Technological advances have allowed space agencies to materialize breakthrough innovations in the Aerospace sector. Earth observations have not been an exception. For decades, satellites have been collecting and analyzing large amounts of data from space to study the Earth as an integrated system. Thanks to their work, we are now able to incorporate satellite data to influence first responders’ time-critical missions in a disaster context. After the island-wide power outage following Hurricane Maria, NASA’s Black Marble satellite technology helped pinpoint where the outages were and how long they lasted. The lead scientist behind the efforts, Dr. Miguel Román, steered Puerto Rico’s recovery work by providing key data to government officials, the National Guard, and FEMA. That data was later analyzed to study the relationship between electricity restoration rates and the structure and density of Puerto Rico’s neighborhoods. Dr. Román joins EPA’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program to share how space-based technologies can deliver timely, relevant information for disaster recovery processes and provide us insight on how to leverage freely available satellite products to improve understanding of the linkages between the environment and the safety of local communities.
Access the webinar. Dial: (984) 444-7480, then enter the conference code: 690-220-404
About the Speaker:
Miguel Román, PhD is the founding director of The Earth from Space Institute (EfSI), an independent program of Universities Space Research Association (USRA). In this role, Román is dedicated to supporting the development of long-term strategies for reducing disaster risk and promoting community resilience, using space technology. Before joining USRA, Román served for ten years as a civil servant scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where he pioneered the iconic Black Marble - a series of satellite products that provide global views of Earth at night, with an emphasis on monitoring refugee displacement in conflict zones and communities affected by chronic and compound disasters. Román currently serves as NASA's Terra, Aqua, and Suomi NPP's Land discipline leader, helping manage a worldwide team of investigators in charge of generating long-term data records from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). He has been a principal investigator on over $5 million of external funding for the development and evaluation of operational products from MODIS and VIIRS. President Barack Obama named him a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for 2017, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on researchers beginning their independent careers. The press has also widely recognized his work – including major news outlets like The Washington Post, NBC, The Economist, Telemundo, Smithsonian Magazine, and BBC World News.