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Building research software infrastructure to prevent disasters like Hurricane Maria: Natural Hazards Researchers Meeting 2018

Authors: Christina Bandaragoda · NSF RAPID for Maria and 2017 Hurricane Season Teams
Owners: Christina Bandaragoda
Resource type:Composite Resource
Created:Aug 15, 2018 at 6:12 p.m.
Last updated: Aug 15, 2018 at 6:24 p.m. by Christina Bandaragoda


After every natural disaster, it is difficult to answer elementary questions on how to provide high quality water supplies and health services. There is no existing digital infrastructure to scientifically determine the hurricane impact on drinking water quality, the severity of a hazard to human health, or baseline data on the sophistication, connectivity, and operations of the distributed physical and related digital infrastructure systems. We test data publication mechanisms after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico to understand risks to human health by assessing the spatial and temporal presence of waterborne pathogens in multiple types of systems, demonstrating usability of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) HydroShare system as a clearinghouse for data related to Hurricanes Maria, Harvey, and Irma, and developing a prototype cyberinfrastructure to assess environmental and public health impacts. Our resulting archive and research software engineering practices provide a prototype cyberinfrastructure system for researchers to study natural disasters.

Discussion Prompt: How can data sharing and archiving capabilities be enhanced to ensure the greatest scientific impact?

Recovery efforts from natural disasters can be more efficient with data-driven information on current needs and future risks. We advance open-source software infrastructure to support scientific investigation and data-driven decision making with a data sharing system using a water quality assessment developed to investigate post-Hurricane Maria drinking water contamination in Puerto Rico. One limitation to effective disaster response is easy and rapid access to diverse information about available resources and maps of community resource needs and risks. Research products are made Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reproducible (FAIR) using HydroShare, a collaborative online sharing platform. Curating a central repository of assembled research data has the potential to greatly facilitate coordinated disaster responses of all types, with opportunities to improve planning, preparedness, and monitoring of the recovery process.

Subject Keywords

natural hazard,RAPID,Maria,water quality

How to cite

Bandaragoda, C., NSF RAPID for Maria and 2017 Hurricane Season Teams (2018). Building research software infrastructure to prevent disasters like Hurricane Maria: Natural Hazards Researchers Meeting 2018, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/cecc535bf45040d7863dc26b58f47847

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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    The people or organizations that created the intellectual content of the resource.

    Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
    Christina Bandaragoda University of Washington
    NSF RAPID for Maria and 2017 Hurricane Season Teams


    This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
    Agency Name Award Title Award Number
    National Science Foundation Building Infrastructure to Prevent Disasters like Hurricane Maria 1810886


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