Speaker Bio & Abstract
BiographyTrevor Skaggs is a Geospatial Software Engineer based in California with 13+ years of experience in the field. His primary professional interest areas include cloud-optimized data processing, leveraging of remotely sensed products in ecological and disaster response applications, and advocacy for open data formats. As a volunteer First Responder in a wildfire prone area, he is intimately familiar with the direct impact of using data to assist in risk mitigation, community planning, and acute response for climatic and natural disasters. AbstractUnderstanding Water Scarcity & Conflict in Iraq Using Open Source Geospatial DataWater scarcity has driven decades of instability in Iraq. The United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UNDPPA) Innovation Cell partnered with geospatial engineering firm, Element 84, to create an environmental monitoring tool to evaluate relationships between water availability and conflict. Open Source Earth Observation data from over 25 satellites was harnessed, normalized, and aggregated into a functional dashboard for UN decision makers to assess water-conflict profiles at the sub-national level. Indicators of water scarcity like precipitation, groundwater change, and soil moisture are displayed per district and per governorate to enable multi-lateral evidence-based policymaking. Never before has a geospatial tool of this scale been created to provide on-the-ground UN teams with actionable insight on historical water and conflict trends in Iraq.