Climate Resilience Project

What is climate resilience?

As we begin to experience increasingly significant effects of a warming planet—from obvious impacts like wildfire smoke and extreme heat, to less effects such as increased migration, shifts in precipitation patterns, and warming of rivers and streams—the concept of resilience becomes increasingly important. Climate resilience is the "the capacity of social, economic and ecosystems to cope with a hazardous event or trend or disturbance, responding or reorganising in ways that maintain their essential function, identity and structure as well as biodiversity in case of ecosystems while also maintaining the capacity for adaptation, learning and transformation."1

The Climate Resilience Project seeks to help our community build and sustain climate resilience.

Spokane Beat the Heat

Spokane Beat the Heat, an initative of the Gonzaga University's Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment, was created as a response to the 2021 Heat Dome with the goal of helping our community navigate the impacts of extreme summer heat through both local and national collaborations. 

Learn more about the Spokane Beat the Heat program. 


Spokane Heat Maps

In Summer 2022, our grant from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration allowed the opportunity to partner with community members in collecting over 40,000 temperature data points to visualize the spatial distribution of extreme heat in Spokane. We have developed an interactive ArcGIS map of Spokane that allow the user to contextualize familiar places with insightful data layers. Read more.

Community Survey

Our community survey ran from July to November 2022 in an effort to understand the perceptions and experiences of extreme heat of community members in Spokane with a total of 1,799 responses. Read more.

Correlation Report

The Gonzaga Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment collaborated with the Washington State Department of Health to produce a correlation analysis on urban heat, paved surfaces, race, and income. Read more

Extreme Heat StoryMap

The Environmental Studies and Sciences Senior Capstone Students developed an interactive StoryMap for community members to learn more about the impact of extreme heat in Spokane. Check out the StoryMap here.

In The Hot Seat: Saving Lives from Extreme Heat in Washington State

As we approach the second anniversary of the 2021 Northwest Heat Dome—the deadliest weather event in Washington State history—we are pleased to release an important new report. Co-authored with our colleagues at the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington and the Washington State Department of Health, this report discusses what communities in Washington State and across the world can do to prepare for future extreme heat events. Read the full report.

1.  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (2022) Assessment Report Six, Summary for Policymakers