Webinar Series

The Florida BRACE Program hosted a regular webinar series. All past webinars are linked below.



Past Webinars

Climate Change Impacts on Tropical Cyclones and their Relevance to Risk in Florida

Presented by Jake Carstens, PhD Candidate in the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University

This webinar presented the latest understanding and state of the science on tropical cyclones and climate change and their relevance to risk in Florida. Jake discusses the impacts from recent destructive storms, and provides an overview of tropical cyclone data collection and data availability that drives forecasting and modeling. He describes the changes observed in tropical cyclone activity and how tropical cyclone activity may change in the future. Jake is a two-time alumnus of Florida State’s meteorology program, earning his Bachelor of Science in 2017 and a Master of Science in 2019. Under the advisement of Dr. Allison Wing, his current research intertwines two major elements of tropical weather and climate: hurricanes and thunderstorms. He uses high-resolution models to study the complex interactions between tropical clouds and their surrounding environment, and he examines the tendency for convection to “self-organize” and the physics of tropical cyclone formation from this framework. He has served as a Producer and on-air talent for the student-led “FSU Weather” television show, and he was the President of the North Florida Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association in 2019-2020, winning the 2020 AMS Chapter of the Year Award. This webinar, originally hosted on August 26, 2021, was recorded and can be viewed above or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/_mgh7LGYeak.

Identifying Subpopulations Vulnerable to Health-Related Impacts from Extreme Heat in Florida

Presented by Dr. Jihoon Jung, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington

This webinar presented the results from two related but separate studies examining socioeconomically vulnerable groups to extreme heat illness in Florida. The first study tested the use of social security numbers as a proxy for vulnerable subpopulations to extreme heat risk factors, including cardiovascular disease, renal disease, respiratory disease, dehydration, and heat-related illness. The second study used a case-crossover design and spatial analysis to identify the most vulnerable counties to extreme heat using demographic and socioeconomic variables most strongly and consistently related to heat-sensitive health outcomes. Dr. Jung's research focuses on how the biophysical and socioeconomic environment influence and interact with human health during disasters. This webinar, originally hosted on June 29, 2021, was recorded and can be viewed above or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/LXJrfE37Vwg.

An Evaluation of the Monroe County Special Needs Shelter Program's Response During Hurricane Irma

Presented by Kathryn Smith, Florida BRACE

Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on September 10, 2017 as a major Category 4 hurricane and caused catastrophic damages as it moved through Florida. 6.5 million people were ordered to evacuate in Florida. Kathryn shares the results of a project that evaluated the Monroe County Special Needs Shelter Program during Irma. The study examined the factors that influenced the emergency response, operation, and management of the Special Needs Program and how emergency response system actions requiring interagency coordination at the county level performed. She provides a set of recommendations and public health lessons learned to inform future preparedness and evacuation response efforts for the county’s Special Needs Program. This webinar, originally hosted on April 28, 2021, was recorded and can be viewed above or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/o0qIecwr2Qs.

All-Hazards Survival Strategy for Vulnerable Communities: A DOH-Sarasota Public-Private Initiative

Presented by Carol Jeffers, Program Coordinator, Sarasota County Department of Health

Carol discusses the important role that public-private collaborations and partnerships play in disaster mitigation and recovery, particularly for improving the resilience of vulnerable and disproportionately impacted groups. Her talk discusses the impacts of climate change and disasters on different vulnerable groups in Sarasota, and how her work is helping to improve equity in disaster preparedness and recovery. Carol is Program Coordinator for several programs and initiatives, including the: Community-Based Disaster Coalitions (CBDC), Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), Centers for Disease Control Strategic National Stockpile/Medical Countermeasures (SNS/MCM), Persons with Access and Functional Needs (AFN), and Community-Based Disaster Coalitions. This webinar, originally hosted on November 16, 2020, was recorded and can be viewed above or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/-NT4jdE_m4g.

Climate Change and Variability in Florida - What We Know (and Don't Know)

Presented by David Zierden, Florida State Climatologist

Florida's State Climatologist, David Zierden, reviews global trends in increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and how they are impacting the global climate system before narrowing the focus on how these trends are manifested in the State of Florida. Special attention will be placed on how climate and weather threats, especially as related to human health, may or may not be changing. The primary threats that will be examined are hurricanes, extreme rainfall and drought, sea level rise, and extreme temperatures. Not to be ignored is the background of Florida's historical climate and natural variability, much of which can be related to the El Nino/La Nina cycle. This webinar, originally hosted on August 12, 2020, was recorded and can be viewed above or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/N3MLA2jkjMw.

Florida Neighborhood Analysis of Societal Determinants and their Relationship to Life Expectancy Rates

Presented by Bertram Melix, a PhD student in the Geography Department at Florida State University

Differences in life expectancy rates between neighborhoods, can in part, be attributed to the social determinants of health, or local conditions where people work, live, and age. Characteristics of local residents such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, housing status, household structure, and retirement status have established links to health. This study moves beyond prior research to include more specific factors such as access to an automobile, living in mobile homes, persons per household, recipients of Social Security benefits, and female-headed households. These social vulnerability indicators are drawn from a public health dataset detailing factors meant to indicate which individuals are at risk to be harmed by natural and/or human caused disasters in Florida. In this webinar, graduate student Bertram Melix will discuss the results of a study designed to identify and evaluate how community-based risk factors contribute to differences in life expectancy rates across neighborhoods in Florida. This webinar, originally hosted on November 8, 2019, was recorded and can be viewed above or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/N3MLA2jkjMw.

Webinar: Volusia County's "Beat the Heat" Evaluation Plan

Presented by Suzanne Grubbs, Epidemiology Manager, and Jeanine Robinson, Environmental Health Facilities Program Manager, Volusia County Department of Health

Each summer, Florida experiences hot and humid conditions that increase the risk of heat-related illness. In this webinar, you will hear from the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County who developed an evaluation plan to assess the effectiveness of their Beat the Heat education campaign. The campaign activities are designed to increase public awareness about the risks and prevention of heat-related illness through mass media, presentations, educational material distribution, and social media strategies. Learn about the steps taken to create key evaluation questions, the importance of engaged stakeholders, and data analysis tools. Webinar participants will hear about challenges and solutions to evaluation plan development as well as lessons learned for future planning. The "Beat the Heat" evaluation webinar, originally hosted on August 16, 2019, was recorded and can be viewed above or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/7XYBh8LQKW0.

Webinar: An Introduction to Evaluation

Evaluation is an important component of any program's development, but it is often an afterthought or neglected when an agency has many other pressing priorities. But the systematic collection of information about activities, characteristics, and outcomes of programs can be used to make judgements about the program, improve program effectiveness, and/or inform decisions about future program development.

Looking at evaluation specifically through the lens of public health, the CDC defines it as "a systematic way to improve and account for public health actions by involving procedures that are useful, feasible, ethical, and accurate." In an effort to focus on building the capacity of public health departments and to get health officials and community partners thinking about evaluation before The 45-minute presentation,co-presented by Drs. Tisha Holmes and Ava Holt, covers the basics of evaluation, the evaluation life cycle, and evaluation components using a real-world example. In addition to providing a good primer on evaluation, the evaluation webinar was developed to support the funding opportunity announcement presently in circulation to public health departments and community partners. The evaluation webinar, originally hosted on January 17, 2018, was recorded and can be viewed above or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/70frQjfiix0.