665 iButtons: Opportunities and Challenges for Personal Heat Exposure Research

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Chris Fuhrmann, Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS; and M. Sugg and J. D. Runkle

An emerging area of research in biometeorology is the examination of heat exposure at the individual level. Traditionally, the study of heat exposure has focused on the places where the most thermally oppressive conditions are found (e.g. city neighborhood), as well as the populations most vulnerable to the health effects of extreme heat (e.g. elderly). In contrast, personal heat exposure research focuses more precisely on how exposure and vulnerability intersect in space and time at the level of the individual. To carry this out, most studies utilize wearable or mobile sensors (or other meteorological equipment) within a cohort of individuals, usually recruited through community, occupational, or educational organizations and institutions. These sensors can also be placed at fixed locations that, unlike most official weather stations, better represent the environments that people actually experience as they go about their day to day activities. One of the most common sensors employed in these studies is the iButton (Maxim Integrated), which is small, light-weight, relatively inexpensive, and has the capability of measuring both temperature and humidity. In this presentation, we discuss the opportunities that iButtons present for personal heat exposure research, as well as the challenges in using data collected from these sensors to inform public policy and heat mitigation strategies.
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