Graduate Student | Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences | North Carolina State University
2023 – 2024 Global Change Research Fellow
Statement of purpose:
I completed my BS in Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. My undergraduate research allowed me the opportunity to observe the atmospheric boundary layer using sensors mounted on unmanned aerial systems (UAS aka drones). After finishing my degree, I moved to North Carolina to work for the State Climate Office (SCO). As an employee of the SCO, I co-organized the Raleigh / Durham NIHHIS-CAPA Urban Heat Island Mapping project. For this project, community volunteers used sensors mounted on their vehicles to collect temperature and humidity observations throughout the cities of Raleigh and Durham. The data were used to develop maps indicating the extent of the temperature differences throughout the cities. These maps are now being used to focus resources on areas of the community that are most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme heat.
Description of research:
For my master’s work, I will be mapping the surface temperature of NC State’s campus using UAS thermal remote sensing. This map will show the hottest and coolest locations on NC State’s campus and will be included in the University Master Plan to guide the physical development of the university for the next decade. Due to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rule regarding flying drones over people, it is not possible to collect drone imagery for the entire campus, so I will use a study area with a variation of land use and surface reflectivity. The surface temperature data collected from the study area will be used to model the rest of campus based on the relationship between land cover/land use and surface temperature. Moving forward, this project will enable us to model future heat conditions on campus in high resolution using downscaled climate data.
Kathie Dello (Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, NCSU)