Seven work groups, facilitated by the GEO Health Community of Practice (CoP), will support the implementation and sustainability of the Earth Observations for Health (EO4HEALTH) framework and respective activities. Contributing members and participating organizations of these work groups can provide scientific and technical expertise on selected health-related topics for specific project tasks, projects, and activities. They will continue to identify and engage health partners, clarify and address health needs for capacity building, and identify and address Earth observation (EO) and prediction gaps and needs.

Energy from the Sun heats the surface, warms the atmosphere, and powers the ocean currents. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory (Astronaut photograph, courtesy NASA/JSC  Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth )

Energy from the Sun heats the surface, warms the atmosphere, and powers the ocean currents. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory (Astronaut photograph, courtesy NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth)

Work Group 1

Heat: Predict and Prevent Heat-related Health Risks across Time Scales

Work Group 1 aims to build a globally relevant capacity to use EO to understand, predict, and reduce health risks from heat across time scales. Initial efforts will center on building a global mapping capability that conveys heat risk and identifies the most critical used or needed heat data, forecast or other EO information along with land cover and social vulnerability data.

A large bloom of cyanobacteria spread across Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

A large bloom of cyanobacteria spread across Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Work Group 2

Infectious Disease: Predict and Prevent Environmentally-sensitive Infectious Diseases (Focus: Vector-borne and Water-related Diseases)

Work Group 2 seeks to improve prediction and prevention systems for environmentally-sensitive infectious diseases to help reduce risks for human health by application of EO to decision-relevant risk monitoring, with particular focus on underserved communities. Two overarching goals are to: 1) develop the global mosquito and related environmental data mapping capacity to serve as the EO backbone for building an integrated information systems (IIS) for multiple mosquito-borne diseases and to support the ongoing GLOBE Mosquito mapping effort; and 2) develop an IIS for the monitoring and prediction of pathogen and toxin (Vibrio spp.) risk in marine and coastal environments coupled with critical EO-derived coastal and inland water quality. 

Rare wildfires in western Greenland. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Rare wildfires in western Greenland. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Work Group 3

Air Quality, Wildfires, Respiratory Health

Work Group 3 intends to identify components and a modeling framework that would enable development of space-time specific assessments, monitoring, and forecasts quantifying the levels of exposure of populations to wildfire-related pollutants and aeroallergens associated with those levels of risk for various population groups.

A twenty-year effort to plant millions of trees in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

A twenty-year effort to plant millions of trees in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Work Group 4

Food Security and Safety

Work Group 4 aims to strengthen EO applications to address food- and water-borne diseases that undermine health and food safety and security. A second goal is to develop an integrated information system (IIS) for the monitoring and prediction of pathogen and toxin (Vibrio spp. and harmful algal blooms) risk in marine and coastal environments coupled with critical EO-derived coastal and inland water quality.

Nairobi is a prime example of urban migration, with its population pushing upward and its boundaries pushing outward. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Nairobi is a prime example of urban migration, with its population pushing upward and its boundaries pushing outward. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Work Group 5

Health Care Infrastructure

Work Group 5 seeks to: 1) develop a partnership with UN agencies (WHO; UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR; UN Environment Programme, UNEP) and governmental agencies (Australia, Canada, China, European Union, India, United Kingdom, United States) that share an interest in better identifying health care facilities at risk from environmental stressors and extreme weather events; 2) integrate EO datasets in order to develop an informational resource that can assess the vulnerability of health care infrastructures to local environmental stressors; and 3) develop methods to assess the adequacy of these infrastructures under regional extreme catastrophes. These aims have implications for both real-time operations and for long-term health adaptation planning. 

Croplands and grasslands around New Delhi are being converted into city structures to create one of the fastest urban expansions in the world. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Croplands and grasslands around New Delhi are being converted into city structures to create one of the fastest urban expansions in the world. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Work Group 6

Cross-Cutting Issues: Regional Foci, Vulnerable Populations, Data/Access – especially concerning Health, Capacity Building and Training

Work Group 6 intends to increase awareness of using EOs with other data to prevent and respond to health-related problems.

Clouds can both cool the planet (by reflecting visible light from the sun) and warm the planet (by absorbing heat radiation emitted by the surface). Credit: NASA Earth Observatory (NASA Astronaut Photograph  STS31-E-9552 , courtesy Johnson Space Center  Earth Observations Lab. )

Clouds can both cool the planet (by reflecting visible light from the sun) and warm the planet (by absorbing heat radiation emitted by the surface). Credit: NASA Earth Observatory (NASA Astronaut Photograph STS31-E-9552, courtesy Johnson Space Center Earth Observations Lab.)

Work Group 7

Integrating EO-based Population and Data Disaggregation Techniques in One Health Tools and Projects

Work Group 7 aims to identify authoritative reference data, missing information, and assessment of capacity of GEO to provide human and animal data and methods to answer the need for the health community.