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Faculty News and Research Briefs

July 1, 2020

A Round-Up of Recent COSSPP Faculty News and Research

Mathew Hauer (Sociology, Center for Demography and Population Health) and a colleague published a paper, "Resilience for whom? Demographic change and the redevelopment of the built environment in Puerto Rico," in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The paper is on demographic change in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Before the storm, demographers would have projected Puerto Rico's population to decline from 3.3 million to 1.9 million over the next 30 years. After Hurricane Maria, the researchers project a decline to 1.65 million. This decline is particularly acute for the working age population, accounting for more than 85% of the total decrease. "As Puerto Rico moves forward with long-term plans and capital investments, consistently deployed, long-range population projections are critical for determining the optimal stewardship of public resources and as a check on the construction of a built environment that might be beyond the sustainable capacity of Puerto Rico to utilize, maintain and pay for," the paper's abstract reads.

Mark Horner (Geography) and geography doctoral student Kyusik Kim, along with colleagues from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, published a study, "A comparative analysis of transportation-based accessibility to mental health services," in the journal Transportation Research Part D analyzing how long it takes people across Florida to travel to a mental health facility by car in free-flowing traffic, finding a wide disparity between the best-served and worst-served areas of the state. “Increasing people’s accessibility to healthcare is a very complicated problem, and transportation considerations are a fundamental piece of the underlying puzzle,” Horner said. “And then when we start thinking about the diversity of the populations to be served and their needs, which vary among many dimensions, including people’s ages, geographical context and other factors, we begin to appreciate the range of issues to be addressed as we move forward.”

Tyler McCreary (Geography) and a colleague published a study in the journal Cultural Geographies: "Performing Black life: the FAMU Marching 100 and the Black aesthetic politics of disruption, presence and affirmation." Black thought has long emphasized the vital importance of aesthetic politics to Black activism and community life. Recent scholarship has emphasized the importance of analyzing the aesthetic geographies of festivals. In this paper, the researchers extend the discussion of festival geographies through theoretical engagement with Black thought and empirical engagement with Black parades in the US South, specifically using an examination of the aesthetic geographies of Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 to think through the relationships between form and improvisation, performance and belonging and affirmative aesthetic politics.

Tisha Holmes (Urban and Regional Planning) has been selected to serve a two-year appointment on the American Public Health Associations’ Center of Climate, Health and Equity Advisory Board. The board will support the center's efforts to inspire action on climate and health, advance policy and galvanize the field to address climate change.

Christopher Uejio (Geography), Tisha Holmes (Urban and Regional Planning) and doctoral student Bertram Melix (Geography), along with co-authors from various health departments in Florida and other states, published research on social determinants of health expectancy in the journal BMC Public Health, "Florida neighborhood analysis of social determinants and their relationship to life expectancy." Unlike previous studies, this research analyzes the relationship between social determinants of health and unequal life expectancy at the neighborhood level as opposed to the county level.

Hans Hassell (Political Science) won the 2020 Best Paper Award from the American Political Science Association for "Mobilize for Our Lives? School Shootings and Retrospective Voting in U.S. Elections."

Tingting Zhao (Geography), Tian Tang (Askew School) and Minna Jia (FSU Survey Foundry) are collaborating with principle investigator Yanshuo Sun (FAMU-FSU College of Engineering) on a project funded by the university to understand people's hurricane decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will collect survey questionnaires on the public's responses on whether, where and how to evacuate and conducting interviews with government officials from the aspect of hurricane evacuation planning.

James E. Wright II (Askew School fo Public Administration and Policy) and a colleague published research, "Social Equity and COVID ‐19: The Case of African Americans" in the journal Public Administration Review on the disproportionate effect of the virus on Black communities. Wright was also a co-author on research published in the journal The American Review of Public Administration. "Police Use of Force Interactions: Is Race Relevant or Gender Germane?" utilized individual-level data from two police departments to explore differences in the amount of force used by officers in ethnic, racial, and gender matches in police–civilian encounters.

David Merrick (Director, Emergency Management and Homeland Security program) spoke at a Zoom webinar with the CLEO Institute, June 2, about the science behind hurricanes, what we can expect to see this year and how the State of Florida is preparing in the face of the COVID19 crisis.

Stephanie Pau (Geography), doctoral student Nicole Zampieri (Geography) and a colleague published a study in Scientific Reports on "The impact of Hurricane Michael on longleaf pine habitats in Florida." The research found that at least 28% of the global total remaining extent of the longleaf pine ecosystem was affected in Florida alone. Pau also received a a National Science Foundation research grant in July for a different project investigating the relationship between leaf phenology – the timing and amount of leaf production – and primary productivity in contrasting wet and dry tropical forest habitats, using geospatial data.