Heat Mappers: Public Participation with the SEER (Social, Economic, and Environmental Resilience) Knowledge Exchange

Authors: Heather A Fischer*, Arizona State University, Elizabeth A Wentz, Arizona State University , Qunshan Zhao, Arizona State University
Topics: Applied Geography, Urban Geography, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: public engagement, citizen science, heat stress, urban heat, GIS
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Balcony N, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The SEER (Social, Economic, and Environmental Resilience) Knowledge Exchange is an effort at Arizona State University to integrate resilience data collected from community stakeholders, social media, citizen science, and local and federal authoritative organization to identify and mitigate resilience threats to Maricopa County of Arizona, USA. This paper focuses on the public participation efforts of the SEER Knowledge exchange, specifically on the development of, Heat Mappers, a citizen science project that examines heat stress in populations seeking utility assistance in Maricopa County. Heat Mappers recruits volunteers from vulnerable populations, mainly those who are seeking assistance with paying utility bills, to track their heat exposure both qualitatively and quantitatively with iButton temperature and humidity sensors and paper/digital mobile-device surveys. This citizen science program along with other aspects of the Knowledge Exchange (including social network analysis, and the collection of authoritative data) will be used to characterize the social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities of the individuals who apply for utility assistance. With this knowledge and understanding, we can develop mechanisms to intervene the vulnerable population to minimize the need to stay in the program. Since this citizen science project is in its infancy, this paper will focus on the development of the project, and the first stage of project evaluation including lessons learned from the recruitment of volunteers, working with community stakeholders, and project implementation.

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