7.3 The Urban Heat Island Learning Experience at the University of the Incarnate Word

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 9:00 AM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Gerald J. Mulvey, Univ. of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX

The Urban Heat Island Learning Experience at the University of the Incarnate Word

Gerald J. Mulvey, CCM

Department of Atmospheric Science and Physics

University of the Incarnate Word

San Antonio, Texas 78209

Abstract:  Urban heat islands are a known and documented feature of the San Antonio Texas environment (Boice et al 1996, Boice 1997, and Xie et al 2005).  However takings about a heat island to your students and actually measuring one in your campus are two different things.  The later brings the words of the lecture into personal reality space.  During the Spring 2016 semester the Air Pollution Meteorology class was offered an extra credit field experience to search for the heat island on the University of the Incarnate Word campus in San Antonio, Texas.  Seven students in the class opted to participate. The field experiment was fast (accomplished in under 2 hours) utilizing simple hand held Kestrel Data Logging Anemometers.  The team was dispersed across the campus, horizontally and vertically during midday.  Over the next 30 minutes they traversed predetermined tracks starting at the campus periphery moving towards a central location.  At timed intervals they made measurements of the wind speed, temperature, pressure humidity and estimated the wind direction.  The team returned to the Climate and Data Lab where they recorded their data and delivered it to the data master who also recorded data from fixed sites around the campus.  Students analyzed the data in teams and were able to identify the campus heat island.  In sharing their experiences collecting the data they began to appreciate the difficulties of meteorological measurement and the impact a local heat island could have on their everyday life on campus.  The data collected was also shared with the Micrometeorology class for their analysis and term project.  The details of this learning experience, the results, and the ongoing actions generated by this field experiment will be detailed in the presentation.


The Urban Heat Island of San Antonio, Texas (USA), 1996, Boice, D., Huebne, W.,Garcia, N., Transactions on Ecology and the Environment vol. 8, WIT Press

Accessed June 21, 2016, http://www.witpress.com/elibrary/wit-transactions-on-ecology-and-the-environment/14/8601

The heat is on ...SwRI scientists draw on planetary and cometary knowledge to understand better why large cities are getting hotter, 1997, Boice, D.,1997 issue of Technology Today, published by Southwest Research Institute.

Accessed June 21, 2016, http://www.swri.org/3pubs/ttoday/fall97/heat.htm

Heat Island of San Antonio, Texas Detected by Modis/Aqua Temperature Product, 2005, Xie, H., Guan, H., and Ytuarte, S., 20th Biennial Workshop on Aerial Photography, Videography, and High Resolution Digital Imagery for Resource Assessment, October 4-6, 2005 Weslaco, Texas

Accessed June 21, 2016, http://www.utsa.edu/lrsg/paper/0042.pdf

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