Albuquerque is one of numerous cities now recruiting “street scientists” to record temperatures and humidity in specific spots, in a bid to better understand which neighborhoods are more vulnerable to extreme heat waves.

From ABQ News:

As many as 90 community “street scientist” volunteers are needed to help with the 2021 Albuquerque Heat Mapping Study, which is intended to help the city understand where it needs to focus its climate mitigation efforts. Using specially designed thermal sensors, the street scientists will drive arranged routes to record ambient temperatures and humidity during a day in July.


The coordinated data collection study will empower city planners and increase their ability to address climate change, plan for the future and make informed decisions for the city, its communities, infrastructure and businesses.

In July, on one of the hottest days of the year, during one of the hottest months of the year, the street scientists will be collecting data across the city. Volunteers will collect data on a day when the daily high temperature is expected to be within the top 10 percent of annual averages. Heat sensors will be mounted on volunteers’ cars, and they will crisscross neighborhoods during morning, afternoon and evening. Every second they are moving, sensors will be recording the location, temperature, humidity and time.

When the high-resolution mapping of Albuquerque’s urban hot spots is completed, an online story map will enable quick access to CAPA Heat Watch Data and Maps for the city. CAPA Strategies believes, “Our planetary climate is a direct result of racially motivated policies that extract from communities and position profits over people and that racially motivated policies and programs have disproportionately burdened Black, Indigenous, immigrant and other communities of color.” CAPA says it’s building a grassroots movement that is rooted in equity and justice.