This page provides an overview of my ongoing and past research projects. Check my past projects here.

Active Projects Overview

Power outages induced by wildfires and how they have affected people's life inside California's high fire risk zones?

Wildfire-induced power outages include Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) and loss of power during wildfires. Since 2017, PSPS have become increasingly common in California as a practice to reduce the risk of mega-fires during the peak of the fire season. While such practice may have effectively mitigated the risk of wildfire ignition, its impact on people's daily life cannot be ignored, especially for those deemed medically or socially vulnerable and have limited resources to cope with the disruptions caused by an extended period of power loss.

In this project, we are interested in evaluating how power outages induced by wildfires have shattered the life for people living in California's wildland-urban interface (WUI), an ecologically sensitive and often fire-prone area whose landscape has been greatly altered by the sprawling of built-ups during the past decade (2010-2020).

Learn more about the progress of this work from the following GitHub repositories.

Recent Publication on This Topic

CrisisReady: A disaster responding framework informed by crowdsourced data

Crowdsourced data documenting the spatial clustering and movement of people has been applied to track the hot spot of population change during a major disaster or event. CrisisReady is a cross-organizational team that aims to develop data preparation analytical protocols and build a streamlined platform to harvest, analyze, and visualize the population displacement, network connectivity, and business activities affected during major natural disasters worldwide.

Check for more information.

Most Recent Publication

Schroeder, A., Dresser, C., Yadav, A., Chan, J., Jia, S., Buckee, C., & Balsari, S. (2023). CrisisReady's novel framework for transdisciplinary translation: Case-studies in wildfire and hurricane response. The Journal of Climate Change and Health, 9, 100193.

Jia, S., Kim, S. H., Nghiem, S. V., Doherty, P., & Kafatos, M. C. (2020). Patterns of population displacement during mega-fires in California detected using Facebook Disaster Maps. Environmental Research Letters, 15(7), 074029.

Wildfire risk estimation: An approach based on the time-lagged relationship between soil moisture and vegetation health cycle

In many semi-arid and arid ecosystems, soil moisture increases during the precipitation season before the onset of plants' green-up period. This sets up a foundation for moisture available during the current growing season. The time-lagged relationship between soil moisture increase and vegetation health can be utilized to estimate the fuel (plant) moisture during the wildfire season and thus the level of fire danger. We developed a model based on this lagged relationship with soil moisture data obtained from NASA SMAP program and live fuel moisture observations (LFM) collected by USFS for Western U.S.

Most Recent Publication

Jia, S., Kim, S. H., Nghiem, S. V., & Kafatos, M. (2019). Estimating live fuel moisture using SMAP L-band radiometer soil moisture for Southern California, USA. Remote Sensing, 11(13), 1575.

Myoung, B., Kim, S. H., Nghiem, S. V., Jia, S., Whitney, K., & Kafatos, M. C. (2018). Estimating live fuel moisture from MODIS satellite data for wildfire danger assessment in Southern California USA. Remote Sensing, 10(1), 87.