Center Projects

Food Access in Michigan 

Access to healthy foods is a valid and growing concern for many people in the U.S.  Across the nation, more than 50 million Americans live in a food insecure household.  The GIS Center (GISC) at UM-Flint is currently assisting in understanding what causes food insecurity in Michigan through a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant entitled: “Examining Disparities in Food Access and Enhancing the Food Security of Underserved Populations in Michigan.”  Using the resources available in the GISC, research assistants are currently using GIS software and robust spatial analysis techniques to understand the geography of food in Michigan.  The cartographic and spatial statistical outputs will help produce a comprehensive assessment that will help in understanding what tangible and intangible barriers exit in obtaining healthy food. For more information please contact Dr. Rybarczyk at or visit the USDA project award announcement here:


Using GIS to Characterize the Risks of Hazardous Materials

Two primary objectives of this project are: 1) to ascertain through water sampling whether a spatial correlation exists between the presence of stored hazardous materials and the water sampled at drainage outfalls; and, 2) to spatially assess an area’s fire-fighting capability given the potential fire risks. These analyses will focus on two communities within Genesee County, Michigan: Grand Blanc City and Flint Township. A key outcome from this study will be the synthesis of storm-sewersheds though the use of LIDAR data, storm sewer outfalls and storm drain locations.  The project participants are the GISC, Genesee County GIS Office and the Genesee County Dept. of Emergency Management and Homeland Security; Grand Blanc Dept. of Public Works and Fire Department, and the Flint Township Fire Department.  Dr. Marty Kaufman from Earth and Resource Science is the lead investigator, with Troy Rosencrants from the GISC and Tayseer Wasif from Chemistry/Biochemistry acting as co-investigators.