Subproject 3. Coastal Community Resilience and Public Health

Team Lead:
Dr. Lucy Huang, Associate Professor of Geospatial Systems Engineering
(361) 825-2646

Coastal communities are vulnerable to global climate change and natural disasters. Building community resilience in health focuses on strengthening the public health and healthcare systems and improving physical, behavioral, and social health. A broad array of factors such as social, environmental, political, economic, cultural, physical, and emotional health impact community well-being spatially and temporally. Understanding these dynamics of health resilience requires integrating different data sources with geospatial analytics and computing for public health decision-making to support disaster prevention, response, and recovery.

Subproject 3 extends the traditional 3D city database by integrating emerging data sources and visualization tools to enable data-intensive research on modeling and public health decision-making in response to disasters. These new data sources focus on high-resolution UAS imagery, real-time weather & meteorological changes in communities detected by smart sensors through energy harvesting, and human movement based on privacy-compliant anonymized mobile GPS location data. By applying advanced geospatial computing and Internet of Things (IoTs) techniques, this subproject aims to provide insights into evaluating, assisting, and improving coastal communities’ physical, behavioral, and social health in the face of adversity.

Research focuses include building a 3D city database with enhanced environmental data using energy harvesting and geospatial technologies; developing embedded systems for long-term self-sustaining data sensing, preprocessing, and communication; simulating the spatial spread of infectious diseases using location data and AI/Machine learning; forecasting hospital impact after disasters by integrating spatial access to health care; micro-level spatial disparities and social determinants in response to disasters; and impact factors of vulnerability and resiliency on long-term post-disaster mental health disorders.

 map showing unvaccinated population

 Figure 4:  Percentage of unvaccinated population by census tract in Nueces County, age 12 and older.  (adapted from Jim and Huang, 2022)



To request more information on this Sub-Project, click here.