Alex Dunn

I got my B.A. in Philosophy from Reed College in 2012, and my M.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2015.

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I know how to…

Make things with

Manage projects with

Communicate complex ideas clearly, in speech and writing

I prioritize clarity of expression in my work, especially because I’ve studied philosophy for the past five years, where highly abstract ideas can be difficult to convey. Teaching philosophy to undergraduates has helped me become a better and more empathetic speaker. I’m continually working to make my writing accessible, and I’ve written several introductions to philosophical concepts using Harry Potter to make the ideas fun and easy to grasp general audiences.

Research quickly and carefully

Despite a back injury that prevented me from working for 2 months, I researched and wrote a 100-page thesis between September 2011 and April 2012; this involved familiarizing myself with the contemporary literature on analytic metaphysics to the point where I could fruitfully engage with it.


Recent employment

Software Developer (UCSB Library), April 2016–

I’m currently the primary in-house developer of the Hydra-based Alexandria Digital Research Library.

Contact: John Ajao, Director of Systems and Repository Operations ()

Web Programmer (UCSB Library), September 2015–March 2016

For six months during a limited-term appointment, I was a developer in the Library's IT department. During that time I completed and launched the redesigned UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive, designed, developed and deployed an internal web application for minting ARKs through EZID, and assisted Digital Curation Experts in the development of the Alexandria Digital Research Library.

Webmaster (UCSB Department of Philosophy), July 2014–June 2015

During the Winter 2014 quarter I was the webmaster for the Department of Philosophy. In July 2014 I was appointed to the position again for a year-long term.

In November 2014 I finished a complete re-design of the website for the Philosophy Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The process involved extracting content from the previous table-based design, rethinking the entire site structure, and writing all-new templates and CSS. The result is a responsive, accessible, modern website that does full justice to the strengths of the department.

Contact: Dana Spoonerow, SASC Director ().

Teaching Assistant (UCSB Department of Philosophy), 2013–2015

Since September 2013 I have been a Teaching Assistant in Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, leading sections for

Circulation Supervisor and Reference Assistant (Reed College Library), 2010–2012

I held two positions at the Reed College Library. Between the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2012—when I graduated—I worked at the circulation desk; since June of 2011 was one of the lead students supervising circulation operations. During the summer of 2011 I rewrote many of the circulation guidelines and formatted them for the web. In 2011 I was hired as a reference assistant. This position involved staffing the library’s reference desk and helping students, staff, faculty, and members of the public access library resources.

Contact: Dena Hutto, Director of Reference and Instruction and Norman F. Carrigg College Librarian as of July 2012 ()

Intern (Oregon Humanities), 2011

During the summer of 2011 I worked as an volunteer intern in the Oregon Humanities office in Portland, OR. I worked on the Conversation Project, a new program designed to foster public debate on contemporary issues. In its third year scholars, writers, and other “conversation leaders” designed educational discussions that focused on community participation and dialogue. I assisted with public outreach, researching nonprofits statewide and asking them to host our conversation leaders. I also helped review the impact of the Oregon Humanities grant programs, and worked to make the Conversation Project’s web page more accessible.

Contact: Annie Kaffen, Program Coordinator ()

Research Intern (Goleta Valley Beautiful), 2010

During the summer of 2010 I worked as a paid research intern with Goleta Valley Beautiful. GVB was contracted by the City of Goleta, CA to produce an Urban Forest Management Plan that would provide guidelines, standards, and ordinances to protect the trees within the city and promote the planting and maintenance of new trees in the urban forest. During my internship I familiarized myself with the literature on urban forestry and drew a number of previous drafts together into a single Management Plan. I met with City officials and incorporated their requirements into the document, quickly moving through several revisions. I also produced a cost-benefit framework for urban forests based on previous research by Ken Knight (Executive Director of GVB) and the USDA Forest Service.

Contact: Ken Knight, Executive Director (805-685-7910)