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. Thank you for your refusal to fudge the statistics regarding Covid19. We need more people with ethics in Florida and the Federal Government. Lying to the public is unacceptable especially in times like these. People’s lives are at stake. You are a hero.

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  2. I’m troubled to hear that you’ve been removed as Florida’s Virus Data Chief due to the fact that you refused to censor information. The brief bio you’ve provided here parallels my own. I’m a video editor / producer and would be happy to collaborate on some sort of documentary-style storytelling. I’ve long felt that it’s up to ‘we, the people’ to connect with one another to truly unite these states. Drop me a line if you’re interested in collaborating.

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  3. Honesty and integrity are paramount against those who wish to deny the severity of Covid-19 in this day and age. Don’t back down!

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  4. You are awesome! I hope you come out of this with a substantial raise, better hours, and better benefits. I really appreciated all the work you did on the dashboard, and the candor of your emails to the list-serv. I have been downloading the CSV every day that they are available, including ones that show chart and event dates going back to 12/31/2019. Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum!

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