Arizona State University
Mason Mathews is an assistant research professor at the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (KER) in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. He is interested in social network and social capital theories and methods and how they can be combined with geographic information systems to understand how communities and individuals respond to social, economic, and environmental shocks. His current research focuses on how different types of collaboration shape societal outcomes and the resilience of individuals and communities. He is currently studying university-community partnerships, inter-organizational collaboration, and collaboration across nation-state boundaries. His research is designed not only to generate knowledge regarding these research topics, but also to produce tools that can be used by different segments of society to enhance their capacity to form partnerships and collaborate across organizational, disciplinary, and geographic boundaries. To that end, he is currently working on projects that incorporate text and social network analysis theories and methods to develop tools that help university experts and community organizations develop university-community partnerships in Maricopa County.
Mathews is also interested in research that helps people and communities improve disaster management outcomes. From 2018 to 2020, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. During his time at the Center, he worked on the National Science Foundation-funded Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) project and helped lead the development of the SSEER Map, a web-based mapping tool that enables users to search for hazard and disaster researchers based on their areas of expertise, types of disasters studied, and other data from the SSEER survey. He also helped to develop the Global Hazards and Disaster Center Mapping Platform, a web-based mapping tool that enables users to search for hazard and disaster research centers around the world in order to increase connections, communication, collaboration, and access to emerging disaster research both within and across nations.
In addition to creating tools that facilitate research collaboration, Mathews is also engaged in primary research designed to understand inter-organizational collaboration in different domains. During his postdoctoral research at the Natural Hazards Center, he developed a social network analysis survey designed to measure levels of collaboration among Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) member organizations in Arkansas and Nebraska as part of a larger project partnership between the Natural Hazard Center and Save the Children-U.S.
Mathews has worked extensively in Latin America on a number of projects. He did his dissertation research in the Brazilian Amazon where he studied social capital and social movements in remote riverine villages. He is a graduate of the University Florida’s Interdisciplinary Ecology doctoral program in Human Geography.