Christian V Braneon

Christian V Braneon

  • Remote Sensing Specialist
  • 212.678.5561
  • NASA GISS
  • 2880 Broadway
  • New York , NY 10025
  • Employer: SciSpace LLC
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Christian V. Braneon is a climate scientist and civil engineer who co-leads urban research at the Climate Impacts Group of NASA GISS. He is currently a co-investigator on a research project that will produce new data products, providing new information and insights on the role of coastal marshes in the global carbon and nutrient cycles. Dr. Braneon co-leads the Environmental Justice and Climate Just Cities Network at The Earth Institute of Columbia University and serves as a principal investigator for the GISS Climate Change Research Initiative.

    His primary research at NASA, conducted as part of the NASA-Microsoft partnership, has developed applications of remote sensing data that enhance resilience to urban heat stress. This partnership is one of a series of collaborations between NASA’s Earth Science Division and non-traditional public and private organizations to improve the application of Earth observation data for societal benefits. Dr. Braneon’s research team at GISS uses publicly available archives of satellite imagery and open-source software to evaluate the cooling effects of green infrastructure.

    Dr. Braneon’s work covers many areas in climate science. His agricultural research focuses on using measured agricultural water use along with geostatistical techniques, crop models, and general circulation modeling to assess irrigation demand and the uncertainty associated with demand projections at spatial scales relevant to water resources management. This research has informed the regional water planning in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin shared by Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. 

    Dr. Braneon is particularly known for integrating satellite data and climate science into urban planning and civil engineering practice. In 2013, he developed an approach for integrating climate change projections into the City of Dallas’s Long Range Water Supply Plan. Recently, he advised the New York City Council’s Data Operations Unit on their data science strategy as they integrated Landsat 8 satellite imagery into their temperature mapping initiatives. He is also advising the City of Chicago Department of Public Health as it integrates satellite data into an air quality focused dashboard in development.

    Professional Service

    • Co-Lead, Climate and Environmental Health Group, Goddard Applied Sciences (2020 - 2021)
    • Principal Investigator, Climate Change Research Initiative, Goddard Institute for Space Studies (2018 - Present)
    • Member, Committee for the Conference on Education, American Meteorological Society (2019 - Present)
    • Co-Chair, New York City Panel on Climate Change (2019 - Present)
    • Co-Director, Environmental Justice and Climate Just Cities Network, The Earth Institute (2020 - Present)
    • Member, Scientific and Technical Advisory Group, Chicago Department of Public Health (2021 - Present)

    Professional Societies

    Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), 2017 - Present

    Awards

    Team Excellence Award | 2019 Earth Science Partnerships Team, NASA Headquarters

    AXA Award for Climate Science | 2021

    Current Projects

    Urban Design Climate Workshops

    Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) Urban Design Climate Workshops (UDCWs) aim to integrate and scale-up climate change mitigation and adaptation in cities through knowledge sharing, collaboration, and action planning. These sessions bring together urban designers, urban planners, climatologists, policymakers, stakeholders, and graduate students. Topics of discussion include strengthening urban resilience, improving energy efficiency, and enhancing livelihoods. So far, UDCWs have taken place in New York, Paris, Naples, and Durban. 

    NASA-Microsoft Partnership

    This partnership combines unique technical capabilities to build a new tool to inform local and regional urban heat planning efforts, with the goal of helping cities improve their ability to deal with shocks and long-term stressors associated with extreme heat events. Advanced technologies such as cloud-based data storage, sophisticated analytics, and connected sensors can integrate complex information and provide the insight and scale necessary to increase urban resilience and improve heat-related management decisions.

    Developing Multi-Scale Ensemble Social Vulnerability Models

    The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the health disparities within Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities across the United States. Vulnerability to all hazards is an alarmingly complex phenomenon where interdisciplinary approaches and indices have sought to further understand its impacts. This study proposes to construct ensemble vulnerability models, borrowing strength from some of the more highly cited indices and creating a single composite representation. The ensembles will be created utilizing two separate methods; Bayesian principal components analysis and convolutional deep self-organizing maps.

    Addressing the Urban Heat Island through an Equity Lens

    In collaboration with local environmental justice groups, our research team will incorporate a citizen science approach, in which local residents are equipped with the tools and skills to collect temperature related data. Our project aims to leverage past and ongoing efforts to measure near-surface ambient temperature to map and mitigate heat vulnerability and risk.

    • “Meet the New Yorkers Mapping the City’s Heat Islands” by E&E News / Scientific American, August 2021.
    • “To Measure NYC’s Heat Islands, Scientists Recruit Residents in Hardest-Hit Neighborhoods” by City Limits, August 2021.
    • “Study Maps Urban Heat Islands With Focus on Environmental Justice” by The Earth Institute, August 2021.
    • “Scientists map urban heat islands—and track how communities are affected” by Science, August 2021.
    • “Charting a Course to Shrink the Heat Gap Between New York City Neighborhoods” by Inside Climate News, August 2021.
    • "Feeling the Heat" by CNN, September 2021; see 11:55 to 15:35
    • "How Citizen Scientists are Mapping the Hottest Parts of New York City" by Gothamist, October 2021.

    Grants

    06/01/2021 - 05/31/2024 Quantification of Historic and Future Changes in Atlantic Coastal Marshes and Implications for Global Modeling, NASA, Headquarters, Science Mission Directorate, Earth Science, NASA NRA #: NNH20ZDA001N-OBB
    Co-Investigator
    Grant Amount: $540,000
    07/01/2020 - 07/31/2021 COVID-19 Seasonality and Relationship to Social Vulnerability in Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
    Co-Investigator
    Grant Amount: $15,000

    Education

    PhD in Civil Engineering | Georgia Institute of Technology

    MS in Civil Engineering | Georgia Institute of Technology

    BS in Civil Engineering | Georgia Institute of Technology

    BS in Applied Physics | Morehouse College

    Talks, Presentations and Posters

    Invited

    Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: The Path Forward

    10 / 25 / 2021

    This virtual and in-person event will be anchored from the Nasdaq in New York City and will bring together leaders in business, government, academia, and a lot more, who are shaping and defining new dynamics and driving positive change in business and society as a whole.

    2021 Resilient Nation Partnership Network (RNPN) Annual Forum

    10 / 20 / 2021

    Now, more than ever, partnerships are critical to becoming a more resilient nation. Actions we take now will make a difference as we adapt to, and mitigate, the impacts of climate change. The Resilient Nation Partnership Network is committed to taking collaborative action and is proud to announce the Sixth Annual Partnership Forum, "Alliances for Climate Action", in partnership with FEMA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The theme for October 20 was Stories to Inspire Climate Action. We heard diverse stories and perspectives from amazing individuals and how they found their place as a leader addressing climate change.

    Back to Earth: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation with NASA

    10 / 14 / 2021

    Future Cities Canada, the national cross-sector initiative designed to accelerate innovation to transform cities, presents its final virtual gathering on October 13 - 15, 2021, as part of Future Cities Canada: The Summit. This session explores how satellite data and other cutting-edge programs developed by NASA are helping municipalities and corporations make better on the ground decisions towards climate change adaptation and mitigation. Dr. Christian V. Braneon, Remote Sensing Specialist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Dr. Lesley E. Ott, Climate Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center discuss the new tools and technologies that have been developed over the years, and how they are being used to advance major innovations in climate science.

    Global Maritime Forum

    9 / 2021

    Organized and executed by the Science and Technology Department (S&T) on behalf of the Director, NIM-Maritime, the Global Maritime Forum (GMF) was a three-day workshop designed to stimulate discussion and action on solutions to complex issues of technology and its effects on national maritime policy.

    Eyes on Earth Episode 55 – Urban Heat Islands of New York

    7 / 26 / 2021

    Eyes on Earth is a podcast on remote sensing, Earth observation, land change and science, brought to you by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. Landsat satellites collect data on surface temperature and vegetative change that can help cities mitigate the heat stresses for residents, especially in a warming climate. For this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear about how a mapping project involving Landsat data helped the New York City Council identify urban heat islands.

    Post-COVID Cities: Reinventing World Cities

    6 / 10 / 2021

    “Reinventing Global Cities” was the second in a series of three high-profile events titled Post-COVID Cities, which focuses on the future of New York City following the pandemic. During this program, participants learned how other global cities currently emerging from the pandemic are positioning themselves to reach aspirational social goals while implementing 21st-century zero-carbon policies.

    Future Streets: Lessons & Paths Forward from Open Streets

    5 / 10 / 2021

    A conversation with community leaders, designers, advocates, and policymakers to discuss the future of Open Streets in New York City. Emily Weidenhof (NYC DOT) and Erick Gregory (NYC City Planning) joined as respondents in conversation with Dr. Christian Braneon to discuss: what lessons can we draw from last summer’s Open Streets to catalyze creative street uses? This event was co-hosted by Columbia University Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, Transportation Alternatives, the Urban Design Forum, Van Alen Institute, and Columbia Environmental Justice and Climate Just Cities Network.

    Towards Climate Justice and Equitable Adaptation

    5 / 6 / 2021

    The UW Environmental and Occupational Health Seminar is a department-sponsored seminar series for students, staff and faculty; practicing professionals in the environmental and occupational health fields; and the public. This seminar highlights the rich diversity of the department and is an opportunity to hear from locally, nationally and internationally known scientists, practitioners and policymakers on issues of current scientific importance. The University of Washington’s School of Public Health houses several different disciplinary specialties, including toxicology, exposure science, one health, occupational health, and occupational and environmental medicine. 

    Expert Meeting | National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine

    11 / 2020

    Although climate change will have a significant impact on the cities of the future, traditional demographic and health behavioral data and demographic methods are insufficient to fully understand the consequences of these changes for the health and well-being of city dwellers. To explore this further, an small expert planning meeting was held to identify directions for a larger NASEM activity that would bring together the downscale climate modeling research community, climate and health researchers, demographers, public health practitioners, and policy planners to advance the methodologies through which modelers study future temperature extremes and related-health risks, the urban environment, population vulnerability, and health/mortality outcomes.  

    Climate Justice in NYC: A Discussion with Climate Change and Environmental Justice Leaders

    9 / 2020

    A conversation about how NYC as a city will advance its climate and environmental justice agendas in the short, medium and long term.

    Extreme Heat, COVID, & Equity in New York City

    6 / 2020

    The Cary Institute organized a science conversation in June of 2020 featuring Emily Nobel Maxwell, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Cities Program in New York, Christian Braneon, a Remote Sensing Specialist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Annel Hernandez, Associate Director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, and Timon McPhearson, Director of the Urban Systems Lab and a Cary Institute Senior Research Fellow.

    Leveraging Our Strengths: An Open Call for Science, Advocacy, and Design

    6 / 2020

    This AIA New York event presented the 2020 NYC Environmental Justice Alliance’s Climate Justice Agenda, followed by a response from climate scientists, designers, and urban planning experts. Discussions focused on key challenges and opportunities to protect vulnerable communities against the upcoming 2020 hurricane and heat wave season, as New York deals with successive waves of the COVID-19.

    The Future We Don't Want: A Call for Transformative Action

    5 / 13 / 2019

    In conjunction with Design Pavilion, Design Talks is a fascinating and culturally relevant conversation and story series featuring architecture, design, art and civic visionaries and creative leaders. In its fifth year, the program returned in 2019 with a full-day kick off, the Design Talks Impact Summit, a forum for all industries committed to designing a sustainable and circular future. Dr. Christian Braneon shared some of the unique risks that climate change poses to cities and urban responses to those risks through case study examples from real-world experiences.

    Chongming World-class Eco-island Forum 2018

    8 / 2018

    Chongming Island, located in the mouth of the Yangtze River across from Shanghai, China, was both the topic and site of a scientific forum organized by East China Normal University (ECNU) and Columbia University August 6–8. Eight scientists from the Earth Institute at Columbia University attended the forum, together with Adam Parris, executive director of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay (SRI@JB) and Dr. Christian Braneon of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). 

    Other Professional Information

    Link to list of publications: https://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/authors/cbraneon.html

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    McConnell, K., C. V. Braneon, E. Glenn, et al. N. Stamler, E. Mallen, D. P. Johnson, R. Pandya, J. Abramowitz, G. Fernandez, and C. Rosenzweig. 2022. "A quasi-experimental approach for evaluating the heat mitigation effects of green roofs in Chicago, Illinois." Sustainable Cities and Society, 76: 103376 [10.1016/j.scs.2021.103376]

    Doust, K., A. Wejs, T.-T. Zhang, et al. A. Swan, N. Sultana, C. Braneon, J. Luetz, L. Casset, and S. Fatorić. 2021. "Adaptation to climate change in coastal towns of between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants." Ocean & Coastal Management, 212: 105790 [10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2021.105790]

    Braneon, C., R. Field, E. Seto, et al. K. Chen, K. McConnell, L. Robinson, and S. Richardson. 2021. "Towards Disentangling Lockdown-Driven Air Quality Changes in the Northeastern U.S.." Journal of Extreme Events, 2150017 [10.1142/s2345737621500172]

    Johnson, D. P., N. Ravi, and C. V. Braneon. 2021. "Spatiotemporal Associations Between Social Vulnerability, Environmental Measurements, and COVID‐19 in the Conterminous United States." GeoHealth, 5 (8): [10.1029/2021gh000423]

    Kyrkjebo, N., A. Parris, J. Barnes, et al. I. Azaroff, D. Balk, A. I. Baptista, C. Braneon, W. Calabrese, T. Codrington, J. Colon, F. Gandhi, M. George, P. Groffman, J. Gundlach, R. H. Carr, N. Holt, R. Horton, A. Jahangir, B. Ken-Opurum, K. Knowlton, R. Leichenko, N. Maher, P. Marcotullio, T. Matte, K. McComas, S. K. McKay, T. McPhearson, R. Moss, G. Nordenson, T. Pawlowski, N. Rajkovich, K. A. Reed, L. Schoeman, J. Shapiro, D. Spiegel-Feld, J. Tchen, J. Towers, and G. Wagner. 2021. "Rapid Research and Assessment on COVID-19 and Climate in New York City." Journal of Extreme Events, 2150010 [10.1142/s234573762150010x]

    Kruczkiewicz, A., J. Klopp, J. Fisher, et al. S. Mason, S. McClain, N. M. Sheekh, R. Moss, R. M. Parks, and C. Braneon. 2021. "Opinion: Compound risks and complex emergencies require new approaches to preparedness." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (19): e2106795118 [10.1073/pnas.2106795118]

    Naimark, J. G., A. M. Fiore, X. Jin, et al. Y. Wang, E. Klovenski, and C. Braneon. 2021. "Evaluating Drought Responses of Surface Ozone Precursor Proxies: Variations With Land Cover Type, Precipitation, and Temperature." Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (7): [10.1029/2020gl091520]

    Hurwitz, M., C. Braneon, D. Kirschbaum, F. Mandarino, and R. Mansour. 2020. "Earth Observations Informing Cities’ Operations and Planning." Eos, 101: [10.1029/2020eo146808]

    Braneon, C. V., and C. E. Rosenzweig. 2020. "Chapter 4.2 States and cities for climate action. [In America's Zero Carbon Action Plan]." America's Zero Carbon Action Plan, 122-161.

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Christian V. Braneon is a climate scientist and civil engineer who co-leads urban research at the Climate Impacts Group of NASA GISS. He is currently a co-investigator on a research project that will produce new data products, providing new information and insights on the role of coastal marshes in the global carbon and nutrient cycles. Dr. Braneon co-leads the Environmental Justice and Climate Just Cities Network at The Earth Institute of Columbia University and serves as a principal investigator for the GISS Climate Change Research Initiative.

    His primary research at NASA, conducted as part of the NASA-Microsoft partnership, has developed applications of remote sensing data that enhance resilience to urban heat stress. This partnership is one of a series of collaborations between NASA’s Earth Science Division and non-traditional public and private organizations to improve the application of Earth observation data for societal benefits. Dr. Braneon’s research team at GISS uses publicly available archives of satellite imagery and open-source software to evaluate the cooling effects of green infrastructure.

    Dr. Braneon’s work covers many areas in climate science. His agricultural research focuses on using measured agricultural water use along with geostatistical techniques, crop models, and general circulation modeling to assess irrigation demand and the uncertainty associated with demand projections at spatial scales relevant to water resources management. This research has informed the regional water planning in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin shared by Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. 

    Dr. Braneon is particularly known for integrating satellite data and climate science into urban planning and civil engineering practice. In 2013, he developed an approach for integrating climate change projections into the City of Dallas’s Long Range Water Supply Plan. Recently, he advised the New York City Council’s Data Operations Unit on their data science strategy as they integrated Landsat 8 satellite imagery into their temperature mapping initiatives. He is also advising the City of Chicago Department of Public Health as it integrates satellite data into an air quality focused dashboard in development.

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    McConnell, K., C. V. Braneon, E. Glenn, et al. N. Stamler, E. Mallen, D. P. Johnson, R. Pandya, J. Abramowitz, G. Fernandez, and C. Rosenzweig. 2022. "A quasi-experimental approach for evaluating the heat mitigation effects of green roofs in Chicago, Illinois." Sustainable Cities and Society 76 103376 [10.1016/j.scs.2021.103376]

    Doust, K., A. Wejs, T.-T. Zhang, et al. A. Swan, N. Sultana, C. Braneon, J. Luetz, L. Casset, and S. Fatorić. 2021. "Adaptation to climate change in coastal towns of between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants." Ocean & Coastal Management 212 105790 [10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2021.105790]

    Braneon, C., R. Field, E. Seto, et al. K. Chen, K. McConnell, L. Robinson, and S. Richardson. 2021. "Towards Disentangling Lockdown-Driven Air Quality Changes in the Northeastern U.S.." Journal of Extreme Events 2150017 [10.1142/s2345737621500172]

    Johnson, D. P., N. Ravi, and C. V. Braneon. 2021. "Spatiotemporal Associations Between Social Vulnerability, Environmental Measurements, and COVID‐19 in the Conterminous United States." GeoHealth 5 (8): [10.1029/2021gh000423]

    Kyrkjebo, N., A. Parris, J. Barnes, et al. I. Azaroff, D. Balk, A. I. Baptista, C. Braneon, W. Calabrese, T. Codrington, J. Colon, F. Gandhi, M. George, P. Groffman, J. Gundlach, R. H. Carr, N. Holt, R. Horton, A. Jahangir, B. Ken-Opurum, K. Knowlton, R. Leichenko, N. Maher, P. Marcotullio, T. Matte, K. McComas, S. K. McKay, T. McPhearson, R. Moss, G. Nordenson, T. Pawlowski, N. Rajkovich, K. A. Reed, L. Schoeman, J. Shapiro, D. Spiegel-Feld, J. Tchen, J. Towers, and G. Wagner. 2021. "Rapid Research and Assessment on COVID-19 and Climate in New York City." Journal of Extreme Events 2150010 [10.1142/s234573762150010x]

    Kruczkiewicz, A., J. Klopp, J. Fisher, et al. S. Mason, S. McClain, N. M. Sheekh, R. Moss, R. M. Parks, and C. Braneon. 2021. "Opinion: Compound risks and complex emergencies require new approaches to preparedness." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118 (19): e2106795118 [10.1073/pnas.2106795118]

    Naimark, J. G., A. M. Fiore, X. Jin, et al. Y. Wang, E. Klovenski, and C. Braneon. 2021. "Evaluating Drought Responses of Surface Ozone Precursor Proxies: Variations With Land Cover Type, Precipitation, and Temperature." Geophysical Research Letters 48 (7): [10.1029/2020gl091520]

    Hurwitz, M., C. Braneon, D. Kirschbaum, F. Mandarino, and R. Mansour. 2020. "Earth Observations Informing Cities’ Operations and Planning." Eos 101 [10.1029/2020eo146808]

    Braneon, C. V., and C. E. Rosenzweig. 2020. "Chapter 4.2 States and cities for climate action. [In America's Zero Carbon Action Plan]." America's Zero Carbon Action Plan 122-161

                                                                                                                                                                                            
    NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration