Atmospheric Modeling in Human Health & Climate Change Risk Assessment: Wildfire Smoke Exposures

In high wildfire activity areas such as California, and increasingly with climate change, it is critical to understand wildfire smoke exposure impacts accurately so that more effective and sustainable public health actions can be taken. Our long-­‐term actionable aim is to identify spatiotemporal factors that increase vulnerability of people to wildfire smoke exposure, as well as more accurate specification of the exposure-­disease relationship.

The purpose of this multi-­disciplinary sustainability work is to resolve key technical issues related to atmospheric modeling used to develop environmental exposure metrics for a future planned health and geospatial vulnerability study. To adress these atmospheric modeling (exposure assessment) issues, the team will convene a workshop with the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity, a partner on the project. Through the project, the team will develop a white paper, refine their methodology as input to future grant proposals, and strengthen their collaborative partnerships. The team also will host and record research seminars to broaden the impact of the team’s scholarship and to involve students and faculty.
Achieving the long­‐term goal of enhanced understanding of health impacts of climate change from wildfire smoke exposure and identification of vulnerable communities will enhance mitigation measures and planning which can be used in on-­going risk assessment and planning to improve public health, equity, sustainability and preparedness.
Watch the Environmental Research Seminar Recordings
"Health Effects Of The 2008 Northern California Wildfires: a spatiotemporal approach"  - Colleen Reid, PhD (Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Colorado)
Project Team
Patricia D. Koman - School of Public Health, University of Michigan
Allison Steiner - College of Engineering, University of Michigan
Nancy French - Michigan Technological University
Marie O’Neill - School of Public Health, University of Michigan
Tim Dvonch - School of Public Health, University of Michigan
Shiliang Wu - Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University
Colleen Reid - Department of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder
Sumi Hoshiko - California Department of Public Health