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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Arizona State University
  • Jennifer K Vanos
  • (480) 965-6380
Award Date:06/16/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 631,273
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 631,273
  • FY 2021=$631,273
Start Date:07/01/2021
End Date:06/30/2026
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Coupling Climate and Human Health Models to Build Pathways to Extreme Heat Resilience
Federal Award ID Number:2045663
DUNS ID:943360412
Parent DUNS ID:806345658
Program:HDBE-Humans, Disasters, and th
Program Officer:
  • Walter Peacock
  • (703) 292-2634

Awardee Location

Awardee Cong. District:09

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:AZ Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University
Street:PO Box 876011
Cong. District:09

Abstract at Time of Award

Extreme heat is invisible, silent, and deadly, and negatively affects human health and productivity globally. Understanding how people are affected by extreme heat, and how best to cope, is important for societal well-being and economic security. New approaches to adapt to heat are urgently needed as cities grow and temperatures rise. Existing models of present and future heat-health impacts focus on survivability and over-simplify how people respond both physiologically and behaviorally to heat across indoor and outdoor spaces. But survivable does not equal livable––addressing human complexities is needed to fully understand the exposure pathways that cause heat to become a health hazard. The goal of this Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant is to advance our scientific understanding of the range of current and future impacts of extreme heat on human health across different climate types and indoor and outdoor environments. Models of human heat balance, regional climate at multiple scales, and building interior heat exposure will be combined with human vulnerability and adaptive capacity to estimate present and future heat-health risks across U.S. cities. This research bridges climate and health research disciplines to support experiential learning and public health guidance to proactively mitigate risk. The outcomes of this research align with NSF’s mission to advance national health, prosperity, and welfare. Given the diverse social, environmental, economic, and health impacts of heat, society will broadly benefit through reduced heat-related illness, death, and hospitalizations, decreased energy costs, and improved well-being, productivity, and community resilience. To create insight into current and future heat exposures, vulnerabilities, and impacts, this project leverages research across disciplines to 1) quantify differences in heat stress and strain across climate types and built/natural environmental contexts in large U.S. cities, comparing validated human heat balance (HHB) models to simple bioclimate heat metrics; 2) integrate critical physiological and behavioral adaptations into heat-health estimates to account for the range of heat stress and strain responses; and 3) quantify future livability and survivability using HHB models and dynamically downscaled climate models within and across the U.S. These objectives acknowledge that an individual’s path from experiencing hot weather to heat stress, heat strain, and adverse health outcomes is indirect, multidimensional, and non-linear. Three integrated education objectives will (a) create, evaluate, and share novel experiential learning and outreach methods using a new heat chamber in the PI’s lab; (b) co-produce and disseminate practical heat-health guidance with public health collaborators; (c) support and inspire a diverse student population to explore interdisciplinary approaches in STEM. The coupling of human health models with weather and climate data will drive transformative thinking in climate adaptation and heat resilience research, introducing the notion that survivable does not equal livable. Key scientific contributions include a new modeling approach to better understand the range of human responses to heat; a novel assessment of the interactions between climate type, indoor and outdoor environmental contexts, human behavior, and physiology on human tolerance to oppressive heat; and a creative application of physiological advances that validate the use of sustainable, low-cost (i.e., no air conditioning) personal-level cooling strategies and their efficacy in current and projected U.S. climates. This project also advances discovery and promotes experiential and inclusive cross-disciplinary training, learning, and communication for students across education levels. Co-production efforts with public health officials, practitioners, and community members will directly support societal health. Such efforts will further build community-scale heat resilience and ensure that diverse populations benefit from location and person- and context-specific information for safe and sustainable personal cooling methods, heat coping strategies, and effective messaging, outreach, and engagement. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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