Environmental Justice Needs Assessment for Disasters (Spring 2022)

Team: Julianne Liu (Project Lead), Emma Cooper, Natasha Johnson-Griffin, Keegan Kessler

Summary: Natural disasters pose an increasing risk to communities worldwide. Marginalized populations, in particular, experience compounding vulnerabilities that contribute to unequal burdens of natural hazards as a result of systemic inequality stemming from historical disenfranchisement, disinvestment, and discriminatory policies such as racial redlining. This project connected with community organizations working at the intersection of environmental justice (EJ) and natural disaster management throughout the United States, to assess how NASA DEVELOP can leverage geospatial science to advance EJ efforts. Our team conducted a landscape analysis, which included a literature review, annotated bibliography, and identification of organizations working in EJ and disasters. We engaged EJ organizations in discussions to understand their current resources, challenges, and geospatial needs to inform how DEVELOP and NASA Applied Sciences can support their EJ and disaster work. Findings were compiled in a synthesis report and visualized in an ArcGIS StoryMap to showcase the work of EJ organizations, provide geospatial resources for them to explore and provide examples of how remote sensing can be utilized in EJ and disasters work. The knowledge gained and end products created to support the integration of EJ in future DEVELOP projects, and the expanded use of Earth observations by communities in support of a more just tomorrow.