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Sustainability News

ASU Now | July 3, 2020

As the coronavirus continues to surge across the United States, there is little doubt that the pandemic has upended American life as we know it. From disrupting the way people move in the world, to exposing racial inequalities, to introducing new questions about surveillance and personal privacy in tracking the disease, the nation has been changed by this experience.

Arizona State University researchers in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning are studying these changes in the American public and the future impacts COVID-19 can have on individual lives.

A team of ASU researchers led by sustainability scientist Wei Li, professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, seeks to analyze whether and how Asian Americans are disproportionately under more risk of racialized hate crimes during COVID-19. Li is co-principal investigator of the study and the recipient of an NSF-funded grant from the Social Science Extreme Events Research Network and the CONVERGE facility, the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Sustainability scientist Deborah Salon, associate professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning is the recipient of an NSF RAPID grant to explore how people’s experiences with COVID-19 have influenced their attitudes and behaviors toward transportation, and its potential impact on long-term decision making. Their project is one of only a handful of data-collection efforts across the nation that aims to understand how this health pandemic may have permanent effects on our lives and the society at large.

Peter Kedron, assistant professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and an expert in geospatial technology, is the recipient of an NSF Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant. Kedron is leading a robust effort to provide the public with information about the diversity and viability of digital contact tracing technologies that will be used in the U.S. to fight COVID-19. Currently, limited published data is available about digital contact tracing technologies, the process in which they retrieve and store data, and how it may affect a user’s privacy.