By Virginia Kupritz, Ph.D.
For years EDRA has been my research home and the one place that I could meet people with like minds about environment and behavior issues—where researchers, practitioners, and students understood the importance of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives that are needed to solve the complex problems of our world today. My doctoral training in architecture, anthropology, and psychology prepared me for a journey of multidisciplinary teaching and research in fields of architecture, business, and organizational communication that laid the groundwork for me to see linkages that others may not see from one discipline. Other research organizations are slowly catching on to the importance of making bridges across disciplines, but it is EDRA more than any other organization I know that speaks my language, reminds me that making bridges matter, and reinvigorates me.
It has been through EDRA’s Knowledge Networks that I have been able to personally connect with fellow “Edrites” about like research interests and the cross-fertilization of ideas, make connections across bodies of knowledge, and be re-energized. The Knowledge Networks are the backbone of our organization and provide an important outlet to disseminate knowledge about our research, teaching, and practice. They provide a place for members to come together in person at EDRA’s annual conference and virtually throughout the year. They provide a place for us meet and greet people with like interests, network on a national and international scale, brainstorm, discover new ways of problem solving, strategize for the upcoming year, and feel connected and valued.
EDRA’s Knowledge Networks provide a place for less experienced members to learn from more experienced members and where students can learn first-hand the role that research plays to inform theory that informs practice and ultimately informs policy. The Knowledge Networks place students front and center with EDRA researchers and practitioners about particular focus areas and the value of continued learning and inquiry. We have an individual online community for each Knowledge Network that provides an online “home” where Network members can hold discussion forums, post resources and send messages to individual members and/or everyone within their Knowledge Network throughout the year.
EDRA now has 22 Knowledge Networks. I encourage all EDRA members to join several that are related to your interest areas. The Knowledge Networks create community and an opportunity to share knowledge about a specific environment, behavior, design, or practice topic. Most importantly, they help us stay connected and energized!