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  • Writer's pictureLAVA Lab

LAVA Aids in Lahaina Recovery Efforts



On Aug 8, 2023, Lahaina, Maui faced a massive fire, exacerbated by regional drought, high temperatures, and winds influenced by Hurricane Dora. LAVA will lead a project to combine University of Hawaiʻi’s climate mesonet system (a densely located set of observation stations) with Northwestern University’s Sage Artificial Intelligence-enhanced instrument platform to build a multi-hazard monitoring and detection station for natural disasters such as fires, high winds and floods. The system is being deployed near the Lahaina fire site, to gather data vital to the recovery effort.


The project will gather essential climate and pollutant data to aid clean-up activities in Lahaina, and obtain performance and reliability data, guiding both instrument enhancements and Lahaina’s recovery planning. This project provides essential data for informing Lahaina’s recovery, while highlighting the advantages of adopting recent climate science and cyber-infrastructure advancements. Where possible, local students on Maui will be recruited to participate in the instrument construction, data gathering, analysis and visualization effort.


The project is led by principal investigator and information and computer science Professor Jason Leigh, and co-principal investigators Thomas Giambelluca and Christopher Shuler from UH Mānoa’s Water Resources Research Center.


This project is funded by the National Science Foundation award 2346568: RAPID: Evaluation of an Artificial Intelligence-enhanced Edge Sensor System for Multi-Hazard Monitoring and Detection.


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