2020 GISday Speakers

Carrie Stokes

Chief Geographer & Director of the GeoCenter

US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Carrie Stokes has worked for more than 25 years in international development and the environment. She is the first Geographer of USAID, headquartered in Washington, DC. She established and directs the USAID GeoCenter, which applies geographic analysis to development programming. Prior to becoming the Chief Geographer, Carrie led the SERVIR program, in a joint venture with USAID and NASA. Carrie has a background in GIS, global climate change, and natural resources management. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa, and holds an MS in Environmental Science from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.  She is the recipient of the 2016 Association of American Geographers Gilbert White Public Service award and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Service to America Medal (Sammies). 

Vanessa Villamil

Injury Epidemiologist, Florida Department of Health

Miami-Dade County

In her current role Vanessa Villamil investigates carbon monoxide poisoning, ciguatera fish poisoning, scombroid fish poisoning, and pesticide related illness and injury. She works closely with injury prevention community partners providing health education and epidemiological support for various preventable illnesses and injuries. As part of the COVID-19 response team she provides education to the community, assists with outbreak investigations, and monitors COVID-19 related deaths in Miami-Dade County. Additionally, she provides support to the department of health’s response by compiling daily situational reports on COVID-19 and creating trainings for investigators on best practices for case investigation and contact tracing. Vanessa completed her undergraduate degree in Health Science with a concentration in Public Health at the University of Florida and a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, LA.

Kevin Caillouet

Medical Entomologist & Director

St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement

Dr. Kevin Caillouet’s research interests are focused on the pressing needs of mosquito management in his community namely, West Nile virus management through sewage reform as vector source reduction and understanding the ecological mechanisms of local West Nile transmission. A 2007 Ph.D. graduate of Tulane University Department of Tropical Medicine, Dr. Caillouet’s dissertation focused on the ecological after-effects of Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans area. In his agency lead position, Dr. Caillouet and the STPMAD team use a variety of GIS platforms to: 1) research mosquito and arbovirus problems, 2) identify sources of mosquito production, 3) make real-time decisions on mosquito management, 4)communicate with field teams, and 5) advocate to policy makers for lasting community change to improve public health. He adds, “GIS is a critical tool for us to efficiently deliver service to our residents to improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of disease.”

Guoyan Zhang

Deputy Director, Epidemiology Disease Control & Immunization services

In-charge of Applied Epidemiology and Research unit

Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County

Guoyan Zhang, MD, MPH oversees 11 team members within the Applied Epidemiology and Research unit. He has been overseeing several studies and projects over the years.  His research interests are in project design, program assessment, data management, and data analysis using SAS and ArcGIS. During the COVID-19 outbreak, his team has been responsible for generating different types of daily reports including reports on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths by city/town/place, census tract and zip code, as well as in  providing emerging hotspot analysis; R0 estimation, using a funnel plot to visualize extreme fatality rates at zip code level, applying Loess regression, a nonparametric technique to fit the trends of the daily COVID-19 cases and tested positive rate. All those reports have been provided to local decision-makers.

Jessi Joiner

Environmental Epidemiologist,

Environmental Public Health Tracking, Public Health Research Unit

Division of Community Health Promotion, Florida Department of Health

Jessi Joiner has worked with the Florida Department of Health’s Environmental Public Health Tracking program for five years, starting as an intern for Communications and Outreach and now focusing on GIS and data.  She received her Master’s in Public Health and bachelor’s degrees from Florida State University. Jessi is an experienced GIS user who focuses on creating maps and infographics to communicate data. She is the Big Bend Area Chair for the Florida Environmental Health Association and participates on several national workgroups, focusing on spatial analysis and health disparities. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems. Jessi has been assigned to COVID-19 emergency response in the Division of Disease Control and Health Protection Bureau of Epidemiology, overseeing the COVID-19 Dashboard since May. She has worked on the display, documentation, and functionality of the dashboard, as well as served as the point person for any inquiries about the display and data on the dashboard. The Dashboard has had over 85 million views since it was launched and remains the main source of COVID-19 health data for Florida.

Uday Govindswamy

Uday Govindswamy explores the intersection between remote sensing technologies and business. He recently graduated from UCSD with a degree in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Earth Sciences. During his time in university he helped create a smog eating mural, and helped coordinate a full research effort associated with the project. With Planet, Uday works with the federal government, education and research community, and covers business within Asia. He has helped expand Planet's education and research program, and contributes blog content to synthesize publications that use Planet data. Outside of his day-to-day responsibilities with Planet, Uday is an avid surfer and hiking enthusiast.