As our global climate undergoes dramatic shifts, our local communities suffer as well.

 Climate events like extreme heat and erratic rainfall can affect rates of disease, flooding potential, and air pollution in greater Indianapolis communities.

Clicking the pictures to the right will take you to story maps which explore the potential impacts of climate change on Indianapolis.

Although the effects of climate change on health risk have been extensively studied, it is unclear how climate change affects exposure pathways for environmental hazards. We create data visualization maps that inform policy makers to identify areas and people at greatest risk . 

  Left to right: Kali Frost, Yi Wang, Jeremy Prather, Jeffrey Ashby, Jeremy Chesher

  Left to right: Kali Frost, Yi Wang, Jeremy Prather, Jeffrey Ashby, Jeremy Chesher

Working with the EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program and the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC), we leveraged publicly available data (e.g. from the TRI, State health and environmental agencies, and NOAA and Landsat satellites) to develop an interactive web portal to display and communicate potential health and environmental effects of climate change on a disadvantaged neighborhood: the Near West Neighborhood.

We created visualizations to identify: 1) locations at increased risk of flooding and associated vulnerabilities with respect to housing structures (mold), other critical infrastructure (including hospitals and schools), and contaminated sites and repositories for waste; 2) areas with an increased level of ozone formation from mobile and non-mobile sources of VOCs as they relate to increases in overall ambient temperature and localized urban heat island effects; and 3) hotspots where residents are more vulnerable to acute cardiovascular emergency and hospitalization as a result of urban heat island effects. 

                      Near West Indianapolis


These maps may aid decision-makers in identifying targeted areas and/or at-risk populations for disaster prevention, preparation, and response as a result of climate change and provides a cost-effective way to mitigate potential impacts of climate change. This tool is also narrated with lay languages to empower community residents for environmental justice.