QI researchers are developing digital systems for monitoring and modeling the environment to transform the way we respond to natural disasters. They also develop solutions to environmental challenges, such as water availability, threats from wildfires and increased erosion, as well as flooding and pollution of coastal regions. Rapidly developing IT and telecom technology now allows for the creation of realistic digital “mirror worlds”—dynamic digital representations of the physical environment that can enable planners, response teams, and the public to better understand the most likely areas for future wildfire outbreaks, water shortages, and coastal damage. With a proactive response using this advanced knowledge, the impact of these threats can be considerably reduced. QI researchers continue to build on this technology and work with appropriate agencies, emergency response forces, and the general public to produce tools that will aid in real-time predictions, emergency responses, and policy decisions


2014-2015 Round

  • Multi-Sensing Micro-Drone Swarms that Save Lives, PI Falko Kuester (Structural Engineering)
  • Multifunctional Microrobots for Efficient Environmental Remediation, PI Joseph Wang (NanoEngineering)
  • Enabling GIS Research Capacity at QI: The Location Lab, PI Albert Lin (QI)
  • Development of an Integrated Carbon Offset Protocol for Improved Biomass Cookstoves, PI Jennifer Burney, (Global Policy and Strategy)
  • Aerial Sensing for the Maya Jungle, PI Curt Schurgers, (QI)
  • Mapping and Visualizing Complex, Large-Scale Underwater Archaeological Sites and Artifacts, PI Ryan Kastner (Computer Science and Engineering)
  • A Thousand Mountains, A Million Streams: Sonification of a Virtual Gallery, PI Lei Liang (Music)
  • Measuring the Happiness of Cities from Tweeted Images, PI Lev Manovich (QI)

2012-2013 Round

  • Towards Immediate-Mode Visualization of Underwater LIDAR Data, PI Jules Jaffe (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)
  • Volume Visualization of 3D Underwater Microscope Data, PI David Kriegman (Computer Science and Engineering)
  • Multi-Sensor Fusion for Locating, Monitoring, Foraging and Breeding Behavior, and Assessing Habitat Use of Whale Sharks, PI Ryan Kastner (Computer Science and Engineering)

2010-2011 Round

  • California 3D, PI Chaitan Baru (San Diego Supercomputer Center)
  • Center for Design Policy, PI Benjamin Bratton (Visual Arts)
  • An Open Architecture, Low Power, Low Cost Underwater Acoustic Modem, PI Ryan Kastner (Computer Science and Engineering)