[FILLED] Urban Heat Island Project Implementation

Host: Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation (e.g., sea level rise planning, environmental justice, climate migration planning), Climate Mitigation, Ecosystem / Habitat Conservation / Biodiversity Protection, Energy Efficiency, Public Health, Transportation / Mobility, Urban Planning, Community Engagement
Skills Needed: Community Engagement, Project Management, Data Analysis, Data Collection,

Remote or On-Site Placement


Service Needs & Plans

To address the Urban Heat Island (UHI) challenge, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District developed an advanced model of the UHI effect in the Capital Region, at local and regional scales, and for today’s conditions as well as a 2050 land use and climate scenario. The model identifies the geographic areas with the most severe UHI effect and evaluates the effectiveness of heat mitigation measure options on vulnerable communities deployed at various scales. The team plans to conduct community outreach and engagement throughout the Capital Region to understand community concerns around extreme heat, transportation needs, and priorities for neighborhood and transportation improvements.

Project Description

Sac Metro Air District’s Urban Heat project findings and recommendations can aid local governments in their overall planning for extreme heat and heat resilience for public health, land use design, urban forestry, and more. Yet there is little understanding or capacity to implement the recommended measures into local plans, policies, and actions. The Fellow would help encourage staff working for local jurisdictions to incorporate heat mitigation strategies into their urban planning policies. The Fellow would also work directly with community members to provide extreme heat education, identify neighborhoods with high heat vulnerability, and implement extreme heat mitigation.

Desired Skills

GIS, Critical Thinking, Flexibility/Adaptability, Communication and Facilitation

Organization & Workplace Highlights

The City of Sacramento, where the Sac Metro Air District is located, is the most integrated community in the U.S. (according to the US Census). Our agency considers this diversity in every aspect of our work. We have included environmental justice components in our planning tools such as CalEEMod, we provide programs and incentives for income qualified residents residing in under resourced communities, and we engage with local community groups to ensure our programs have the most benefit for vulnerable communities.

While staff at the Sac Metro Air District work closely together on these projects, the also engage with many different stakeholders. This provides an opportunity to not only learn from a diversity of people, but it’s a great networking opportunity as well. We like to provide our Fellows the opportunity to engage in different aspects of our work, including attending conferences, participating in board and public meetings, meeting with staff from partner agencies, and attending staff parties.

Lastly, being in the state capital of the most innovative state in the country (if not most innovative government in the world) is a great learning opportunity as well. Outside of work there are opportunities to meet with elected officials, state agencies, professional organizations, community-based organizations, and non-profits.

Community Highlights

In 2017, Assembly Bill 617 was signed to develop a new community focused program that more effectively reduces exposure to air pollution and preserves public health. AB 617 directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and all local air districts, including Sac Metro Air District, to take measures to protect communities disproportionally impacted by air pollution. CARB has identified 17 communities across California as part of the Community Air Protection Program and the Sacramento MSA includes one of these CARB-identified communities known as South Sacramento-Florin. Further, Sac Metro Air District recognizes nine other locally nominated priority communities in Sacramento County identified based on an evaluation of air pollution sources, air pollution-related health impacts, community feedback, location of sensitive receptors, and socioeconomic factors. The Fellow would likely work directly with community members living in our priority communities. The work will provide a great opportunity to work with underserved Sacramento residents.

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