Grad students work with climatologist on tool to alert communities to dangerous heat levels

As dangerous heat levels are breaking records across the United States and the world, three University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate students are collecting data to inform a heat warning system based on health outcomes — a tool they hope could eventually save lives.

Nelson Institute Environment & Resources PhD students Elizabeth Berg and Becky Rose and Public Health and Public Affairs masters degree student Sara Pabich are tracking extreme heat events in six cities, including Madison and Milwaukee.

They’re working with climatologist Larry Kalkstein as a part of the Wisconsin Heat Health Network, which is supported by UniverCity Alliance and collaborators that include the City of Madison, Milwaukee County, City of Milwaukee, and Dane County. Their research will inform a warning system in Madison and Milwaukee based on health outcomes that considers mortality and weather data rather than only meteorology.


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