CAREER: Coupling Climate and Human Health Models to Build Pathways to Extreme Heat Resilience

Project: Research project

Project Details


This CAREER project addresses the crucial issue of current and future exposures to extreme heat in urban areas and the wide-ranging impacts to human health. Extreme heat is invisible, silent, and deadly, adversely affecting human health, productivity, and well-being. The PI is committed to strengthening practical understanding of extreme heat exposure and the complex pathways that lead to adverse heat-health outcomes in a world impacted by climate change. This work will address weaknesses in the scientific understanding, translation, and knowledge of current and future impacts of extreme heat on human health to assess the range of human factors influencing heat stress and strain. This goal acknowledges that an individuals path from hot weather to heat stress, heat strain, and adverse health outcomes is largely indirect, multidimensional, and non-linear. Current state-of-the-art modeling and projections of heat-related illnesses or death generally do not account for the complex human factors that shape a persons heat response and resilience. This project leverages research across disciplines to: 1) quantify differences in heat stress across climate types and environmental contexts (e.g., indoor versus outdoor, built versus natural) during a range of extreme heat conditions in cities acrros the contiguous U.S., comparing validated human heat balance (HHB) models to simple bioclimate heat metrics; 2) integrate critical physiological and behavioral adaptations into HHB models to create an ensemble of real-world heat stress and strain experiences; 3) quantify future livability and survivability using downscaled climate models within and across the U.S., thus addressing uncertainty in human factors. Three integrated education objectives will create, evaluate, and share novel experiential learning and outreach methods using a new heat chamber in the PIs lab; co-produce and disseminate effective heat-health guidance with public health collaborators; and support and inspire diverse students to explore interdisciplinary approaches in STEM. Data, experiential laboratory exercises, code, and outreach materials will be shared openly alongside traditional forms of publication.
Effective start/end date7/1/216/30/26


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $631,273.00


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