Jennifer Olson Ph.D.

Jennifer Olson

Associate Professor

  • Media & Information
(517) 355-9732
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Jennifer Olson is a geographer with extensive experience conducting research and development projects in Africa. Much of the research has examined the impact of climate and land use change on landscapes and society. 

Olson is also conducting Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICTD) projects. The technologies include computers, videos, GIS and mobile phones. For example, they started a project to test computers in a rugged environment and this led to the education abroad program, “Designing Technology Solutions for Schools in Tanzania.” We are applying Human Centered Design principles, in which users co-design their own technologies, to make improved tools with farmers and to create fun, useful technologies for youth with Type 1 Diabetes. 

Olson has lived and worked in Africa as a Peace Corps and a U.N. volunteer in rural Burkina Faso, Central African Republic and Republic of the Congo, as a graduate student in Rwanda, and since receiving her PhD, as a researcher in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

New Tools for African Farmers: Human Centered Design (video)

mHealth: Designing Human-Centered Technology to Support Health in Kenya (article)

Living at the Edge of Climate Change (video)

MSUToday Presents: "Bringing the world to Tanzania"  (video)

Research and Teaching

Information & Communications Technology and Development-- ICTD

Human Centered Design

Climate Change Impacts on Agricultural Systems

Contact Information

404 Wilson Rd.
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University