CCRUN Seminar Abstracts

CCRUN Green Infrastructure, Climate, and Cities Seminar Series

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Summer Urban Heat Projections in Philadelphia and Charleston

Seminar Description:

Join us as we discuss projects addressing summer urban heat throughout Philadelphia, PA and Charleston, SC. We will be joined by the following speakers:

Ivana Gonzalez is a lifelong North Philadelphia resident with a passion for social and environmental justice advocacy. As the Community Outreach Coordinator at Nueva Esperanza Inc., Ivana is the point person for youth internship programming, environmental and social justice initiatives, as well as community education initiatives. In her role, Ivana works closely with partner organizations like PHS, TreePhilly, and Drexel University to combat the decades of disinvestment in the Hunting Park, Juniata, and Feltonville communities. As one of the city’s worst urban heat islands, Hunting Park needs investment in trees and other cooling structures and initiatives, like the Planter Bench Project, to stay healthy during increasingly hot summers.

Christina Gareis, MS, MPH is dedicated to the advancement of individual and community health and well-being. As the Community Public Health Coordinator on Nueva Esperanza Inc.’s Housing and Economic Development team, Christina conducts community-based participatory research, outreach, and education. She focuses on disparate health-related topics such as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on low-income and minority communities, the links between environment and health, and other topics. Additionally, Christina supports Esperanza’s Neighborhood heat mitigation projects such as leading the tree canopy strategy in Hunting Park, developing block-level greening mapping, and conducting air quality analysis in partnership with Drexel University.

Richard Johnson is the Director of Community Science at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University where he delivers projects that develop accessible, applicable, community-centered solutions to environmental challenges. He has spent his career working on environmental education and community development, including as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic and Manager of the Climate & Urban Systems Partnership. At the Academy, he helps lead the Philly Urban Heat Network and spearheads the Academy’s Philadelphia Urban Heat and Air Quality Mapping Campaign.

Dr. Janice Barnes, Founder of Climate Adaptation Partners (CAP), works with public and private clients to identify their risks and vulnerabilities and to meet their resilience goals. In partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, City of Charleston, The Citadel James B. Near Center for Climate Studies, University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, and Charleston Housing Authority, CAP is facilitating the Charleston Heat Health Research Program (CHHRP). Following the 2021 HeatWatch campaign, this program aims to collect data during the 2022 heat season that will improve awareness of existing heat-health risks and to use these data to inform design performance criteria for planned investments in site and building designs and associated material selections