News Archive

Alumna Trista Brophy Presents Her Research

April 10th, 2017

Trista Brophy

PCGS Class of 2013 Alumna, Trista Brophy, presented her research at the 2017 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting on April 8th! Her research is titled "Environmental and Community Health in South San Diego County: A Behavior Analysis of Recreational Ocean Users Along Imperial Beach, California." The conference brings together scientists and professionals to highlight the latest research and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIS science. Trista's research was part of the session: Emerging Themes in Health and Environmental Perception.

Trista Brophy's Abstract:
Garbage & sewage runoff into the Pacific Ocean at the shoreline along the U.S./Mexico Border region poses serious health and environmental threats. The purpose of this study is to analyze the current beach users' behavioral factors that may be linked to illness prevalence from Coronado Island to the U.S./Mexico border at Imperial Beach in San Diego County. It is a continuation of a study completed by Wildcoast and Imperial Beach Clinic in 2011. The study tries to answer the following two major questions: How have the number of illnesses reported by users along South San Diego County beaches changed in the last 5 years? What relationships exist between reported illness and beach user behavior if any? To accomplish this, a 2-page self-reporting survey was administered asking about demographics, beach recreation habits, illness and exposure information, and allowed for comments. Surveys were distributed to beach users along Imperial Beach northward to Coronado Island during May, June, and July of 2014, collecting quantitative and qualitative data. The results show that the majority of respondents did not report suffering from an illness, however, for those who did report an illness, the frequency of water entry, seasonality of water entry, entry during beach closures, and primary means of water contact was significantly correlated to illness prevalence.