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Volunteer to map urban heat in New Orleans

We are seeking volunteers to help collect data about the hottest and coolest places in our city during an upcoming heatwave this summer. Data collected by volunteers during the joint one-day heat mapping campaign will be used to develop temperature maps of New Orleans and help address heat-related vulnerabilities across the region.

What will volunteers do?

Volunteers are needed to drive (or for those hearty enough, ride a bicycle) along predetermined routes in New Orleans over three separate one-hour periods during a hot day. Volunteers will use a simple data-collection device attached to the vehicle. You can also volunteer as a navigator and help direct drivers’ turns along their route. Drivers will need to cover the same route for all three shifts.

Are there any requirements to volunteer?

Drivers will need a valid driver’s license, auto insurance (not necessary for bicyclists), and access to a vehicle (or bicycle). Drivers will also need a partner from their household or quarantine bubble to accompany them on the drive. In addition to the three hours of data collection, volunteers will first be asked to review a video, complete a knowledge-check, and participate in a short online training session and follow up discussion. Based on previous campaigns, volunteers spend an average of 4.5 hours over three weeks, though the majority of time (~3.5 hours) will occur on the selected campaign day.

On what day will the heat mapping campaign occur?

That will depend on the weather forecast. Heat mapping is best done on a hot temperature and clear-skied day. Using historical weather patterns, and support from the National Weather Service, the target campaign date for New Orleans is July 25 or 26. While weather does change, this selected campaign date will be confirmed about one week prior, as forecasts become more reliable. Because we have to wait for the heat—and the fact that summer is such a busy time—we need to assemble an “on-call” roster of volunteers — which means that we’ll want more people signing up than we need. We will confirm your participation about one week prior to the campaign, when we finalize the date. Please note that signing up does not commit you to the project, rather the process will begin by building out a roster of potential volunteers, and confirmation will occur about one week in advance.

If you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or would like to learn more, please email nola@iseechange.org.

Questions? To learn more about the CAPA Heat Watch program, check out their website.

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