Talk Polymath Ep.13 | Water Health: A Community-driven Approach to Data Science

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In this episode we speak with Dr. Stacy Woods, Senior Data Scientist at the Science Office of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). As the in-house expert in statistics and data visualization, her work primarily focuses on different aspects of water health. Stacy discusses the key role community members play in water health projects, recounting her work on the highly publicized case of lead pipes poisoning residents in Flint, MI. There, she and her team established a public database, including historical and community-based data, that led to an overhaul of the city’s water system. She now leverages this replicable process and a set of data tools to address similar threats to water health across the country.

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Dr. Stacy Woods

Senior Data Scientist, Science Office NRDC

Dr. Stacy Woods specializes in applying data science—from defining the problem domain to data collection, management, analysis, interpretation, and communication—in environmental litigation. She has served as an expert witness and science advisor on numerous state and federal cases with NRDC’s litigation team, including the landmark Flint water case (Concerned Pastors for Social Action v. Khouri).

Dr. Woods also directs the Data Hub Initiative for NRDC’s Science Office. Her scientific research employs spatial statistics and GIS to investigate diverse environmental health issues, from predicting lead pipe locations in Flint to quantifying pesticide runoff hazards to manatees in Florida.

Before joining NRDC, Dr. Woods worked for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, she was a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy fellow at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

She holds a Ph.D. in environmental health engineering and a master's of public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she was a Brown scholar in community health. She is based in NRDC’s New York office.

Links:

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/stacy-woods

Additional Links:

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/stacy-woods/flint-map-shows-progress-reveals-where-lead-likely-remains

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Hosted by Polyplexus, Talk Polymath is a monthly podcast series featuring evidence-based conversations with current and emerging thought leaders in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. From public health to changing models and trends in technology, this podcast engages in topics of current interest across disciplines. For more information, visit www.polyplexus.com

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