Columbia graduate student Christina Paton (left) discusses population exposure during the September 7.1-magnitude earthquake near Mexico City with geographic information specialist John Squires (right).
More than 3,500 visitors from across the region came to the Lamont campus of Columbia University October 7 to "Enjoy, Explore, Learn" during the all-day Lamont-Doherty Open House in Palisades NY. The Open House provides the scientists and centers at Lamont with the opportunity to showcase their work, engage visitors in hands-on activities and demonstrations, and support informal learning about science by students and the general public. This year, CIESIN's booth featured interactive demonstrations of two hazard-related mapping tools: the HazPop mobile application for iPhone and iPad and the SEDAC Hazards Mapper, both developed through the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Visitors could also learn more about the populations affected by two recent natural disasters, Hurricane Harvey in Texas in August and the Mexico City earthquake in September. Two other interactive decision support tools were demonstrated, the Jamaica Bay Water Quality Data Visualization and Access Tool and AdaptMap, which focuses on adaptation to flooding and sea level rise in Jamaica Bay. CIESIN's international development work was represented by a poster on community and ecosystem vulnerability to climate change in the coastal areas of Sierra Leone, part of the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WA-BICC) project of the U.S. Agency for International Development. More than a dozen CIESIN staff members volunteered their time at the booth on a warm, fall weekend day.