[Source: Deborah Daun, University of Arizona] — A University of Arizona researcher has created a new system to dramatically show American cities their relative level of vulnerability to bioterrorism. Walter W. Piegorsch, PhD, an expert on environmental risk, has placed 132 major cities — on a list from Albany, NY, to Youngstown, OH — on a color-coded map that identifies their level of risk based on factors like critical industries, ports, railroads, population, natural environment, and other factors.
Piegorsch is the director of a new UA graduate program in interdisciplinary statistics and a professor of mathematics in the College of Science, as well as a member of the UA’s BIO5 Institute.
The map marks high risk areas as red (for example, Houston or, surprisingly, Boise, Idaho), midrange risk as yellow (San Francisco) and lower risk as green (Tucson and Phoenix). The model employs what risk experts call a benchmark vulnerability metric, which shows risk managers each city’s level of risk for urban terrorism. [Note: For more information, click here.]