UAS Postdoc models COVID-19 vulnerability in Alaska

May 4, 2020

John Harley
John Harley has created a model of COVID-19 vulnerability. Photo by Molly Tankersley.

University of Alaska Southeast postdoc John Harley has a background in environmental toxicology. In conjunction with the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center he has been combining GIS and big data analyses to predict the occurrence of harmful algal blooms in southeast Alaska.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Harley put his skills to work modeling the spatial distribution of at-risk populations in Alaska. With the support of an Immediate Innovation grant from OIPC funded through the Office of Naval research, Harley is using demographic and social data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau to visualize the spatial distribution of vulnerable populations across the state of Alaska.

Harley’s work will provide a community-level assessment that can be tuned to include a variety of risk factors with the ultimate goal of developing a versatile public health tool that will be useful in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.