and economically significant water issues facing the United States today.

Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond (NRC, 2007)


Vector Borne and Zoonotic (VBZ) Disease: VBZ diseases, such as malaria, dengue, and filariasis are believed responsible for millions of deaths and tens of millions of illnesses annually. The introduction and spread of West Nile virus through North America by mosquitoes during the past five years and recent concerns about the world-wide dissemination of H5N1 avian influenza are key recent examples where large human populations have come at risk over extensive geographic regions in short periods of time by these VBZ diseases. Attempts to control VBZ disease epidemics with limited available resources are hindered by the ability to prioritize and target areas for intervention. The major goal of such [remote sensing] efforts is to establish relationships between environmental conditions, as monitored by satellites, and risk to human populations from VBZ diseases. This goal requires improved characterization of the earth’s land use, ecological changes and changing weather, at finer spatial and temporal scales.

Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond (NRC, 2007)


Infectious Disease and the Environment: The challenge is to understand ecological and evolutionary aspects of infectious diseases; develop an understanding of the interactions among pathogens, hosts/receptors, and the environment; and thus make it possible to prevent changes in the infectivity and virulence of organisms that threaten plant, animal, and human health at the population level. Important research areas include examining the effects of environmental changes as selection agents on pathogen virulence and host resistance; exploring the impacts of environmental change on disease etiology, vectors, and toxic organisms; developing new approaches to surveillance and monitoring; and improving theoretical models of host-pathogen ecology.

Grand Challenges in the Environmental Sciences (NRC, 2001)



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