Theodore Lim, an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, was awarded a Stage 1 Civic Innovation Challenge Planning Grant from the National Science Foundation.

The grant supports rapid implementation of community-driven, research-based pilot projects that address heat resilience priorities. Lim and his six-person team of faculty from the colleges of Engineering, Natural Resources and Environment, and Veterinary Medicine as well as the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics are partnering with the City of Roanoke to help residents survive, adapt, and thrive through high temperatures and heat waves. The grant began in October and runs through April 2023.

The team currently is conducting workshops with Roanoke leaders in academia, government, public schools, nonprofits, and other community-based organizations to identify concerns and needs. Based on the information gathered, the researchers will develop a proposal to create a citizen science program that will train city youth to collect, monitor, and communicate data on temperatures in the city and how residents experience heat.