce educational educational AR installations for public environmental education. Learn more on the DWELL Stormwater Walking Tour project page.

Recent Publications from the Lab

New Article: “Tracking Memes in the Wild”

Jones, M., Beveridge, A., Garrison, J. R., Greene, A., & MacDonald, H. (2022). Tracking Memes in the Wild: Visual Rhetoric and Image Circulation in Environmental Communication. Frontiers in Communication

New Article on AR and Deep Mapping

Butts, Shannon and Jones, Madison. “Deep Mapping for Environmental Communication Design.” Communication Design Quarterly, Online First (January 20, 2021),

New Article on Scale and Mapping

Jones, Madison. “(Re)Placing the Rhetoric of Scale: Ecoliteracy, Networked Writing, and MEmorial Mapping.” Mediating Nature: The Role of Technology in Ecological Literacy. Eds. Sidney I. Dobrin and Sean Morey. Routledge, October, 2019.