Behnam Nikparvar, won first place in the 2021 Graduate Research Symposium with a paper titled "Remotely Sensed Large Population Displacement and Return". The Authors are: Behnam Nikparvar, Jean-Claude Thill, James Walsh
The population of forcibly displaced people has doubled to 79.5 million since 2010. Reliable information about large population displacement and return resulting from wars and armed conflicts is fundamental to plan and deliver humanitarian aids and post-war recovery services. In this research, we set out to assess the potential of remotely sensed satellite imagery to estimate the population displacement and return during and after a conflict in Mosul, Iraq. We collected two sets of very high resolution and nighttime light images to estimate population change during this period. Our results show that a combination of remotely sensed land use and nighttime light can effectively predict the population spatial and temporal change during the five years period. The remotely sensed estimation of population change has implications for understanding why and how people are displaced and return, or what factors are involved in their choice to seek refuge or return after an armed conflict.