Great Problems, Great Minds Seminar Series: Data-Driven Wildfire Evacuation Modeling for Communities with Transient Populations in the Wildland-Urban Interface


Dapeng Li

Join the Department of Social Sciences for this Great Problems, Great Minds seminar series event featuring guest speaker Dapeng Li, assistant professor of geographic information science in the Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences at South Dakota State University. He received his Ph.D. in geography from University of Utah, his master’s degree in cartography and GIS from Peking University, and his bachelor’s degree in GIS from the China University of Geosciences at Beijing. His research includes GIS and its applications in hazards, public health, transportation, sustainability, and agriculture. He has published more than 30 scholarly articles on these topics in top journals, such as International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Applied Geography, and Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of South Dakota.

This virtual event will take place on January 26 beginning at 12:40 p.m.

With the increasing wildfire risk, effective wildfire evacuation planning has become a priority for communities in the wildland-urban interface. This talk presents a project on data-driven community wildfire evacuation planning, leveraging different types of data, a traffic simulation model, and GIS to develop a data-driven wildfire evacuation model for the Tahoe Donner community in Truckee, California. The evacuation time estimates vary with the mean number of vehicles per home and second homes’ occupancy rate in resort areas, which is taken into account to significantly improve evacuation time estimates when compared with previous studies. The proposed method could help incident commanders better understand the dynamics of the travel demand of the fire-prone communities with part-time residents during wildfire evacuation. This new data-driven evacuation model will be used for evacuation planning in the next step to improve wildfire public safety in this community. This line of research can improve our understanding of data-driven wildfire evacuation modeling and planning and promote the use of big data in this field.

“Data-Driven Wildfire Evacuation Modeling for Communities with Transient Populations in the Wildland-Urban Interface” seminar will take place on Zoom.

The event is part of the Great Problems, Great Minds seminar series that explores the major problems facing humanity as we move into the heart of the twenty-first century. To see the full schedule and videos from previous events, visit the seminar series page.

For more information, contact Assistant Professor of Social Sciences Hao Huang at

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