UAB archaeologist Sarah Parcak is a pioneer in the use of satellite imagery to track ancient ruins—and analyze modern health problems.
UAB Egyptologist Sarah Parcak, Ph.D., is like Indiana Jones—in space. A pioneer in the use of satellite imagery for archaeology, she uses images from NASA and other sources to find ancient sites buried beneath desert sands. Her work has led to the discovery of more than 100 previously unknown Egyptian sites, and she has been spotlighted on the Discovery Channel.
Because the same satellite snapshots can also help map the flow of air pollution, for example, or pinpoint likely mosquito breeding grounds, Parcak uses her expertise to solve modern mysteries. She directs the UAB Laboratory for Global Health Observation, a partnership between the schools of Public Health and Social and Behavioral Sciences that is the first North American lab focusing primarily on satellite image-based health research. Current projects include searching for malarial mosquitoes in Kenya, mapping stroke patterns in the American Southeast, and tracking ground-level pollutants in Alabama.
Read more breakthrough stories in UAB Magazine's new fall issue.