Carol Matasci grew up in Kihei on the island of Maui. She graduated from Baldwin High School in 2005 and is currently attending the University of Notre Dame in pursuit of a degree in chemical engineering. She is involved with the Society of Women Engineers and the Hawai’i Club. She enjoys learning how things work, ceramics, reading books for fun, and making jewelry. After graduation, she would like to come back to live and work in Hawai’i.

Institution when accepted:University of Notre Dame.

Akamai Project: Patterns of Temperature and Avian Influenza Outbreaks

Project Site: Pacific Disaster Center

MentorsChris Chiesa and Pam Cowher

Project Abstract:

Avian influenza has emerged as a global threat in the past few years. If the virus mutates and becomes transmissible from human to human, a global pandemic will likely occur and claim 2-7.4 million lives. The goal of the Pacific Disaster Center’s Avian Influenza Project is to analyze patterns and find correlations that will make predictions of future outbreaks possible. Temperature is one component that was considered and will be factored into a composite model of outbreak susceptibility. Knowing which areas of the world are most vulnerable will facilitate preparation and minimize the harmful impact of the virus. Geographical Information Systems software is the vehicle for analysis, allowing layers of data to be combined on one map. Avian cases and climate data, specifically temperature data, were explored for correlations. The data have been collected from online sources. World temperature point data was interpolated into a global temperature map, then run through a model to adjust the interpolation for elevation changes. This new global temperature map was then used to match up each avian case with temperature data for the month prior to, month of, and month after the case was recorded. Finally, the table of avian cases and temperature data was analyzed for correlations. Initial analysis of the results suggests a slight correlation between temperature and the percentage of birds that are affected, as well as differences between the domestic and migratory bird populations. Further results of the frequency of cases versus temperature will be presented.

Link to a PDF of Carol’s project presentation.