There may be more interest than we have funds or capacity to support in 2021; therefore, we will use a review panel process to prioritize the applications for support. The panel typically consists of 3-5 panelists. Interested applicants for NOAA-supported campaigns will be expected to address the following criteria in their application form:
- Can you articulate a clear need for the campaign and resulting data?
The UHI effect often leads to a heterogeneous distribution of heat throughout a city, ultimately leading to residents in some neighborhoods facing higher exposure to heat extremes than others. Research has shown strong correlation between UHIs and health and vulnerability indicators. Communities should be able to articulate why a community science field campaign is important for engaging the community, and why the maps of the UHI effect are needed to explore and address these issues.
- Do you have local leaders and ready partners required to make your campaign a success?
Experience shows that cities with strong leadership from a local host organization as well as a robust set of partners from all sectors — education, government, NGOs, and the private sector — make more effective campaigns and, thus, will be given higher priority. We prioritize diversity and inclusion in the engagement of community members, and prioritize campaigns and partnerships that can engage populations that are often underserved or underrepresented in scientific studies.
- What are your goals for the campaign, and for using the resulting engagement and data afterwards?
Cities with clear plans to use these community science campaigns to promote awareness and understanding of urban heat and health issues, and to apply the data from the campaigns to plans to manage these issues in the short- and long-run, are preferred. For example, communitie have used these campaigns to support local long-term planning, inform immediate risk mitigation efforts, complement efforts to address equity issues, and for community education and outreach. New urban climate and health research objectives that employ the resulting data are also encouraged.
- Will you be able to organize and adequately support your volunteers?
Though the Heat Watch support materials have been developed to make planning a campaign easier, bringing together a set of volunteers and coordinating local logistics can be a challenge. We prioritize applicants that can clearly demonstrate their ability to organize, and prefer applicants that can support their volunteers’ efforts in some way.
Applicants are also encouraged to engage existing NOAA and/or NIHHIS activities and partners in planning and executing a local UHI campaign.
In addition to these considerations, other factors such as diversity of urban climate and urban structure (density, land use) may be considered in selecting cities to facilitate a better sample of city types for more robust model analysis.
Though not a requirement, applicants are encouraged to provide matching funds for the basic Heat Watch campaign, to split the costs with NOAA. The cost of a campaign for a medium-sized city (~50 square miles) is $10,000, while the cost for larger cities may be $20,000 or more. Cost matching allows us to reach more cities, providing more needed UHI mapping assistance.
Please note that the Heat Watch service provided by CAPA Strategies is available to any community outside of receiving NOAA support for these campaigns, and cities/counties able to self fund 100% of the cost of a campaign may reach out directly to CAPA Strategies to inquire about their services. Whether supported by NOAA or not, all Heat Watch communities are invited to be part of the larger NIHHIS-CAPA community of practice, and NOAA will make every effort to provide in-kind support to those cities as they perform their summer mapping projects in 2021.