USF lands $50K from AT&T for climate change research

The impact of climate change and how communities should respond are in green and golden hands. One of five universities in the Southeast region tapped by AT&T to compile research for the purpose of fostering climate change resiliency, the University of South Florida joins the University of Miami as one of two Florida schools seeking answers to the same questions:

How are climate changes affecting communities? and How can people respond? 

This quest is made possible through AT&T’s Climate Resiliency Community Challenge, which is under the umbrella of the company’s Climate Resiliency Project. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory will provide data. Specifically, the University of South Florida’s involvement will feature a crowdsourced Community Resiliency Information System (CRIS) in St. Petersburg.

Neighborhood by neighborhood, the CRIS will seek to unveil any socioeconomic and biophysical elements that could leave the areas vulnerable. This, combined with crowdsourced data, should allow for a comprehensive outlook; it will also involve a wide sector of the population in devising preparation and adaptation measures for the future.

The University of South Florida won the award through an application process evaluated by nonprofit experts in climate and resiliency. The other three awarded schools conducting similar research include Appalachian State University, University of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology.

“The AT&T funds will permit us to develop and implement a pilot project that aims to foster equitable resilience by fostering a 2-way communication integrated within an information system at the neighborhood level, says Barnali Dixon, Ph.D.

Dr. Dixon is a Professor of GIS and Remote Sensing, Executive Director of iCAR, and Director of the Geo-Spatial Analytics Lab at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She speaks of far-reaching implications of the endeavor with hope: The ultimate goal is to develop models/approaches that can be utilized to produce resilient communities around the world. 

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Read more articles by Amy Hammond.

Amy Hammond is a freelance writer and author of children’s books that encourage the next generation to attend college. When not indoctrinating youth about the necessity of higher education, she enjoys exploring the paradise that is her St. Petersburg home. She holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida and a Masters in Secondary English Education from the University of South Florida. Her work has appeared in such venues as the Tampa Bay Times. Children’s Book Titles by Amy Hammond include: When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Gator; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a ‘Nole; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Bull; When I Grow Up, I’m Bama Bound; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Tiger.