Dr. An-Min Wu, assistant professor (teaching) of Spatial Sciences with the USC Spatial Sciences Institute, presented a paper at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers (APCG). Wu’s paper presentation was in the Environmental Justice session held on Friday, October 5, 2022. The conference took place at West Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
In her paper titled “Investigating environmental health disparity near California’s historical lead smelters using geospatial analysis and modeling,” Wu and her co-authors spatially quantified the health risks of the uncleaned ghost smelter sites in California. She and her team sought to identify vulnerable populations due to the proximity of the ghost smelters. Using spatial analysis and spatial regression, they compared the socioeconomic factors of census block groups proximate to the smelters with those of the rest of the respective county.
Their project outcome is to confirm the extent of environmental injustice embedded in our built environment. They hope that their findings will help at-risk communities advocate for remediation policies.
Joining Wu as co-author was Dr. Jill Johnston, associate professor of Population and Public Health Sciences and Spatial Sciences. Dr. Johnson is with the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Spatial Sciences Institute.
Ziruo Zhao, a student in SSI’s M.S. in Spatial Economics and Data Analysis program, was a co-author. Other co-authors were USC undergraduate students Mariann A. Tobar and Michele Heilman, funded under the USC Undergraduate Research Associates Program.