Skip to Main Content

UNF partners with City of Jacksonville on Research Study To Map Urban Heat

The University of North Florida and the City of Jacksonville are partnering on a community-led campaign to identify local urban heat hotspots, raise awareness about heat risk, incorporate local perspectives to produce heat maps, and engage the community in pursuing solutions. The work is funded in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Extreme heat kills more Americans than any other weather event with more than 600 people killed each year. Scientists predict these effects will continue to be intensified by climate change.

Jacksonville is one of 14 U.S. cities and two international cities selected to participate in the 2022 campaign organized by the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS), a joint NOAA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention effort. Dr. Adam Rosenblatt, UNF biology assistant professor, is leading the research study in Jacksonville and working with the City of Jacksonville’s Chief Resilience Officer, Anne Coglianese.

Urban heat islands are areas that can be up to 20 degrees hotter than nearby neighborhoods and are places where buildings, pavement, and other parts of urban environments amplify high temperatures, putting people at heightened risk of illness and death during extreme heat events.

This community-led campaign will collect the data necessary to protect heat-affected areas as the local heat maps will help city officials and community groups identify where they can take action to protect vulnerable neighborhoods from extreme risk now and in the future.

Duval County residents are needed to participate in the study serving as ‘volunteer citizen scientists’ who will travel their neighborhoods in the morning, afternoon and evening on one of the hottest days in the summer using heat sensors mounted on their own cars or bikes. The sensors will record the temperature, humidity, time and volunteers’ locations throughout the day. The data collected will allow communities to develop hyper-local descriptions of heat and strategize mitigation options specific to Jacksonville’s location.

More than 35 other communities have participated in these campaigns to map urban heat in their cities and work toward equitable climate resilience. These cities have used the data and their heat island maps to work towards actionable improvements, including updating building codes, expanding tree-planting initiatives, developing heat action plans, and expanding cooling stations.

NOAA’s mapping program is part of the Biden Administration’s Justice40 initiative, a government effort to ensure that federal agencies work with states and local communities to deliver 40% of benefits from federal investment in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities.

For Duval County residents interested in participating in the heat mapping project, please go to or email for more information.