Ciara Horne

Economically disadvantaged groups (which are disproportionately racial/ethnic minorities) are the most vulnerable to the financial, environmental, and health consequences of flooding. In addition, sea-level rise and recurrent severe storms have resulted in erratic and intensified flooding occurrences that U.S. water-mitigation infrastructure (e.g., dams, levees) cannot withstand long-term. Ciara’s research consists of using data science and geographical information systems (GIS) methodologies to measure how the presence of this infrastructure contributes to the flooding vulnerability of Black urban communities in the U.S. This research will be used to influence policy by providing evidence of the public health and environmental injustices that form from the relationship between the built environment and demographic disparities.

Ciara’s passion for prioritizing social justice in her engineering research comes from her lived experiences as a Black woman in STEM and as a daughter of Black parents from Baltimore City, Maryland. She wants to utilize her engineering background and underrepresented perspective to influence policymakers to develop ethical, equitable, and culturally-competent policies that will assist historically marginalized groups.


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