New opportunities for graduate students in the UCRC!

It is not uncommon for projects to be funded out of sync with the normal graduate student recruitment and application processes. In fact, we have several projects that have recently been funded, and several that may be funded in the next several months. We anticipate being able to bring students in for new projects on a fast-track process for Fall 2020 or for Spring 2021.

One such opportunity follows:

Graduate Student Research Assistant in the Urban Climate Research Center at Arizona State University. Our team is looking for a highly-qualified (MS or PhD level) graduate student to assist in a new research initiative to investigate innovations in urban cooling. The student will join a highly interdisciplinary team, and can enter the university through one of several departments: (Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning; Sustainable Engineering; or Mechanical Engineering). The student will initially be responsible for developing measurement protocols for monitoring thermal environments (surface temperatures, air temperatures, mean radiant temperatures) at and around bus shelters. The project involves an experiment in which some bus shelters will be used as controls and others will receive roof surface treatments involving passive radiative cooling films. Measurement technologies will include a mobile mean radiant temperature instrument, data logging temperature sensors, and an innovative network of RFID-based sensors. The ideal candidate will have experience in instrumentation, experimental design, and data analysis. The position requires field work in the Phoenix metropolitan region starting August 2020. Given the short timeframe, we will work directly with the selected student to facilitate fast-tracking of their off-cycle graduate application.
For more information contact:
  David Sailor —
  Ariane Middel —

UCRC Faculty Affiliate Awarded Prestigious CAREER Grant

UCRC Faculty Affiliate, Dr. Ariane Middel, Assistant Professor of the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, has been awarded an NSF Career Award for the project: Human Thermal Exposure in Cities – Novel Sensing and Modeling to Build Heat-Resilience.

Human thermal exposure to extreme heat is a growing health concern and pressing societal problem worldwide that will be exacerbated by climate variability, more frequent and intense heat waves, continued urbanization, and socio-demographic changes towards bigger economic disparities and a growing elderly population. The goal of this Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant is to advance understanding of how the built environment impacts heat and human thermal exposure in cities. Bridging the gap between localized field-based work and large-scale, generalizable models, this transformative project will expand beyond the limits of conventional heat research and fundamentally reframe how heat is assessed in urban areas by using radiation-based metrics and indices. New academic-practitioner partnerships with cities will yield co-developed, solutions-oriented research that translates into actionable best practices for infrastructure management and human-centric heat hazard mitigation. This work aligns with NSF’s mission to advance public health and well-being. It has the potential to result in broader societal change by informing public policy to make communities more thermally comfortable and walkable, increase heat awareness, build adaptive capacity and community resilience to heat, and potentially reduce the incidence of heat-related illness and death.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a prestigious Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.



Urban Climate Session at European Geophysical Union

 Please consider submitting an abstract to the following session:

European Geophysical Union (EGU) general assembly, 3-8 May 2020:

CL2.5: Urban climate, urban biometeorology, and science tools for cities

Organized by: Matei Georgescu, Sorin Cheval, Matthias Demuzere, Natalie Theeuwes, and Hendrik Wouters

As the most evident example of land use and land cover change, urban areas play a fundamental role in local to large-scale planetary processes, via modification of heat, moisture, and chemical budgets. With rapid urbanization ramping up globally it is essential to recognize the consequences of landscape conversion to the built environment. Given the capability of cities to serve as first responders to global change, considerable efforts are currently being dedicated across many cities to monitor and understand urban atmospheric dynamics and examine various adaptation and mitigation strategies aimed to offset impacts of rapidly expanding urban environments and influences of large-scale greenhouse gas emissions.

This session solicits submissions from both the observational and modelling communities examining urban atmospheric and landscape dynamics, processes and impacts owing to urban induced climate change, the efficacy of various strategies to reduce such impacts, and techniques highlighting how cities are already using novel science data and products that facilitate planning and policies on urban adaptation to and mitigation of the effects of climate change. Emerging topics including, but not limited to, urban climate informatics, are highly encouraged.

The CL2.5 Session Solicited/Invited Talk will be given by Prof. Tony Brazel, recipient of the International Association of Urban Climate’s Luke Howard Award, the American Meteorological Society’s Helmut E. Landsberg Award, Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association of American Geographers’ Climate Specialty Group, and the Jeffrey Cook Prize in Desert Architecture from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

The abstract submission and early registration deadlines are:

Abstract Submission – deadline: 15 January 2020, 13:00 CET

Early Registration – deadline: 31 March 2020

2nd Annual Anthony J. Brazel Urban Climate Lecture Series

We are excited to welcome Dr. Dev Niyogi of Purdue University as the 2nd speaker in this annual series of urban climate lectures.

The lecture will be held Thursday Nov. 7,  5:30 – 7 pm in the Alumni Room (#202) of the ASU Memorial Union. There will be a reception from 5- 5:30 pm



How gaming and simulation can inform the design of future climate-resilient cities


Cities and urban-sprawl is a global phenomenon. Because cities have concentrated population, emissions, and infrastructure development, they tend to be warmer than the surrounding areas. In addition to the urban heating, cities also alter regional climate by changing rainfall patterns, and winds. Cities in turn, are also increasingly vulnerable to climatic extremes such as heavy rains, floods, and heatwaves. Efforts are ongoing in the researcher and practitioner communities to improve prediction of high impact events over urban areas, and help cities become more resilient to climatic changes. This talk will discuss examples of integrating emerging technologies such as from video gaming and machine learning into weather and climate studies. These augmented technology tools within weather models can help improve urban-scale weather forecasting. They also promote better understanding of how cities impact climate. This information can be used to predict and mitigate some of the harmful effects of urbanization and changing climate, such as heatwaves and flooding. Examples of how urban climate science is being used to help develop tools and a network for resilient and livable cities will also be presented.

Speaker Bio:

Dev Niyogi is the Chair of the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Board of Urban Environment and advisory board member of the International Association of Urban Climate. He was also a co-convenor of the 10th International Conference on Urban Climate, held in New York City, 2018. He is currently on the boards of several key journals in his field, including: Urban Climate, Climate Research, Journal of Applied Climatology and Meteorology, and Remote Sensing. Dr. Niyogi also serves as a volume editor for the Elsevier/Academic Press Major Reference Work on Climate Vulnerability. He has published over 190 international papers, and according to Google Scholar, his research has been cited over 11,000 times (h-index>50). His work has been highlighted in numerous media outlets, including such popular press as Wired, CNN, National Georgaphic, and TedxTalks.

Global KAITEKI Center Launch at ASU

The Global KAITEKI Center at ASU will hold a special launch event Thursday, October 24, 2019. This Center represents a landmark partnership between Mitsubishi Chemical Holding Corporation (MCHC), its think-tank the KAITEKI Institute (TKI), and ASU. TKI focuses on the “sustainable well-being of people, society and our plant Earth”. It is an original concept of MCHC that proposes a sustainable path forward, serving as a guide for solving environmental and social issues. For more background on the Center see the initial announcement.

One thrust within the Center focuses on urban cooling. Charles L. Redman (School of Sustainability) leads the Design, Development, and Testing of Innovative Materials for Urban Cooling Project. Team members include: Matthew Fraser (School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment), David Sailor (School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning), and Kamil Kaloush (School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment).

Considering the anticipated warming of the world’s cities and the associated impacts on health and well-being, the Urban Cooling project will contribute significantly to sustainable urban development by focusing on the important role of urban infrastructure on urban heat; in Phoenix, more than 50% of the urban surface area is urban infrastructure (building rooftops 18%; roads, 14%; sidewalks, 3%; parking areas, 15%. The purpose of this collaboration is to advance mitigation of urban heat along three related threads: (1) Modeling impact of alternative roof surface coatings and paving technologies; (2) Development of novel asphalt pavement binders to integrate improved thermal and reflective properties; and (3) Field demonstration of mitigation approaches.

Dr. Kamil Kaloush and Dr. David Sailor lead two major directions of this project. While Dr. Kaloush will investigate the use of alternate materials for roadways and pavements, Dr. Sailor will use modeling techniques to explore new building materials as options to mitigate heat.

Specifically, Kaloush and his team will investigate the use of silica gel, trimethylsilylated (aerogel) and /or phase changing materials (PCMs) in asphalt binder modifications. The use of PCMs in asphalt binders and/or mixtures is promising and expected to mitigate problems related to rutting and thermal cracking.

Sailor and his group will analyze the role of building construction materials including passive daytime radiative cooling (PDRC) roofing materials for improving urban thermal environments and reducing building energy consumption. This study will integrate models from building to city scales, to quantify effects and develop an assessment of the market by exploring tradeoffs between desired cooling in summer and less desirable cooling in winter.

Over the 3-year project period, the work of these teams will be integrated and incorporated into a comprehensive analysis of how the combination of innovations in building and paving materials may be able to cool global hot climate cities.

UCRC Student to Represent ASU at COP-25

ASU has released the names of its delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The delegation includes nine students–5 from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, 3 from the School of Sustainability (SOS), and 1 from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning (SGSUP).  The UCRC is proud to announce that Ph.D. candidate, Peter Crank will be representing SGSUP as part of this delegation. This group will be attending the Council of Parties (COP) meeting in Santiago, Chile, December 2-13, 2019.

Peter will be participating in the first week of activities, with the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice. When asked what his goal was for the meeting, Peter replied, “to provide insights into urban climate mitigation and adaptation strategies that can shape the advice coming from the scientific and technological communities.” This subcommittee serves as a key liaison to the policymakers that define the larger conference’s aim and scope.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) providing an international response to climate change. COP is a yearly conference from which the 1998 Kyoto Protocol and the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement were developed.

This is a tremendous opportunity for these ASU students to have an active role in today’s decision making global policies. Peter wanted readers to know that he Is “humbled, honored, and thrilled to be appointed as a delegate from the university and is looking forward to the opportunity to engage in a process that has been defining global politics on climate change for the past 25 years.”

Urban Living Laboratory Session at AGU in December

We are pleased to announce that we are organizing a session to highlight “Living Laboratory Experiments for Innovations to Improve Human Health Outcomes in Warming and Growing Cities” at the upcoming Centennial meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), 9-13 December, 2019.

This session will focus on experiments to improve understanding of complex interacting urban environmental challenges (e.g., extreme heat, air pollution, urban flooding), with an emphasis on translation of knowledge into action to improve human health outcomes.

Two categories of experiments will be highlighted: natural experiments in which spatial or temporal variations in urban design, policies or surface characteristics result in markedly different environmental and human health outcomes; and designed experiments in which urban planners/managers, community stakeholders, and researchers collaborate in the co-design and implementation of strategies and technologies to affect urban environmental parameters with the end-goal of improving human health outcomes. In both cases presenters are asked to highlight lessons learned and barriers to effective urban environmental planning and mitigation efforts.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts for oral or poster presentation in this session!
ABSTRACT DEADLINE: 31 July 2019 23:59 EDT/03:59 +1 GMT.

Submit your abstract here!

Session ID 80729: Living Laboratory Experiments for Innovations to Improve Human Health Outcomes in Warming and Growing Cities

David Sailor and Paul Coseo, Arizona State University

Chanam Lee and Bruce Dvorak, Texas A&M University

Please take an Urban Heat Island Survey

Please consider taking a survey on “Understanding the Urban Heat Island Mitigation Strategies and Their Implementation”. The survey was developed by the National Center of Excellence for SMART Innovations at Arizona State University (ASU), with support from the National Asphalt Pavement Association. The survey seeks to obtain information and qualitative perspectives on UHI and proposed mitigation strategies from personnel in industry, academia, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and interested individuals.

 The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete; all the information collected is anonymous, however a summary of findings will be made available upon request.

 Please contact Dr. Jose Campillo ( or Mr. Chenghao Wang ( for additional information or future inquiries.

Here is the link to the survey

2019 Poster Event Results

Congratulations to all 25 of our student/postdoc researchers on a job well-done in preparing and delivering your posters at our 2nd annual Urban Climate Research Center poster event on March 27, 2019.

After tallying the judges results, we are pleased to announce the winners as follows:

  • Graduate Student Category:
    • 1st Place – Lance Watkins (SGSUP), poster title: Comparison of Two Vulnerability Indices to Household Experiences with Extreme Heat in Phoenix Arizona
    • 2nd Place – Saud AlKhaled (TDS), poster title: Predictors of Urban Induced Heating under the full Evolution of the Diurnal Cycle
    • 3rd Place – Nicholas Weller (SOS), poster title: Mapping Public Values about Climate Adaptation and Resilience using Deliberative Forums.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher category
    • 1st Place – Ashley Broadbent (SGSUP), poster title: Adaptation to Projected 21st Century Heatwaves in three U.S. Cities
  • Undergraduate Student Category
    • 1st Place – Sarthak Gupta (SGSUP), poster title: Quantifying Urban Encroachment on Forest Land using Machine Learning with Remote Sensing.

See Events page to view the 1st place posters.

UCRC Pilot Funding Opportunity – Due March 15 2019

The UCRC will be making available small awards to affiliated faculty to provide support that will increase the visibility of faculty and the center as well as enhance the ability of the center and its faculty affiliates to secure external research funding and generate high-profile publications. As a general rule, each request can be for up to $4k and should not include salary support for faculty. Examples of appropriate categories of requests include but are not limited to:

  • Summer funding for undergraduate or graduate students to gather data or further the goals of a developing project
  • Software license fees or data set, ideally for a resource that can be shared across the center
  • Small items or minor equipment that would be of general benefit to the UCRC and eventually be a resource for other UCRC faculty and their students
  • Travel support for faculty or students to attend and present at high profile conferences/meetings

This is the second request for proposals this academic year. The deadline is Friday March 15, 2019. Only current faculty affiliates of the UCRC are eligible, and a faculty member may not receive more than one award per AY. Requests should come directly from a faculty affiliate and be no more than 1 page in length, although attachments may be included as appropriate (e.g. a 2-pg CV for any students involved in the request). The proposal (pdf) should be sent to and must include the following:

  • Contact—include name of faculty affiliate requesting funds, school, and contact email
  • Purpose – provide a brief background of why the funds are being requested and how they advance the faculty member’s research and the goals of the center
  • Budget – provide an informal but specific budget indicating the total amount of the request and specifically, how the funds are to be spent.

The budget for the UCRC Pilot Project Fund is $16k for the 2018-2019 academic year. A small panel from our leadership team will review requests and make recommendations. Our goal is to have final decisions announced within 3 weeks of the proposal deadline.

Please keep in mind that we expect all UCRC faculty affiliates to work to promote the success of the center, including by acknowledging this affiliation in presentations/publications and by associating relevant ASU proposal activities with our Center Code:CC1042; Urban Climate Research Center.