Rebekah Jones

Geographer & Environmental Enthusiast

An Introduction

As a scientist focused on the intersection of people and the environment, I have focused my academic and professional careers on disaster research and communications.

The bulk of my research and practice centered around hurricanes and climate change, using geospatial science as a tool to study how storms and changing environmental systems impact the Earth’s surface. I’ve published my research in peer-reviewed journals, won multiple awards from academic organizations, and have been featured in several technical and academic articles for my development of spatial data tools and applications.

I also served as a climate and hurricanes subject matter expert for the 2014 Louisiana Hazards Mitigation Plan, contributed content to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, and worked with Native American tribes in south Louisiana on climate change and hurricane research, adaptation planning and action.

I’ve led or been a part of response efforts to Hurricane Isaac (2012), Hurricane Sandy (2012), the Moore, Okla. tornadoes (2013), Hurricane Hermine (2016), Hurricane Matthew (2018), and Hurricane Dorian (2019).

My Hurricane Michael storymap won awards in regional and national competitions, and was presented at ESRI’s 2019 User Conference.

In April 2020, my COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard, which I built while working as Geospatial Information Sciences Manager at the Florida Department of Health, received praise from White House Advisor Dr. Debora Birx, logged more than 100 million views within six weeks, and was hailed as the national gold-standard for data transparency and accessibility.

In June 2020, I founded Florida COVID Action to track and analyze all authoritative data about the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida when state leadership refused to do so. Two months later, I co-founded The COVID Monitor, the national database for COVID-19 case data in K-12 schools.

During this time, I worked on writing my book, gave the keynote address at several major conferences, including the Journal of Data Science, Northeast URISA 2020, and Women in GIS, built a massive media portfolio, and continued working on bringing data to the public in an easy-to-understand format.

My plan is to continue doing the important work I’ve been passionate about all my life – helping people understand the world, its risks, and be better prepared for what comes.

45 thoughts on “An Introduction

  1. As a physician, I am a staunch supporter painting the integrity of science. Thank you for your commitment. I am a big fan of yours!! Keep up the great work.

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  2. Thank you for all you do!! Great job and I passed the site along to my friends as well as donated to your cause!!

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  3. Thank you for your help.
    When reopening schools is the topic. I can’t I’m understand the lack of data . Regarding how many actual children were truly tested.
    I know of someone in CT who I positive and the doctors refused to test her 7 year child.

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  4. Thank you for all of your hard work and for letting the data speak for itself. Your new dashboard for COVID19 is impressive, and it inspires me to refresh some of my data analytics skills from undergrad.

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  5. When I went to FSU there was a class we took called Computer Ethics. They taught that it is a professional’s duty to evaluate less that ethical situations, and act by taking lead and bringing the issue to attention, and when all else fails, refusing to do what is unethical. That you are being smeared and retaliated against by the state and governor is horrible and I hope bigger and brighter things are ahead for your career. You did your duty as a professional, and I think a lot of people see that. Good luck and thank you for bringing these injustices to our attention!

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  6. My company handled much of the logistics and recovery within Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama after many hurricanes between 2002-2006. We were stationed with AshBritt in Gulfport during Katrina in 2005-2006. At the time, we were using GIS to locate impassable debris and routing supplies around it. My current employer handles a great deal of work in GIS on a global scale, and I respect your work and contributions. We’re following your story with great interest.

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  7. Well put. Impressive reaction to the government manipulation. Most of the population has become too jaded to the way our governments are for sale. The news media should report more of what you have revealed and of government wrong doings in general..

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