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July 11, 2019

Citizen science volunteers in group photo

The Department of Environmental Health from the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus led in collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Solutions from Portland State University, the CAPA Heat Watch Program in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The heat campaign took place on Sunday June 23rd, 2019. Citizen science volunteers gathered ground-based temperature measurements and humidity all over the city. They drove on 10 designated areas, termed polygons, with temperature sensors mounted at about 2 meters from the ground. Data was collected throughout three one-hour intervals (6am, 2pm, and 7pm) to account for ambient variations in the metropolitan area. In total, we recorded around 30-hours of meteorological data. The overall goal is to produce detailed maps of the Urban Heat Island in San Juan. Results will be tested with collaborating city practitioners and officials to test support decision-making models in different stakeholder groups.

Citizen science volunteers putting temperature sensors on windshields of cars

Thanks to Dr. Vivek Shandas for his technical support and for providing the instrumentation. Special thanks to all volunteers and the National Weather Service-San Juan Office for providing “Weather Briefing for the Metropolitan Area of San Juan and Northeast Puerto Rico”.  A total of 25 volunteers were involved, which included professors, undergraduate and graduate students from different institutions. The activity was coordinated by Dr. Pablo Méndez-Lázaro, Dr. Vivek Shandas, Antonio de la Flor-Rosario and Jazmin Díaz-Rivera.

This campaign was part of Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather Events-Sustainability Research Network. Sponsored by National Science Foundation.