Chicago, IL

Become a Chicago Volunteer Research Scientist for Heat Watch 2023 Mapping City's Hottest Spots

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Chicago looking for volunteers that will be trained as research scientists to help collect data heat intensity for NOAA

The City of Chicago, in collaboration with several community-based organizations, has launched the Heat Watch 2023 campaign, an ambitious project aimed at mapping the heat across the city on a single summer day. This initiative brings together local volunteers, public and private organizations, universities, and non-profit groups to generate high-resolution heat maps and develop innovative solutions to combat extreme heat in Chicago.

Heat Watch 2023, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) campaign, aims to measure the intensity of heat in different communities by considering various factors such as humidity, tree coverage, air flow, heavy traffic, and the density of buildings and concrete, collectively known as the urban heat island effect. By analyzing these data points, the campaign intends to provide more accurate information to help Chicago residents and government decision-makers improve heat safety strategies in the city.

To achieve this goal, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) will train and mobilize volunteer resident scientists, equipped with specially designed heat sensors, to drive designated routes throughout the city on a selected day. The heat sensors will record temperature, humidity, time, and location data. This information will be collected during morning, midday, and evening shifts to capture the dynamic nature of heat patterns in different areas of Chicago.

The date for the Heat Watch 2023 campaign is yet to be determined, as it requires a clear, sunny, and hot day to collect accurate data. While the hottest days in Chicago typically occur around mid-July, the exact date for the campaign will be announced closer to July, and volunteers will be notified in advance.

By engaging the community in data collection and analysis, Heat Watch 2023 aims to empower residents with valuable insights into heat patterns and encourage proactive measures to address the impacts of extreme heat. The campaign aligns with the City's commitment to implementing cooling ordinances, nature-based solutions, and collaborative efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of Chicagoans during the hot summer months.

Heat Watch 2023 is a significant step toward understanding and mitigating the impact of heat on Chicago's communities. The project's findings and resulting heat map will provide valuable information for policymakers, urban planners, and residents, fostering a safer and more heat-resilient city.

Volunteers interested in participating in the Heat Watch 2023 campaign can find more information and sign up at the official City of Chicago website.

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Chicago, IL

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