CIESIN geographic information specialist Jane Mills and senior geographic information specialist Linda Pistolesi were among the presenters at the 2019 European Forum for Geography and Statistics (EFGS), organized in Manchester, England, October 9–11. This year′s forum focused on how the integration of statistics and place can enhance understanding of diverse population and world issues. In the session, “Future Geospatial Thinking,” Mills outlined plans for the fifth version of Gridded Population (GPW) of the World now under development, and discussed progress made by the POPGRID Data Collaborative, an initiative to promote data access and use of diverse georeferenced data sets on population, human settlements, and infrastructure. For the session, “Leaving No One Behind,” Pistolesi presented two strategies implemented by the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program to improve subnational boundaries in low- and middle-income countries. The 2019 EFGS was organized by the Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey Great Britain with support from the Statistical Office of the European Union and the EFGS.
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Users of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) are again invited to participate in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey for the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS). The annual survey assesses user satisfaction with the data, tools, and support provided by EOSDIS data centers and services. SEDAC, which serves a wide range of basic and applied users interested in the integration of remote sensing and socioeconomic data, is one of the data centers evaluated by the survey. Survey results help to justify NASA′s continuing investment in EOSDIS data services and support, and enable SEDAC to address problems, improve data and services, and identify high priority user needs and concerns.
All SEDAC users are encouraged to participate in the survey by October 30. Users with an Earthdata user name registered with SEDAC should have received an e-mail invitation from the CFI Group on behalf of NASA, requesting participation in the survey. The questionnaire takes approximately 10–15 minutes to complete. The identity of respondents is not shared with SEDAC or NASA. Anyone who has used SEDAC data or information resources may take the survey.
A “cyberseminar” presenting various gridded population and settlement data products and their suitability for different application areas in population-environment studies was offered October 14–18 by the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN) in collaboration with the POPGRID Data Collaborative. Seven expert panelists and more than 700 researchers and practitioners from around the world participated. Andrea Gaughan of the University of Louisville and the WorldPop project facilitated the discussion. An initial webinar was held October 14 to introduce the topic and is available on YouTube. The initial paper, discussion papers, and cyberseminar posts are available through the PERN web site.
PERN cyberseminars provide a forum for scientists from the social and natural sciences to debate and discuss cutting edge population-environment research topics. CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo and associate director of Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin are PERN′s co-coordinators. PERN is a scientific panel of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) and a sustained partner of Future Earth, an international initiative to advance global sustainability science. The POPGRID Data Collaborative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
CIESIN has successfully teamed with scientists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and with external partners on several new project awards and initiatives. Associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin is one of the co-investigators on a new four-year “convergence“ research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), related to climate change, food security and migration. The principal investigator of the grant is Lamont Research Professor Richard Seager, and other participants include Wolfram Schlenker of Columbia′s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Michael Puma, director of the Earth Institute's Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR).
Associate director for Geospatial Applications Greg Yetman is the lead of a sub-award to ImageCat, Inc. on a NASA-funded disasters project on critical infrastructure data. CIESIN has had numerous collaborations with ImageCat on hazard data research and development in the past, and ImageCat is active in several CIESIN-led initiatives such as the POPGRID Data Collaborative and its NASA-supported Human Planet project.
Senior systems analyst/GIS developer Kytt MacManus has been awarded a project from the World Resources Institute, in which he is contributing to the development of new sea-level rise estimates to a new report by the Coalition for Urban Transition on addressing urban climate change issues. MacManus is also the principal investigator of a new “flexible contract” with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that allows for small non-competitive awards on energy and climate activities.
More than 3,600 visitors flocked to the picturesque grounds of Columbia’s Lamont Campus in Palisades, New York, for its Annual Open House October 5. CIESIN joined dozens of other laboratories and centers in highlighting their scientific activities and providing educational experiences for learners of all ages.
CIESIN's exhibit featured a hands-on interactive activity for children that let them explore flooding adaptation measures for the area around Jamaica Bay, including the John F. Kennedy international airport. This activity was complemented by a three-dimensional model of the Bay, created using 3D printing technology, and by access to Adaptmap, an online mapping tool to support flood-related decision making. The exhibit also included information about the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program coordinated by CIESIN, as well as demonstrations of the free HazPop mobile application that links near real-time hazard with population and infrastructure data. Developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN, HazPop was recently released for Android devices and updated for iOS.
The free Lamont Open House has been held nearly every year since 1949 to encourage awareness and interest in the Earth sciences and to emphasize how better understanding of the Earth can help preserve its future.
More than 130 experts on population, settlement, and infrastructure data, poverty mapping, subnational administrative boundaries, and related topics met September 30–October 2 at Columbia University′s Lamont campus in Palisades, New York, for the second Human Planet Forum. Hosted by CIESIN and co-organized with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) under the auspices of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the Forum addressed a wide range of topics, including advances in slum mapping, downscaled future scenarios of population and economic activity, the global definition of cities and rural areas, and validation and intercomparison of global gridded population data. Keynote speakers were Robert Ndugwa of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme; Lee Schwartz, the Geographer of the United States; and Vince Seaman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Forum included introductory comments by Alex Halliday, director of the Earth Institute; Martino Pesaresi of the JRC; and CIESIN director Robert Chen, as well as informal dinner remarks by Andrew Revkin, the well known science journalist who recently joined the Earth Institute to launch a new communications initiative.
As part of the Forum program, the World Wide Human Geography Data (WWHGD) Working Group organized a set of live-streamed sessions October 2, “Mapping Internal Administrative Boundaries,″ which included a panel discussion and 19 lightning talks by diverse experts from government, industry, humanitarian organizations, and academia. Lee Schwartz moderated the panel, which included Lóránt Czárán of the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA), Benjamin Lewis of Harvard University, Crystal Sholts of Google, Carmelle Terbough of Esri, and Craig Williams of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). CIESIN deputy director Marc Levy gave one of the lightning talks, on boundary data activities by the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program that he directs. Presentations are available on the WWHGD web site (free registration required).
Another set of lightning talks focused on the challenges of mapping urban poverty and opportunities to make progress using Earth observations and other approaches. Working breakout sessions were held on additional topics including planning of future editions of the Human Planet Atlas, which has been published by the JRC since 2016. Nancy Searby of NASA′s Applied Sciences Program gave an update on three Human Planet projects funded by NASA, including one project led by Chen and another supported by senior systems analyst/programmer Kytt MacManus. Argyro Kavvada, executive secretary for the GEO Earth Observations for Sustainable Development Goals (EO4SDG) initiative, highlighted current EO4SDG activities, and together with Steven Ramage of the GEO Secretariat, described plans for the upcoming GEO-XVI Plenary and Ministerial Summit in Canberra, Australia. Summaries of breakout discussions were also given by former CIESIN research scientist Deborah Balk of Baruch College, Carter Christopher of the U.S. Department of State, Daniele Ehrlich of JRC, Monika Kuffer of the University of Twente, and Forrest Stevens of the University of Louisville.
The first Human Planet Forum was held at the University of Twente in The Netherlands in fall 2017. The second Forum was supported by the JRC, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NASA, and the Earth Institute. Other contributing organizations included ITC in the Netherlands, the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. The Forum is organized every two years by the GEO Human Planet Initiative, which is currently co-led by Pesaresi and Chen.
CIESIN research scientist and demographer Susana Adamo participated in and co-led a one-day workshop, “Introduction to Spatial Data Integration,” offered as a pre-event at the XV Conference of Population Studies and II International Population of the Southern Cone held September 17–20 in San Juan, Argentina. Adamo highlighted several population data products and tools from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), for which she serves as lead project scientist. This included the fourth version of Gridded Population of the World (GPWv4), which contains basic demographic characteristics (age and sex), and the POPGRID Viewer, developed in support of the POPGRID Data Collaborative to facilitate intercomparison of different global gridded population data sets. The workshop was organized jointly by the Population Environment-Research Network (PERN), the Research Network on Environment of the Latin American Population Association (ALAP), and the Scientific Group on Population, Territory and Environment of the Population Studies Association of Argentina (AEPA). Adamo’s participation was partially covered by a travel grant from Columbia University’s Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS). The workshop co-lead was Landy Sanchez of El Colegio de Mexico, a former chair of PERN′s Scientific Committee. Her attendance was supported by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) and the National University of San Juan.
The Hazards and Population Mapper (HazPop) mobile app, a tool designed to put hazard-related data and information at your fingertips, is now available on both smartphones and tablets running iOS and Android. HazPop simplifies access to a range of distributed data services providing near-real-time data, including active fires and air pollution data (Aerosol Optical Depth) from NASA, earthquake alerts from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and volcanic activity from the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program. These data may be viewed in combination with data on population distribution and infrastructure, such as major dams and reservoirs and nuclear power plants, provided by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN.
Users interested in knowing how many people might be affected by a current or potential hazard may draw a circle around their own location or any other point of interest to obtain population estimates during the period 2000–2020.
HazPop is meant for those who need a quick assessment of the population potentially at risk from a major hazard event or developing emergency, such as disaster risk managers, humanitarian response organizations, public health professionals, and journalists. It is not intended to support in-depth risk assessment or estimation of actual disaster losses.
The app may be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or from Google Play. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 9.0 or later, and with smartphones and tablets with Android 5.0 or later.
Several publications authored or co-authored by CIESIN staff have been published recently. Associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin is lead author of the paper, “Climate Vulnerability Mapping: A Systematic Review and Future Prospects,” appearing in the peer-reviewed journal, WIREs Climate Change. The article reports on a study to systematically assess 84 climate vulnerability mapping studies, with the goal of encouraging further methodological refinement and identifying outstanding examples that could help to guide future work in this area. The study benefited from two workshops held in 2017 supported by National Socio‐Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
The article, “Allocating People to Pixels: A Review of Large-Scale Gridded Population Data Products and Their Fitness for Use,” has been published in the journal Earth Systems Science Data. The lead author is Stefan Leyk of the University of Colorado. CIESIN contributors are de Sherbinin, research scientist Susana Adamo, senior systems analyst Kytt MacManus, senior geographic information specialist Linda Pistolesi, and deputy director Marc Levy. Former CIESIN research scientist Deborah Balk, who is now associate director of the Institute for Demographic Research at the City University of New York (CUNY), is also a co-author. The paper is an outcome of the POPGRID Data Collaborative, an international effort to coordinate and improve the utility of global-scale gridded population data.
Former CIESIN visiting scholar Douglas Sathler is lead author of “Assessing the Regional Context of Migration in the Brazilian Amazon through Spatial Regression Modeling” in the journal Applied Geography. Co-authors include Adamo, de Sherbinin, and senior research associate Paola Kim-Blanco. The article examines spatial patterns of both in-migration and outimigration in the Brazilian Amazon during the period 2000–2010. Sathler is a researcher with the Center for Geosciences of the Interdisciplinary College in Humanities at the Federal University of Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri (UFVJM) in Diamantina, Brazil.
Greg Yetman, associate director for Geospatial Applications, is a co-author on the paper, “Evaluating Nighttime Lights and Population Distribution as Proxies for Mapping Anthropogenic CO2 Emission in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.” Andrea Gaughan of the University of Louisville is lead author of the paper, which was published in Environmental Research Communications. The paper stems from work organized by the WorldPop project.
Senior digital archivist Robert Downs is lead author of the Technical Note, “Reuse Readiness Assessment of Data Quality Software Products (ESDS-RFC-039),” co-authored with Hampapuram Ramapriyan of Science Systems and Applications, Inc. and Yang Wei of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC). The Data Quality Working Group of the Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Standards Office (ESO) recommends this assessment for use in NASA Earth Science Data Systems.
Most CIESIN and SEDAC Web sites and associated services will be unavailable on Wednesday, September 11, beginning at about 5 p.m. US Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (2100 UTC). The shutdown will also affect CIESIN-hosted sites such as the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN), the POPGRID Data Collaborative, AdaptMap, and the Jamaica Bay Water Quality Data Tool. The HazPop mobile apps for iOS and Android versions may also have reduced functionality, due to the lack of access to SEDAC′s open Web services such as the Population Estimation Service (PES). Externally hosted sites such as the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the Data ANalytics and Tools for Ecosecurity (DANTE) resource, and the SEDAC map gallery on Flickr will not be affected.
We expect Web sites and services to be restored within about 4 hours, but no later than 8 a.m. EDT, Thursday, September 12.
CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo contributed to a training webinar on using Earth observations (EO) for disaster risk assessment and resilience, offered August 6–15 by the NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training (ARSET) program. The four-part webinar introduced participants—public and private sector staff engaged in disaster management, emergency responders, and urban and infrastructure planners—to the use of EO data in addressing natural disasters, including tropical cyclones, flooding, wildfires, and heat stress. Adamo gave a presentation on selected spatial data on population and infrastructure exposure and vulnerability, and associated tools, that can be combined with EO and other hazard data to assess the risks posed by specific hazard events. These data and tools are available from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. The webinar was organized and introduced by Amita Mehta and Sean McCartney of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GFSC), with contributions from NASA colleagues at GFSC, Ames Research Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Marshall Space Flight Center. A recording of the webinar is now available on YouTube, together with Adamo's slides and a transcript of the questions and answers.
Anthony (Tony) Janetos, internationally renowned climate change researcher and director of Boston University's Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, passed away August 6. Janetos had served as a member of the User Working Group (UWG) of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) in 2002–2006. He was a key figure in NASA′s early “Mission to Planet Earth″ program and more recently had a leading role in the U.S. National Climate Assessment. He was a strong proponent of the need for scientific data and policy-relevant indicators to support evidence-based decision making. Prior to joining Boston University, Janetos was head of the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland. He earned his bachelor’s magna cum laude from Harvard University, and his master’s and PhD in biology from Princeton University.
The second Human Planet Forum will be held September 30–October 2, 2019, at the Columbia University Lamont campus in Palisades, New York, organized by the Human Planet Initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Following on the first Forum, which was held in November 2017 at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, the second Forum will bring together a range of experts from around the world who are working to better understand and map human presence on Planet Earth. Key Forum topics include the global definition of cities and rural areas, mapping of secondary and tertiary administrative boundaries, advances in slum mapping, downscaled future scenarios of population and economic activity, validation and intercomparison strategies for human settlement and population data, and continued development of the Human Planet Atlases. The program will include a mix of keynote talks, panel discussions, lightning talks, working meetings, and interactive sessions. Advanced registration is required (see link below).
The GEO Human Planet Initiative was launched as part of the GEO Work Programme in 2017–2019 and is expected to continue as an element of the 2020–2022 Work Programme. The initiative is co-chaired by Martino Pesaresi of the European Commission′s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, and CIESIN director Robert Chen. GEO is a voluntary partnership of more than 100 national governments and in excess of 100 Participating Organizations. Contributing organizations to the second Forum include the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program; the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data; ITC/University of Twente; the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network; and the World Wide Human Geography Data (WWHGD) Working Group. Funding support is being provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Commission, and NASA.
The NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN has begun accepting submissions of scientific data related to human-environment interactions that may be of high utility to the human dimensions research and applications communities. In light of increased recognition of the importance of open access to research data by universities, scientific publishers, funding organizations, and other organizations, SEDAC seeks to increase the accessibility and utilization of important global- or regional-scale spatial data, especially those derived from or complementary to remote sensing data from NASA or other sources. SEDAC will also consider other types of data that meet its acquisition criteria. Priority topics of interest for data acquisition and dissemination include administrative boundaries and other reference layers, population dynamics, human settlements and infrastructure, land use/land cover change, economic development, environmental health, and policy-relevant environmental and sustainable development indicators.
Submission of candidate data sets is a two-step process. In the first step, SEDAC requests basic information on the data (e.g., nature of the data set and its primary purpose) that will help evaluate suitability for SEDAC archiving and dissemination. If the data appear appropriate, a copy of the data will be requested along with additional information for review by the SEDAC User Working Group (UWG). If feasible and appropriate, SEDAC will work with data authors and journal publishers to coordinate data release with publication of a peer-reviewed article. SEDAC will also consider valuable older data sets that may be at risk of loss if not properly archived, as well as national or sub-national data for key countries or regions, on a case-by-case basis.
All CIESIN and SEDAC Web sites, including PERN, POPGRID, the IPCC Data Distribution Center and others, will be down for scheduled maintenance Monday, July 29, beginning around 5 p.m. US Eastern Daylight Time (2100 UTC). We expect the Web sites to be fully operational by 9 a.m. EDT Tuesday, July 30.
CIESIN associate director for Information Technology Sri Vinay and senior digital archivist Robert Downs participated in several workshops and meetings in July, addressing different aspects of Earth science and geospatial data and software management. In early July, Downs traveled to Frascati, Italy, to participate in the workshop, “Advancing the Understanding and Measurement of the Societal Benefits of Earth Observations,” organized to advance the understanding and measurement of the societal benefits of Earth Observations. He served as rapporteur for the session, “Understanding the Context,” and presented briefings from that session during two roundtable sessions. The workshop was held July 1–3 at the European Space Agency (ESA) Centre for Earth Observation.
Later in the month, Vinay attended the workshop, “Conceptualizing a Geospatial Software Institute (GSI) Workshop 3: Strategic Plan and Governance of GSI,” held July 14–16 at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) and the Westin Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the workshop aimed to first brainstorm and then draft a strategic plan for a GSI. Vinay was one of the discussion leads for the session, “What Services Should GSI Provide to Enable Broad and Impactful Scientific Advances?” which focused on challenges, opportunities, and strategies for achieving the plan’s first and fifth goals—to combine geospatial data and software at scale for scientists to harness the geospatial data revolution, and to advance high-performance geospatial software while making synergistic contributions to data-intensive and high-performance computing. Vinay, together with CIESIN director Robert Chen and associate director for Geospatial Applications Greg Yetman, provided a position paper, "Geospatial Software Governance from an Applied Research Perspective," as an input to the workshop.
During the same week in Tacoma, Washington, Downs attended three different meetings: the DataONE Users Group and Council of Data Facilities meetings on July 16, and the 2019 ESIP Summer meeting, July 16–19. He presented the poster, “Data Lifecycle Opportunities for Improving the Usability of Earth Science Data,” at the DataONE meeting. At the ESIP meeting, he gave the paper, “Socioeconomic Data Citations and Impact,” during the session, “Current Approaches for Tracking and Exposing Research Object Usage Metric,” and also presented the poster, “Understanding the Impact of Global Earth Science Data," during the poster session.
CIESIN staff joined more than 17,000 other geographic information system (GIS) experts at the annual Esri User Conference, held July 8–12 at the Convention Center in San Diego, California. The conference theme was “The Intelligent Nervous System,” emphasizing the fundamental role of GIS in supporting an organization’s capabilities. For the plenary, famed researchers and conservation activists Jane Goodall and E.O. Wilson spoke with Esri founder and CEO Jack Dangermond about the critical importance of preserving biodiversity and the work they are doing towards this goal. Deputy director Marc Levy, senior geographic information specialist Linda Pistolesi, and senior research assistants Matthew Heaton and Anela Layugan took part in the Sustainable World Showcase, highlighting the GRID3 program, which CIESIN coordinates. Geographic information specialists Olena Borkovska, John Squires, and Pistolesi presented a poster in the Map Gallery, describing the development of the Basic Demographic Characteristics data set of SEDAC′s Gridded Population of the World, version 4.11 (GPW4.11) data collection. Former GRID3 intern Haokai Zhao and colleagues from the Population and Development Branch of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also participated in the conference.
The NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN has recently released three global data sets that utilize satellite-based remote sensing data to help characterize critical aspects of human-environment interactions: Trends in Global Freshwater Availability from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), v1 (2002 – 2016), Development Threat Index, v1 (2015), and Altimeter Corrected Elevations (ACE2), v2 (1994 – 2005).
The ability to measure trends in global freshwater availability has been made possible by NASA′s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). By measuring small changes in Earth′s gravity field, the GRACE mission was able to track key dynamics of the global water cycle at a spatial resolution of 0.5 degrees during the period from 2002 to 2016. Terrestrial water availability storage is the sum of groundwater, soil moisture, snow and ice, surface waters, and wet biomass, expressed as an equivalent height of water. The data are valuable in helping to evaluate and predict emerging threats to water and food security. Part of SEDAC's Satellite-Derived Environmental Indicators (SDEI) data collection, the data set was developed by researchers from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory and from National Taiwan University.
The Development Threat Index, v1 seeks to map terrestrial global, future development threats resulting from agricultural expansion, urban expansion, and energy development (conventional oil and gas, unconventional oil and gas, coal, mining, biofuels, solar, and wind). Individual threat layers draw on several different data sets derived in part from satellite remote sensing data, including the Global Grid of Probabilities of Urban Expansion to 2030, the Global Roads Open Access Data Set (gROADS), and the Global Reservoir and Dam (GRanD) data sets, all available through SEDAC. The Index has been produced on a 50 square kilometer grid by a team from The Nature Conservancy, the University of Minnesota, and the University of British Columbia. It has been added to SEDAC′s Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) data collection, but shares similar objectives with the Human Footprint data also distributed by SEDAC (e.g., Human Footprint, 2018 Release).
The ACE2 data set is based on a Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) derived primarily from multi-mission Satellite Radar Altimetry in combination with data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). By using data from an altimeter, an instrument that uses radar to measure height, researchers were able to better assess ground elevation in areas with high tree cover. This represents an improvement over the original SRTM data, which only measured the top of the canopy. ACE2 is intended for research and applications such as flood risk assessment, landslide modelling, urban planning, and sea level rise impact assessment. In light of ongoing efforts to improve GDEMs, SEDAC has decided to preserve this version for future analysis and intercomparison as part of a new Digital Elevation Data Collection (DEDC). The data set was developed by a team from the UK and the European Space Agency.
CIESIN bids farewell to Kira Topik, senior research staff assistant, who has moved to the West Coast to pursue other opportunities. Topik began at CIESIN in the summer of 2017 as an intern while pursuing her MA in Columbia University’s Climate and Society program. Previously, she earned a BA in international and intercultural studies, and Spanish, from Pitzer College. Topik supported the communications and coordination needs of the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program, helping to establish and operationalize relationships with various partners and stakeholders around the world.
Tiago Nascimento, a doctoral student hosted by CIESIN since June 2018, has completed his visit, returning to the Center for Development and Regional Planning (Cedeplar) at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil. While at CIESIN, Nascimento conducted research on the spatial mobility of the population in response to the incidence of droughts in Brazil’s Northeast. He has a bachelor’s degree in geography and a master’s degree in demography from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, also in Brazil. CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo served as his host supervisor.
Prof. Sophie Vanwambeke of the Department of Geography at the UCLouvain in Belgium is finishing her 9-month appointment as a visiting senior research scientist at the end of June. While at Columbia, she worked with Maria Diuk-Wasser of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) on the ecology and epidemiology of vector-borne diseases and with CIESIN scientists on spatial heterogeneity of population exposure to hazards. She gave an informal talk about her work June 18 at the Lamont campus.
CIESIN has also gained three interns for the summer. Mairead Milán has returned to CIESIN after working as an Earth Institute intern during the spring 2019 semester. She graduated in May with a BA in sustainable development from Columbia College. Milán is working with senior systems analyst/programmer Kytt MacManus, continuing her work on the fifth version of the Gridded Population of the World (GPW) to be developed and released by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Dorothee Grant is also working with MacManus, helping to integrate population data with night time lights data collected by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite. Grant is a Columbia College undergraduate majoring in computer science. Sarah Smith, a graduate student in the Climate and Society program, is working with associate director for science applications Alex de Sherbinin on the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WABiCC) project, which is funded by the US Agency for International Development. She is putting together a manual for adaptation practitioners on incorporating climate information into management strategies. Smith has a BA from Lehigh University in anthropology, with a concentration in physical anthropology.
CIESIN scientists attended a diverse set of scientific meetings in North and South America in June to stay on top of ongoing developments and interact with partners and users. Research sientist Susana Adamo participated in the Science Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and the Belmont Forum’s Scoping Workshop, “Pathways to the SDGs,” June 2–4 in Brasilia, Brazil. CIESIN is one of six Associate organizations of the IAI. June 3–5 in Washington DC, associate director for science applications Alex de Sherbinin participated as an observer in a joint meeting of the User Working Groups of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) and the Land Processes DAAC, which is based at the Earth Resources and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
On June 10, CIESIN director Robert Chen attended a Forum on Disaster Preparedness, Resilience, and Response organized by the Columbia World Projects at the Columbia University Manhattanville campus. He presented a concept for a multi-hazard disaster risk assessment building on a range of global-scale geospatial data sets on hazards, exposure, and vulnerability. Nearby in Princeton, New Jersey, information scientist Xiaoshi Xing participated June 11-13 in Tri-MIP-athlon 2, the second joint meeting of three different Model Intercomparison Projects (MIPs) that are supporting phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP-6).
Senior digital archivist Robert Downs traveled to Denver, Colorado June 12-14 for the annual EarthCube meeting, which addressed the theme, “Science in Action.″ He presented a lightning talk and poster, “Data Lifecycle Actions to Improve the Usability of Earth Science Data for Heterogeneous User Communities.″ EarthCube is a community of geoscientists and geoinformatics researchers initiated and supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Harvard University′s Center for Geographical Analysis was the venue June 18 for a symposium, “Geographic Perspectives on Infectious Disease in Humans, Animals and Environment," organized by the World Wide Human Geography Data (WWHGD) working group. Susana Adamo participated in the symposium, which was broadcast live.
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