Introduction to Winds of Healthy Change

Group Name: “Winds of Healthy Change”

Background/Introduction:

Los Angeles is a car-centric city with an elaborate freeway system and many cars. Studies have shown that emissions from cars as well as from diesel trucks are highly correlated with high asthma rates and respiratory problems in children. Diesel particulates, carbon monoxide, ultrafine particles, and other particulate matter (PM) are detrimental to the upper and lower respiratory system, particularly in young children.

The movement and distribution of airborne particulates is highly dependent on particles size, wind direction and prevailing weather patterns.  If parents are able to determine when particulates are lowest, they could take their children to parks during those times to minimize exposure to PM.  School officials could shift recesses and lunches to avoid high PM exposure.  Studies have been done on PM exposure and schools, in combination with weather patterns, and data has been presented to school officials, but we know of no map that allows citizens to interactively look at parks and school playgrounds to make informed decisions.

Proposal:

Our group has decided to create an interactive map of parks and schools located in Los Angeles County that utilizes current wind and weather data to actively provide particulate concentrations for a particular location (by clicking, or rolling a mouse over it) at different times during the day.  This main purpose of our project is focused on empowering our target audience – parents/guardians, school board officials, principals and school administrations – to make better informed decisions regarding when and where children should play for any given day, without the consequences of exposing them to high particulate concentrations.

MURP CivE Staff  

Julia- Stress-free Computer Interaction Coordinator

Julia was born in Russia, but has been in Santa Monica the last 21 years.  She is in the dual degree program for MPH/MURP with an emphasis in Environmental health Sciences. She loves animals and hopes to continue on to veterinary school and incorporate her current degrees in the study of zoonotic diseases and the human-animal interface to prevent things like Contagion from occurring. :)

Steven- Coding Cat

Steven is a second year student in UCLA’s masters program for Urban and Regional Planning. After working four and a half years in the independent film industry, Steven returned to school in order to work in the realm of environmental advocacy and policy and specifically their intersection with urban issues. Originally from northern California, Steven earned his undergraduate degree in Film Studies and Spanish from UC Santa Barbara.

Sharon- Dynamic Data Director

Sharon was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico but grew up in southern California.  Sharon holds both a B.S. and M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UCLA. She is currently pursuing a PhD specializing in hydrology and water resources.  Her research focuses on the impact of development on the urban water balance.

Bryan – Wacky Web Designer

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Bryan is what you would consider a bicoastal-hopper.  As an undergraduate at UCLA, Bryan studied Environmental Science, with an emphasis in the Environmental Health Sciences.  Making his way over to the East Coast, he recently finished his MPH in Epidemiology, focusing on the intersection between the built environment and public health.  Returning back to the West Coast as a first year PhD student at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, Bryan is definitely excited at applying his experiences together and tackling many of the challenges and opportunities that come his way.

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