Research Seminar Series: Developing the FloodNet NYC Community Engagement Strategy with Véronëque Ignace & Hannah Eisler Burnett

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Véronëque Ignace & Hannah Eisler Burnett

NYU CUSP is pleased to host our annual Research Seminar Series, featuring leading voices in the growing field of urban informatics. The seminars will examine real-world challenges facing cities and urban environments around the world, with topics ranging from citizen and social sciences to smart infrastructure.

At the Intersection of Science, Policy and Community: Developing the FloodNet NYC Community Engagement Strategy

As flooding in NYC continues to increase in frequency and severity, efforts to respond are more contingent on effective collaboration between impacted communities, researchers, and government agencies. FloodNet NYC, developed out of a mutual need among various stakeholders to quantitatively measure and passively monitor urban flooding, offers new opportunities to explore community-informed flood data collection, dissemination, and usage. Through the integration of a designated community engagement (CE) team, FloodNet NYC strategically aims to increase the project’s ability to foster sustainable impact within communities most at risk. Informed by community-based participation research methodology and implementation frameworks, our CE strategy has three prongs - community outreach, community education, and community action - and leverages a public health lens to ground our approach in both theory and practice. 

Engaging in this work has highlighted the importance of continuously gathering new insights about what it means to merge CE with academic research and the needs of city agencies. Given the novelty of FloodNet NYC to enrich existing qualitative datasets with measurements of flood depth, duration, and profile at key locations across the city, we are also learning about the need to cultivate new dialogue on the experience and impact of flooding with other relevant neighborhood issues and health.

About the Speakers

Véronëque Ignace, MPH serves as the NYC FloodNet Community Engagement Manager based at the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, hosted by CUNY-Brooklyn College. As a Flatbush, Brooklyn native with a background in public health practice, community-based participatory research, and cultural activism, she develops and leads transdisciplinary community engagement efforts, rooted in social change and seeking to improve community health. Through applied public health practice in diverse spaces, she has steered strategic design and program planning and evaluation to facilitate growth, racial equity policies, an orientation toward socio-political community engagement at non-profits, grassroots groups, and larger arts institutions. She is an alum of Williams College and SUNY Downstate School of Public Health. She is currently a PhD student at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health.

Hannah Eisler Burnett, PhD is the Jamaica Bay Coastal Resilience Specialist for New York Sea Grant. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, Hannah has worked with coastal communities on the front lines of climate change in southeastern Louisiana, Chicago, and New York City. Before joining Sea Grant, Hannah was a postdoctoral scholar at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, working on the citywide flood sensing project FloodNet NYC. Hannah holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Literature from Yale University, and has won awards from the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology and the University of Chicago for work that was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Raised on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Hannah’s work is inspired by the strength and care embodied by the people there who have built enduring communities of solidarity in the wake of numerous environmental disasters. Hannah brings these experiences to a portfolio of projects that address coastal resilience in the Jamaica Bay watershed.

FloodNYC Mission

FloodNet’s mission is to develop tools for real-time urban flood monitoring, implement these tools to measure flooding in New York City, and make flood data and monitoring tools available in a manner that is accessible and useful to stakeholders including residents, community-based organizations, government agencies, and researchers. 

The FloodNet team is composed of researchers and practitioners at New York University, the City University of New York, and New York City government agencies working in collaboration with stakeholders to collect and share data that contribute toward flood risk mitigation and building community flood resilience.

How to Attend

NYU CUSP Research Seminars are only open to faculty, students, and staff at NYU – they are not open to the public at this time. This event will be held in-person, but we are now offering hybrid access to attendees! If you'd like to attend virtually, check the bottom of your confirmation email for the Zoom link.