This summer, local experts, Get Outdoors Nevada, and researchers will team with citizen scientists to capture temperature and humidity data across our region during a one-day heat mapping campaign. As part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization’s (NOAA) Urban Heat Island Mapping Project, the data will reveal in which neighborhoods it’s hottest in our region and help inform policies and projects that address heat-related health issues, lower the risk of heat stress, and aim to mitigate heat islands.
Volunteers will drive pre-mapped routes across the valley over three separate one-hour periods (6-7 a.m., 3-4 p.m., and 7-8 p.m.) on a hot day in early- to mid-August. Data will be collected using a specially-designed sensor that attaches to a volunteer’s cars and collects the temperature and humidity throughout the route being driven. This campaign will also use volunteers who will serve as navigators to help direct drivers’ turns along their route.
The resulting temperature and humidity data collected will be used to develop temperature and heat index maps of Southern Nevada that will be used to help address heat-related vulnerabilities across the region.
The exact date of mapping has not been set because it depends on the weather forecast. Ideal conditions for heat mapping are hot, clear days, with no precipitation and minimal wind. The project team is working with the National Weather Service Las Vegas Forecast Office to determine the exact date. Volunteers will be notified 7-10 days prior. The target window for the campaign is early- to mid-August.
Because the exact date is not known at this time, the project team is assembling an “on-call” roster of volunteers. Participation will be confirmed approximately 7-10 days prior to the mapping date.
Yes! Volunteers who are chosen to participate in the project will be compensated with gift cards to help cover the gas used during the campaign. Gift cards will be distributed after the data has been collected. Food and beverages will also be provided on the campaign day, and cool summer giveaways and raffle prizes will be offered to all volunteers. More details to come.
All volunteers will be required to sign a liability release waiver. Drivers will need a valid driver’s license, access to a vehicle, and auto insurance. Navigators must be at least 12 years of age and capable of reading a map and providing directions.
Before the campaign day, volunteers will be asked to participate in a virtual volunteer orientation, which includes reviewing a video, completing a knowledge-check, and participating in a short online training session and follow up discussion. Based on previous campaigns, volunteers spend an average of 2.5-4 hours over three weeks, with most of the time occurring on the actual campaign day.
Priority will be given to volunteer teams available for all three time periods (6-7 a.m., 3-4 p.m., and 7-8 p.m.). Project organizers will contact selected volunteer teams in advance of the campaign day to confirm availability.
Most likely. Volunteers will be asked to identify their preferred driving areas once confirmed as a participant. We will do our best to accommodate your preference.
Yes! We’re planning to host a release party for volunteers later in the year when the results are made available. At this gathering, we’ll share the final products (summary report and interactive maps), and celebrate all those who helped make the project possible.
Yes, volunteers have the opportunity to sign up in pairs and won’t be asked to share a vehicle with someone they don’t know.
Yes! There are opportunities to help staff the three Volunteer Hubs where volunteers will sign in, collect/return equipment, and have access to refreshments and other giveaways.
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