Posted on March 7, 2021
NOAA EPP/MSI CESSRST Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing undergraduate scholar, Melissa Olivar forwards her aspiration to advocate for communities impacted by natural disasters specifically hurricanes through her National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) mission-driven research and projects. Her research is titled, ‘A Comparison of Two Approaches for Estimating Economic and Demographic Exposure to Coastal Risks.’ She is conducting the research under NOAA CESSRST advisor, Dr. Valerie Were, Social Science Lead, and NOAA CESSRST faculty advisor, Kevin Foster, Interim Associate Dean in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at The City College of New York (CCNY).
Melissa realized her passion for helping communities impacted by the adverse effects of extreme weather events while she was visiting her hometown, Costa Chica, Guerrero, Mexico in 2015. She grew up listening to stories from her parents about the presence of beautiful sandy beaches, large waves, and sunny weather in her hometown. But her visit told a different tale. Her hometown was greatly impacted by Hurricane Manuel, 2013; most local businesses along the beach were ruined, oceans were dirty and lacked aquatic life, and people struggled to make ends meet. This broke Melissa’s heart and she made it her personal mission to not only uplift her community but many others that struggle due to the impacts of climate change. She said, “I hope to help people around the world who are suffering from food and water insecurity due to climate change-related disasters.”
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