William A. Sprigg,
UA Research Professor Emeritus
Wednesday, July 8, 2020,
a Zoom Webinar*
Note: the Arizona Senior Academy building remains closed.
Forecasting windblown dust (for cardiovascular and respiratory reasons) has led to forecasting Valley fever fungus. Atmospheric science, geology, mycology and epidemiology, working together, produce models and analytical tools to anticipate risks of Valley fever contagion and to examine past incidents of disease outbreaks. William Sprigg’s research into Valley fever provides a backdrop for discussion of failures and opportunities exposed in the fabric of science and society by the emergence of COVID-19.
Science and research must evolve quickly to meet not only COVID-19 and challenges yet to come, the proverbial Black Swans, but challenges already upon us, climate change and global environmental pollution among them. These challenges demand that research take immediate advantage of several, ofttimes many, traditionally separated scientific disciplines. One-dimensional studies must be integrated with each other to achieve understanding and influence policy.
Professor Sprigg applies a NASA Applied Research Program maxim: Research to Operations (R2O). “Research must target a need … and if what you’ve developed is, indeed, needed, someone will take over the operations. A process similar to the one that has enabled forecasting of Valley fever must gather the pieces of COVID-19 research to provide a solution.”
Principal for his company, Science Policy Consultants, LLC., UA Research Professor Emeritus William Sprigg is an architect of the U.S. National Climate Program and founding director of the World Meteorological Organization’s Pan-America Center for Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory & Assessment. His many honors, recognitions, and posts of responsibility include having been Director of the U.S. National Research Council’s Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
Edited by Suzanne Ferguson, Academy Village Volunteer
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