Dr. Lily Bui is a subject matter expert in disaster risk reduction, planning, early warning communication, and urban islands in the Asia/Pacific and Latin American & Caribbean Regions. She received her PhD from MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where her research focused on disaster early warning systems on urban islands. She holds an M.S. from MIT's Comparative Media Studies and a dual bachelor's in International Studies and Spanish from her alma mater, University of California Irvine. With years of experience across applied research, public policy, media, and consulting, she approaches problem-solving from a transdisciplinary perspective.
She has held roles as a Disaster Management Specialist/Response Lead at the Pacific Disaster Center and research affiliations with organizations such as the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (Honolulu, HI, USA), MIT's Urban Risk Lab, MIT Lincoln Laboratory Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Systems Group, MIT Civic Data Design Lab, iSeeChange (New Orleans, LA, USA), Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (San Juan, Puerto Rico), SensingCity (Christchurch, New Zealand), Making Sense EU (Barcelona, Spain). She serves as affiliated faculty for the U.S. Naval War College Humanitarian Response Program (Newport, RI, USA), and as an advisory board member for UC Irvine's Emergency Management and Disaster Recovery Certificate Program (Irvine, CA, USA).
In past lives, she co-developed the Transistor Radio science podcast for Public Radio Exchange (PRX); served as Executive Editor at SciStarter, PLOS CitizenSci, and Discover Magazine's Citizen Science Salon; produced the radio show Re:sound for the Third Coast International Audio Festival out of WBEZ Chicago; worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; served as a community outreach coordinator in AmeriCorps in Montgomery County, Maryland, at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center; and was the Communications Director for a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter; and performed as a touring musician.
In her spare time, you will likely see her surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, or strumming the ukulele - hopefully somewhere warm.
In the wake of Hurricane Maria in September, 2016, rather than donating money, students at MIT donated what they had: mapping skills. Lily Bui led the crowd-sourced mapping effort leveraging the Open Street Map platform. This article is based on an interview with Ms. Bui and is lightly edited for length and clarity.
Lily Bui, sensor journalism researcher for iSeeChange, talks about documenting the environmental shifts witnessed by people across the country in their neighborhoods and connects them to the bigger-picture climate changes transforming all of our lives and livelihoods. Plus: listeners share observations from their own backyards.
The story of a nuclear disaster and what can do you as a citizen scientist to help assess the residual aftermath.
Jacques Cousteau called it the “silent world.” Let’s just say he got that one wrong. Something unusual happens 700 fathoms under the sea. Ocean physics create a special zone where sound travels for hundreds, even thousands of miles.
Bui, L., Sylman, S., Rosario, G. Commodore-Mensah, M., Derakhshan, S., McDermot, C., Nibbs, F., Higgs, I., Adegoke, M. & R. Lane. (in review). “Transdisciplinary Rapid Reconnaissance After Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S.Virgin Islands: A Pathway Toward Convergence.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies & Disasters.
Kim, K. & Bui, L. (2019). “Learning from Hurricane Maria: Island Ports and Supply Chain Resilience.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 101244.
Kim, K. & Bui, L. (2018). “ An Assessment of Disaster Risk and Resilience in Rapidly Urbanizing ASEAN Cities.” Routledge Handbook on Southeast Asia. Routledge: London, UK.
Bui, L. (2018). “Rewiring Puerto Rico: Power and Empowerment After Hurricane Maria.” Alternautas (special edition on the Caribbean). 3(1). Available at http://alternautas.net/blog/2018/9/7/introduction-to-the-special-issue-the-making-of-caribbean-not-so-natural-disasters. Accessed 5 November 2018.
Bui, L. (2018). “Island Cities & Disaster Risk: A Study of San Juan’s Hurricane Early Warning System.” Urban Island Studies. 3(1).
Brightman, H. & Bui, L. (2018). “Civil-Military Partnerships and Working Groups in Humanitarian Response.” Liaison. 10(1), 40-42.
Bui, L. (2018). “Integrating Local Communities Into Disaster Preparedness Trainings in Small Island States.” Cities, Wake Up! Special Edition of Youth Science Policy Interface Publication for World Urban Forum 9.
Bui, L. (2017). “Digital Disaster Relief: Crowdsourced Responses to Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Floods Around the World.” PLOS Blogs: CitizenSci. Retrieved from https://blogs.plos.org/citizensci/2017/09/13/digital-disaster-relief-crowdsourced-responses-to-hurricanes-earthquakes-and-floods-around-the-world/. Accessed 10 April 2019.
Bui, L. (2017). “Chapter 10: Designing Digital Platforms for Citizen Data and Public Discourse on Climate Change.” Doing Research in and on the Digital: Research Methods Across Fields of Inquiry. Condie, J. (ed.) University of Western Sydney: Sydney, AUS.
Marek, L., Campbell, M., & Bui, L. (2017). “Shaking for innovation: The (re)building of a (smart) city in a post disaster environment.” Cities. Vol. 63., 41–50. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2016.12.013
Woods, M., Hemment, D., & Bui, L. (2016). “Community Level Indicators.” Making Sense EU Deliverable D5.4. Scotland, UK: University of Dundee.
Bui, L. (2016). Sense and the City: Representations of Air Quality Data in the 'Smart City.’ Masters thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Bui, L. (2016). “Scientia Populi: Citizen Science, Media, and Culture.” The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science. Arizona State University: Phoenix, AZ.