Employee Spotlight: Anam Khan

Meet ORAU Employee Anam Khan. Anam is a contractor working at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the Research Triangle Park facility. She is providing GIS support for the EnviroAtlas project.

As an EPA contractor, Anam has been working in the National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) on EnviroAtlas. EnviroAtlas is a set of publicly available geospatial data, tools, and other resources related to clean air, clean water, protection from natural hazards and human health. Anam works on updating the dasymetric population map for the conterminous (or contiguous) United States. She uses python programming to turn various geospatial datasets into a gridded population density map. Population density is a crucial variable for estimating the human footprint on our planet, understanding the patterns and drivers of human settlement, and studying the relationship between human settlement and ecosystem function. Population density data is also a vital part of estimating human exposure to natural hazards and disease. Along with creating the population density data, Anam is also updating the ArcGIS Intelligent Dasymetric Mapping (IDM) toolbox for EnviroAtlas and creating an open source IDM tool for users who want to create population density maps of their own study area.


Anam completed her B.S. in Geography and Environmental Resources from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She then completed her M.S. in Geographic Information Science for Development and Environment (GISDE) from the International Development, Community, and Environment Department and the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University. During Anam’s time as a graduate student in GISDE, she used satellite imagery to map hurricane damage to the forests of the southern Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. She is a former research assistant at Clark Labs, where she mapped coastal habitats and aquaculture in Myanmar using satellite imagery. Her experience on projects that assessed the impacts of mining and infrastructure expansion on water and forest resources in the tropics made her an ideal candidate for her EPA position. Anam’s future plans include pursuing a Ph.D. She wants to use remote sensing to improve estimates of vegetation function, and study the integration of remotely sensed measurements used for understanding changes in photosynthesis. When Anam isn’t working, you will find her reading about remote sensing and plant physiology. She also loves spending time in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville, NC.

View positions like Anam’s at https://orau.org/epa/!