Chloe Jackson (MSGIST 2016) is a Senior GIS Analyst with Pima County GIS who recently co-authored an article on brownfields in Tucson, Arizona. In collaboration with members of the Sonora Environmental Research Institute (SERI), they produced the article “Development of a brownfield inventory for prioritizing funding outreach in Tucson, Arizona” in the journal Geo-spatial Information Science. Chloe and the authors developed a brownfield inventory of the large, industrial area directly to the west of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The goal of the project was to prioritize properties that stood to benefit from the grant funding.
Chloe writes, "I was involved in this project through my internship with the county Community Development department. Our program director was interested in using data to target candidates that stood to benefit from the EPA Brownfield Grant funding, which would hopefully in turn establish trust in the community. My job was to compile all that data based on Theresa’s extensive environmental knowledge and process it to prioritize field work, and eventually outreach efforts. This was especially important due to the size of the study area- the hot spots of potential candidates helped us target areas we thought would be more likely to participate and experience positive results.
The most interesting component for me was the use of GIS to try to get at less concrete concepts like “perceived contamination” and “likelihood to benefit”. I love the idea of humanities and social organizations using GIS to target their work more efficiently. I can see future projects testing the efficacy of a model like this after the outreach work is done- did the model successfully direct us to candidates that eventually took advantage of the funding, or is there something at play here that we didn’t account for? The answers could help people, especially local governments with Federal funds to disperse, create better models, sow trust within communities, and avoid losing grants due to lack of participation."