VCCA Webinar Series 2020.06.11 – Extreme Heat in US Urban Areas – Dr Jeremy Hoffman
The third of our 2020 webinar series was delivered by Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, Chief Scientist at the Science Museum of Virginia and Affiliate Faculty in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and the Center for Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Hoffman has served as a member of the Environment Committee for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, a Science Communication Fellow for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and was recently honored as the 2019 recipient of the Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action Excellence in Climate and Health Educator Award. He was also one of Style Weekly Richmond’s Top 40 Under 40 and one of the Grist 50 Fixers for 2020.
In July 2017, the Richmond Urban Heat Island Assessment – a community-informed, citizen science campaign – found that temperatures can vary by over 15°F across the city at the same time during a heat wave event. Warmer temperatures tended to be centralized in communities of color with limited resources, whose disproportionate exposure to heat appears to be borne out in adverse health outcomes from asthma to heat-related illnesses. These patterns also echo maps of Richmond community “redlining” during the 1930s and 1940s. Do these patterns play out regionally and nationally? Here we explored plausible connections between historical housing policy and exposure to extreme heat, as well as other deleterious patterns in our urban areas.