Sustainability scientists contribute to Arizona heat preparedness

Woman Drinking from water bottle

Two senior sustainability scientists are among the ASU researchers working to prepare for Arizona's dangerous, and sometimes fatal, summer temperatures. In an effort to reduce the number of heat-related deaths seen in 2013, Sharon Harlan  a professor in ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change  is working to understand the details behind these incidents, such as the conditions under which they occur and the demographics that are most commonly affected. Her findings indicate that residents of inner-city neighborhoods with lower household incomes, particularly elderly individuals living alone, are at greatest risk.

Mikhail Chester, assistant professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, leads a research team that focuses on the relationship between urban form and heat vulnerability. The team also created an interactive map that directs users to cooling stations in Maricopa County.