Rafael Obregon, director of the Communications and Development Studies program at Ohio University, recently served as guest editor of the Online Journal of Space Communication.
Produced at Ohio University, the publication is designed to advance space communication as a profession and as an academic discipline. Under Obregon's direction, the 14th issue addressed the role of satellites in public health. The issue was made available for public viewing in late June.
"Satellites and related-technologies have transformed public health," said Obregon, citing telemedicine, telecounselling and satellite-based surveillance among the services that are now possible through the use of satellites. "It's only a matter of time before we see these services being provided more widely."
According to Obregon, there is an increasing reliance worldwide on satellite communications, remote sensing and other technologies to better anticipate and respond to epidemics and disasters that may lead to public health crises.
Obregon also points to improved communication and educational benefits.
"These technologies have made it possible to reach out to populations and individuals who may not have access to public health services otherwise, especially those living in remote areas," he said.
As a project of the Society for Satellite Professionals International, the Online Journal of Space Communication is hosted and editorially managed by the School of Media Arts and Studies jointly with the graduate program in Communication and Development at Ohio University.
Since 2002, when the first issue appeared, more than 20 students have assisted with the production of the journal, which comes out three times per year. Obregon is the second Ohio University faculty member to serve as guest editor of the journal. Don Flournoy, director of the Institute for Telecommunications Studies at Ohio University, serves as general editor.
-- Monica Chapman