Team Location: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Authors: Katrina Laygo, Asya Hollins, Caitlin Kontgis
Advisors/Science Mentors: Dr. David Diner, Ben Holt
Abstract: Heat waves and elevated concentrations of particulate matter are two major public health issues in Los Angeles County, California. According to the National Resources Council Earth Science Decadal Survey, there is a continued need for research that establishes the relationship between remotely sensed data and predicting public health risks related to environmental factors. In an integrative approach to these two issues, this study has four goals that are within NASA’s Applied Sciences Public Health Societal Benefits Application: (1) empirically examine the relationship between previously unexamined L1 MISR radiance measurements and EPA ground level monitor PM2.5 data in the Los Angeles metropolitan area; (2) identify areas of community-level susceptibility using U.S. Census 2010 tract-level demographic data, and areas of exposure to air pollution and extreme heat events; (3) map out regions most vulnerable to public health crises such as asthma and heat stress; (4) disseminate these satellite-derived, ground-based, ancillary datasets and public health linkage analyses for decision-making to our end users including: the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Public Health Department, and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps Educational Program. The Los Angeles Department of Public Health is responsible for air pollution alerts and intervention during extreme heat events. The City of Los Angeles is primarily responsible for coordinating with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps in implementing Mayor Villaraigosa’s Million Trees Initiative ÛÒ a campaign to plant one million trees in Los Angeles County to mitigate effects of extreme heat within the city and to increase green space for public health benefits. Together, these agencies are taking lead roles in the interagency, government-wide, and nonprofit response efforts to address such public health concerns. In concurrence with NASA’s Applied Sciences Public Health societal benefit application, this study addresses these environmentally-related health risks to enhance public health decision-making. Furthermore, the distribution of our results with our end users will expand access of NASA data to the public.
Video transcript available here.