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NIHHIS Urban Heat Island Community of Practice Webinar Series


This summer, the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) and its partners are hosting a webinar series to feature community case studies on what happens after Urban Heat Island mapping campaigns are conducted. Each webinar will be themed to follow the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit’s (CRT) Steps to Resilience framework and how cities are working to address extreme heat risk.

These webinars will be recorded and the video will be available on this page and the NIHHIS YouTube Channel. We look forward to your participation in this series.


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Exploring the Heat Hazard

Date: July 29, 2021 | Time: 2:00 PM Eastern

How is extreme heat experienced and how can it be measured? There are a variety of methods and approaches to measure heat, from satellites, mobile transects, stationary observations, to wearable sensors. Each can provide important information and context to the urban heat effect and its impact. Extreme heat is a subtle hazard that is felt differently across the nation. This session will highlight the range of experience of heat across the US.


Noura Randle
NOAA Climate Program Office


Exploring the Heat Hazard_ Jen Runkle.pptx


Jen Runkle
Environmental Epidemiologist, NC State University

Dr. Jennifer Runkle is a trained environmental epidemiologist who serves as a research scientist at NC State’s North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies (NCICS) and the Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS) within the academic arm of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. Her research is focused on using causal science to rapidly understand how, when, and where local interventions may best be leveraged to reduce climate-health inequities in underserved communities.


Individual Monitoring of Temperature Exposure at Work: A Sensor-based Approach

Advancements in low-cost wearable technologies provide an unprecedented opportunity to collect high resolution environmental exposure and health data for characterizing individual microclimates. This presentation will highlight research examining personal exposure to hot ambient temperature in outdoor workers in the Southeastern United States. We relate geo-locational changes in temperature with corresponding changes in heat stress response in workers over a 5-day period in the summer. Results demonstrate workers are modifying their workplace behaviors to reduce exposure to hot ambient temperature during National Weather Service advisories.

Exploring the Heat Hazard_ Jen Runkle.pptx

Brian Garcia
Warning Coordination Meteorologist (NOAA/NWS)

Brian has been a professional meteorologist for 16 years, beginning his career within the private sector before joining the federal government with the National Weather Service. Weather was not always forefront on Brian's mind, but did play a role in everything he did. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, mountain and marine meteorology were critical to his recreation. From climbing and backcountry snowboarding to surfing and camping, everything revolved around weather. Once this connection was made, Brian was off into the world of weather. Brian is a graduate of the University of Washington and has followed positions to Houston, DC, Eureka CA, and now in Monterey CA. In his current role as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the NWS SF Bay Area / Monterey Bay regions, he is tasked with building partnership across a diverse sector of communities. Through this role he translates technical weather information for partner agencies to take action on in order to protect lives and property. He also is allotted the opportunity to work with NOAA on projects such as the Urban Heat Island Campaign. Outside of work you'll typically find Brian in the waters of Santa Cruz, surfing as much as possible.


How the National Weather Service does Heat Forecasting and Partner Support

The National Weather Service is known for creating weather forecasts, but it's much more than just that. We ingest information from the community and take our forecast to our partner agencies and the public. This creates an A to Z continuum of information that is ultimately used for the protection of life and property, as well as a continued building of the science of weather.

Exploring the Heat Hazard_ Brian Garcia.pptx

Cameron Lee
Assistant Professor, Kent State University

I am a climate scientist with research interests mainly in applied climatology, focusing on utilizing synoptic methods in a variety of applications (especially human health/mortality and coastal environments), often incorporating climate change. Current NOAA-funded research utilizes synoptic climatology to examine various human health-related multivariate indicators of climate change, while another NOAA-funded project uses circulation patterns to help predict daily-scale sea-level variability. Previous grant-based research includes projections of future heat waves and heat-related mortality in California due to climate change, and assessing the impacts of weather on asthma in New York State. Earlier research has included the development of a gridded air mass classification system, which is now updated annually, includes daily forecasts, and has been expanded to a global domain (with nearly 260,000 locations). This system was also transformed into two global-scale indicators tracking our changing climate. In addition to my research activities, I have co-authored five review articles on the topic of synoptic climatology, reviewed grant proposals for the National Science Foundation, served as a peer-reviewer for over a dozen academic journals, and have presented my research at dozens of national and international conferences. I also serve as the Managing Editor of the International Journal of Biometeorology.


More than Just Averages: Regional Trends of Various Key Indicators of Extreme Weather

The most-often cited metric of climate change is global mean temperature. However, arguably more important than an average, are the local-scale changes in the extremes – as it is the tails of the temperature distribution that pose a disproportionately large hazard to human health and a variety of other living systems. Moreover, official statistics on trends in means (e.g. rising temperatures) do not necessarily correlate with the expected change in extreme events (more extreme heat events) in all areas. In this talk, I will discuss the various ways in which extreme events are defined, and how these indicators of climate change are trending over time, with a focus on North America. Metrics that account for both the intensity and duration of extreme heat/cold, extreme dew point events, apparent temperature events, seasonally-relative and geographically-relative events, and extreme air masses will all be discussed.

Exploring the Heat Hazard_ Cameron Lee.pptx




Past Webinars

How the Heat Watch Campaigns are Conducted [recording | slides]
Vivek Shandas (CAPA Strategies)

What happens when you go “hyperlocal” – the legacy of inequitable heat exposure in US cities [ recording ]
Jeremy Hoffman (Science Museum of Virginia) and Vivek Shandas (Portland State University)

Register For Full Webinar Series

For questions about the webinar series, please contact Noura Randle.

*More details describing each webinar will be available soon; this page is under active development. If you have a suggested topic or interest in speaking in this webinar series, please reach out to Noura Randle - NOAA Affiliate



The Urban Heat Island Citizen Science Campaigns are made possible by:




NIHHIS is made possible by our participating agencies.










NIHHIS Headquarters

Address: 1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910

About Us

NIHHIS is an integrated information system that builds understanding of the problem of extreme heat, defines demand for climate services that enhance societal resilience, develops science-based products and services from a sustained climate science research program, and improves capacity, communication, and societal understanding of the problem in order to reduce morbidity and mortality due to extreme heat.  NIHHIS is a jointly developed system by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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