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Media Coverage

Tuesday, June 7, 2022. KHOU

Skyline Rotary Club members aim to transform donated vacant lots of land into parks and greenspace in Houston. 

Friday, August 27, 2021. National Catholic Reporter

Overcoming problems created by heat islands requires not only long-term changes by city officials, but also immediate mitigation strategies to help vulnerable populations, local researchers studying the issue told EarthBeat. 

Sunday, August 8, 2021. propmodo

The good news is heat islands are a solvable problem as long as you know where they are. That’s why Houston is so eager to map its heat island effect. Once they know the hot spots, solutions can be implemented. Planting trees is one of the best defenses against heat islands. Not only do they provide shade, but they also increase biodiversity, increase access to greenspace and help clear the air (Houston’s smog is its own issue). Green rooftops can also help lower heat island effects. Vegetation is key to shading, deflecting radiation, and keeping the atmosphere moisturized. Knowing where the city lacks canopy will help officials target the hottest areas. 

“Ultimately, the urban heat island effect can impact many aspects of human health and well-being,” said Dr. Meredith Jennings, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Scientist. “This study will be an important first step to help communities understand urban heat islands, guide policymakers on next steps, and move forward with science-backed solutions to improve quality of life.

Monday, August 2, 2021. KPRC (Click2Houston)

You know that it’s hot in Houston, but some neighborhoods under the same weather conditions can be 20 degrees hotter than a place just down the road. A study conducted by city, county and non-profit groups found just how drastic the difference can be.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021. The Houston Chronicle

The nonprofit Houston Wilderness is coordinating major environmental efforts across the region. 

“We have a lot to do in a short amount of time,” says Marissa Aho, the city’s chief resilience officer, “and trees solve multiple things.” Along with green infrastructure, stormwater management and other environmental goals, her laundry list considers quality of life, beautification and health disparities.

Mass plantings of super trees with large canopies are top of mind right now because she has just released the results of a 2020 heat mapping campaign that suggests where they should be a priority. Volunteers measured heat and humidity in the morning, afternoon and evening on Aug. 7 in 32 zones across 320 square miles; the largest community heat-mapping campaign in history. Temperatures varied by as much as 10 degrees in the morning and 17 degrees in the afternoon across Harris County.

Thursday, August 13, 2020. Fox26 Houston

Houston heat can be extreme, and for the first time, the Bayou City is taking part in a national heat mapping project.

Friday, August 7, 2020. The Houston Chronicle

On Friday, local officials and groups launched one of the largest single-day community-led heat mapping projects in the country in an attempt to determine which areas of Houston and Harris County are the hottest --- and how that can change.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020. NTV Houston

On August 7th, about 80 community scientists in Houston and Harris County participated in the nation’s largest heat-mapping study. Houston is one of 13 cities that is involved in this initiative. 

Friday, August 7, 2020. CBS Houston (KHOU)

Houston is one of 13 cities in the U.S. mapping out its hottest spots in summer 2020 in an effort leaders hope will save lives and create a better quality of life.

Friday, August 7, 2020. ABC13 Eye Witness News

Volunteers took to the streets on "Heat Day" to help map out the hottest spots in town.

Friday, August 7, 2020. NBC Houston (KPRC 2;

Recruited community street scientist volunteers will embark on a 300-square-mile effort Friday to measure and map urban heat in the region, officials said.

Friday, August 7, 2020. E&E News

Today's forecast for Houston is typical for early August: hot and steamy, with a heat index of a suffocating 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

NOAA is crowdsourcing a national urban heat map

Friday, August 7, 2020. Grist

A nationwide heat mapping effort taking place this Friday hopes to provide policymakers and the public with the most detailed information yet on the urban heat island effect in U.S. cities. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020. The Texas Standard 

The director of the Nature Conservancy's Houston Healthy Cities program says the "heat map" is a "community science effort."

Friday, July 24, 2020. Public News Service

HOUSTON - As climate change relentlessly drives up summer temperatures, the city of Houston and Harris County will learn their hottest spots next month with aid from local residents.

Thursday, July 9, 2020. Texas Climate News

Pockets of higher temperatures in urban areas pose health threats, particularly to marginalized communities. By mapping these areas, experts hope to get a better sense of effective ameliorative strategies.

Monday, June 15, 2020. Houston Public Media

Past studies have shown temperatures can vary up to 20 degrees in one city — and that low-income communities of color tend to bear the brunt of the heat.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020. NIHHIS

The National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS), in partnership with the NOAA CPO Communication Education and Engagement division and CAPA Strategies LLC will support and coordinate 13 community science Urban Heat Island (UHI) mapping field campaigns in cities across the country this summer. The cities in the 2020 cohort were the highest ranked applicants in a competitive process to determine which communities had the greatest need, most promising partnerships, and clearest applications identified for the resulting information.

Press Releases

Tuesday January 5, 2021. City of Houston, Mayor's Office


Monday July 18, 2022. Understanding Houston

Wednesday February 10, 2021. Understanding Houston

Friday January 15, 2021. HARC Research