The 2011 NASA Public Health Program Review was held September 14-16 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is an annual event where Principal Investigators of projects funded by the NASA Public Health Program are invited to present the status and results of their work. NASA’s Public Health Program focuses on advancing the realization of societal and economic benefits from NASA Earth Science in the areas of infectious disease, emergency preparedness and response, and environmental health (e.g., air quality). The goal of the NASA Public Health Program is to help determine how weather, climate, and other key environmental factors correlate with health, with the overall goal of improving our nation’s health and safety.
Twenty-seven projects were presented at the meeting covering a broad range of health applications: infectious disease (avian influenza, global influenza, malaria, meningitis, zoonotic hemorrhagic fever), water quality (cyanobacterial blooms, microbial contamination, pathogen and nutrient concentrations), air quality (asthma), environmental health (fire, urban heat, dust), and emergency preparedness and response (ocean search and rescue) Slides from the presentations will be posted soon. Presentations given at the 2009 and 2010 meetings are also available.
I presented on the Internet-based Heat Evaluation and Assessment Tool (I-HEAT) – a BioMedware project funded by the NASA Public Health Program to provide health professionals with an advanced geospatial web-based system for preparing and responding to emergency heat events, developing mitigation strategies, and educating the public.
This system will couple demographic and environmental data obtained from Landsat satellite imagery with browser-based software to model and map heat-related health risks at the neighborhood level.