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2023 Regional Campaign to Map Urban Heat Islands

Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas Counties, along with our partners, are conducting a heat-mapping campaign this summer to identify urban heat islands in our region! Learn more about the campaign and sign up to volunteer as a street scientist!

What is a heat-mapping campaign?

A heat-mapping campaign is a community science project that helps us better understand how neighborhoods experience different temperatures on hot days. This summer a heat-mapping campaign will be conducted across Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. Data collected by volunteers across the region will be used to develop a region-wide heat map.

Why are we leading a heat-mapping campaign?

We want to map temperatures across our neighborhoods to help identify urban heat islands. Urban heat islands are urban areas that experience very high temperatures on hot days compared to neighborhoods around them. Read more about urban heat islands. Hard surfaces like buildings and roads, limited plant life, traffic, and industrial activity make neighborhoods hotter overall. The urban heat island effect can create issues for human health, infrastructure, and quality of life. Understanding how temperatures vary based on qualities of the natural and built landscape will help us prepare for and reduce the impacts of rising summer temperatures across our region.

Heat mapping sensor fixed to outside of vehicle

How are we collecting data?

Data will be collected over a single day by volunteers using a sensor mounted to the passenger side of a car. The sensor records air temperature, humidity, and location once every second as volunteers drive the device along pre-planned street routes.

When will the campaign take place?

Our heat-mapping campaign will happen over a single day sometime in mid-July of 2023. We are working with the National Weather Service to decide the best day to collect data. Volunteers on our list will be regularly updated and notified two weeks before the exact date.

Want to be a volunteer?

We will need a large list of volunteers in case some people aren’t able to help when the campaign date is chosen. Not everyone that signs up to volunteer will be asked to help the day of the campaign but everyone will be trained just in case. Here's what you can expect:

1. Sign-up to volunteer using this form (click the link to open the form)

2. Complete Training

You'll be invited to an in-person training, receive training materials, and complete a knowledge quiz before campaign day. You'll also need to sign a waiver.

3. Wait for Instructions

We're working with the National Weather Service to decide the best day to collect data. As soon as we know, you'll receive an email with more instructions and your mapping route.

4. Campaign Day!

You and your partner will collect thousands of temperature and humidity measurements over your one hour shift.

5. Results

Your contribution will reveal the distribution of heat across your region, helping your city to plan for the future and provide much needed relief.

For media inquiries:

Multnomah County: Sarah Dean [email protected]

Washington County: Mary Sawyers [email protected]

Clackamas County: Bryan Hockaday [email protected]

Thank you to all our contributing partners!

Washington County logo

Logo for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service

Logo for Health Share of Oregon
Green mountains over blue water Multnomah County logo

Logo for City of Hillsboro

Logo for Clean Water Services

Logo for Pacific University
Logo for Clackamas County

Logo for City of Beaverton

Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District logo of text and brightly colored lines

Logo for CAPA Strategies Consultants