PhD Fellow

Saskia Comess


Stanford Profile

Department: E-IPER

Regulation, Evaluation, and Governance Lab


Health effects of exposure to air pollution: The Environmental Protection Agency has long promised to model air emissions from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), but exposure has not been rigorously studied due to lack of data on precise locations and environmental pollutants from these sources. The overarching objectives of our research are to construct a novel dataset of air pollution emitted by CAFOs, which are largely unregulated,  and characterize environmental exposure and health impacts in proximate communities. RegLab created a machine learning model to detect CAFOs in high-resolution satellite images and has applied this method to map CAFOs in North Carolina, the Midwest, and California, in collaboration with a range of environmental interest groups and regulators. Our project will focus on health outcomes linking CAFO data to air pollution.