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October Science Pub: Using Technology to Map the Effects of Sea Level Rise

By Amy Matzke-Fawcett

Sea level rise and flooding are issues often on the minds of Hampton Roads residents, especially during hurricane season. But what are we doing about it? How do we know the impacts?

That's the question Old Dominion University researchers Tom Allen and George McLeod are working on, and the topic of the next Science Pub. It's set for Oct. 17 at Oozlefinch Brewing Co., 81 Patch Road, Fort Monroe (Hampton). Networking begins at 6 p.m., and trivia and talks at 6:30. The first 20 to arrive receive a free beverage of their choice.

Allen and McLeod will discuss using technology, including drones, flood maps, computer modeling and street-level sensors, that helps to predict community impacts and develop local policy.

"Drones and other cutting-edge technologies have become critically important tools for scientific inquiry," McLeod said. "The novel capabilities offered by these devices enable us to better map, model and visualize the impacts of storm flooding and sea level rise."

Later in the week, Allen and McLeod will be part of a team of community and experienced volunteers working to map parts of Nigeria to assist in emergency response. As with Science Pubs, no previous experience in mapping is needed to participate. The event, scheduled for Oct. 19 and 20, is free and RSVPs are being taken online.

Science Pubs provide an opportunity for the community to engage with ODU researchers in an informal setting. The next Pub in November will discuss cybercrime with Roderick Graham, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice. Check the Science Pubs ODU page, Facebook page or Twitter for details.

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