Marymount University is joining 11 other higher education institutions within the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) in setting out across the state to understand where residents are most at risk during extreme heat waves.
Marymount faculty, staff, students and community volunteers will use specially designed thermal sensors to record air temperatures and humidity throughout the Northern Virginia area over three specific times this Thursday: 6 am, 3 pm and 7 pm. Previous campaigns conducted by the VFIC in Richmond, Norfolk and Roanoke revealed temperature differences as significant as 16°F between the coolest and hottest places.
The heat mapping program was created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and has led to more than 10 community-led heat island mapping campaigns across the country this summer.
Data collected will inform existing programs and initiatives in the Commonwealth, including climate change mitigation and resilience, public health and energy efficiency. Project partners include CAPA Strategies, the Science Museum of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Forestry.