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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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Investigate Options 2 - Structural & Physical Infrastructure

Date: September 13, 2021 | Time: 3:00 PM Eastern

This session will feature communities that have implemented solutions to make their built environment cooler and more resilient to heat. A common action to manage urban heat risk is increasing the albedo of surfaces - rooftops, streets, sidewalks, and walls - but cities have a variety of options to choose from to provide indoor and outdoor thermal comfort. The session will provide resources and suggestions for participants just getting started thinking about which cool solutions in the built environment can be part of their portfolio of actions to mitigate urban heat risk.


Kurt Shickman
Executive Director, Global Cool Cities Alliance

Kurt is the Executive Director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance, a non-profit that works with communities around the world to increase their heat resilience through the use of passive cooling measures. Their networks include more than 70 cities and are actively developing passive cooling markets in 10 countries. Kurt is the lead author of the World Bank's Primer for Cool Cities, a passive cooling expert for the Clean Energy Solutions Center, and an advisor to the International Finance Corporation's TechEmerge program.


Introduction to Cool Surfaces

A brief introduction to the technologies, practices, and designs that deliver passive cooling and increased resilience to heat in urban and rural contexts. The presentation will focus on individual measures and the benefits of an integrated, multi-measure approach to achieve cooler, healthier communities.


Sarah Schneider
Deputy Director, Cool Roof Rating Council

Sarah Schneider is the Deputy Director of the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that develops scientifically supported methods for evaluating and labeling the radiative properties of roofing and exterior wall products. She has been with the organization since 2013 and oversees the organization's policy and standards development and outreach and educational activities. Ms. Schneider has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Master’s degree in Public Policy.


Understanding How Buildings Can Help Combat Urban Heating

This presentation will provide an overview of how cool roofs and solar-reflective walls work to keep individuals, neighborhoods, and cities cooler, while producing a multitude of other benefits; how these materials are evaluated and labeled; and how third-party product ratings support the implementation of policies and programs that require or promote the use of these materials as strategies for urban heat island mitigation.

Mark Conway
Councilman, Baltimore City Council

Mark Conway represents Baltimore’s Fourth District on the Baltimore City Council and chairs the Public Safety and Government Operations Committee. Before joining the council in 2020, he served as Deputy Director of CitiStat and Executive Director of the Baltimore Tree Trust. He is currently the Executive Vice President at the Chesapeake Conservancy, where he oversees programs and the work of its Conservation Innovation Center. He holds a B.A. and Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Maryland.



Jackson Becce
Project Manager, The Smart Surfaces Coalition

Jackson is a Project Manager for the Smart Surfaces Coalition where his work involves managing various city-level projects and solar PV studies, navigating Congressional channels to include Smart Surfaces in policy, and researching quantitative data such as albedo temperature correlation as well as urban meadows, emerging technology in building efficiency, and financing mechanisms for clean energy investment. He also aids the media team in helping with social media and report releases and supervises seasonal interns. Jackson has experience in renewable energy finance and climate change policy from his time with the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in the House of Representatives where he established connections and engaged in nearly every facet of climate change mitigation and adaption.


Smart Surfaces: Supporting Cooler, Healthier, & more Equitable Communities

We will share our analysis of the economic opportunity of investing in heat resilience in Baltimore. City-wide Smart Surface adoption would cool Baltimore by over 4 degrees F, create thousands of jobs, advance equity, prevent summertime tourism lose due to extreme heat, and serve as both a climate mitigation and adaption strategy for the city.

Greg Spotts
Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Street Services

Greg Spotts serves Los Angeles as Chief Sustainability Officer of StreetsLA. Greg oversees more than 600 staff in the Street Maintenance, Urban Forestry, and Engineering Divisions. Greg completed a BA in political science from Yale and a Masters in Public Policy at UCLA, with a Leaders In Sustainability Certificate. Greg's current initiatives include Cool Streets LA, launching the city's first cloud-based street tree inventory, legalizing sidewalk and park vending, and purchasing the city's first electric-powered motor sweeper.


Urban Cooling for Los Angeles

Los Angeles is rolling out a program of cool pavement coatings and tree planting in underserved neighborhoods to mitigate urban heat. The city is using thermal images from the ECOSTRESS camera aboard the International Space Station to demonstrate the cooling benefits.



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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