Tufts geographic information system (GIS) specialists Patrick Florance and Barbara Parmenter led a seminar in the uses of GIS for humanitarian relief operations. The seminar was for students in the Humanitarian Studies and Field Practice Certificate Program, an inter-university initiative offered by the Fletcher School and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (http://www.humanitarianstudies.org/). Students learned about data sources and spatial analysis options using examples from Darfur, Iraq, and the portions of the Indian Ocean affected by the 2005 tsunami. Twenty-five students, many of them with substantial existing experience in relief efforts, attended the seminar, which came at the request of Peter Walker, Director of the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University. The Tufts GIS Team will continue to work with the certificate program as the students prepare for a spring field exercise simulating a rapid assessment of a disaster zone.
Landsat satellite imagery shows part of the Sumatran coast pre- and post-tsunami impact.
Images from NASA.Image Archive 2006 (http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/archive/e0003.html)