Online Program

GIS method and the Social Vulnerability Index in Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

Monday, November 2, 2015

Apostolis Sambanis, M.S., School of Public Health the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Elena Grossman, MPH, EOHS, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Samuel Dorevitch, MD, MPH, EOHS, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
A major barrier in climate change studies is the analysis and interpretation of various climate related data.  To address this problem, we developed a technique within ArcGIS that utilizes a raster overlay.  In a typical raster overlay, each cell of each layer references the same geographic location which makes it well suited to combining characteristics for numerous layers into a single layer. Numeric values are then assigned to each characteristic, allowing you to mathematically combine the layers and assign a new value to each cell in the output layer. Using the raster overlay approach at a county level for the state of Illinois we took multiple sets of data, in particular the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index and various climate (e.g. flood, etc.) and health related data (e.g. asthma hospitalizations, etc.) to evaluate their application to various climate-sensitive diseases.  The results of the analysis allowed us to visualize climate change impacts to individual counties throughout Illinois and determine which of those counties have the highest risk based on historical trend analysis.  This will eventually help decision makers with future adaption planning that will impact health and address gaps in critical public health functions and service.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Other professions or practice related to public health
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of GIS methods in evaluating vulnerability to climate change, identify strengths and limitations of the Social Vulnerability Index, and explain the value of data overlay techniques in simultaneously considering multiple elements of climate change vulnerability.

Keyword(s): Climate and Health, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Researching on different subjects related to emergency management, climate change, and risk assessment. My research includes evaluation of a geospatial human health risk computer program known as SADA and implementation of the CDC BRACE framework within the State of Illinois to prepare for climate change.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.