Community Impacts of Extreme Heat

Identifying interventions to strengthen resilience during extreme heat events needs to be a community effort; it is important that our work centers the voices of the community. Here, we welcome you to interact with the lived experiences of community members in Spokane and learn about opportunities to participate in our ongoing research efforts.

Community Survey Results

In Summer 2022, we launched our community survey to better understand the perceptions and experiences of extreme heat in Spokane, WA and concluded the survey in November 2022 with 1,799 responses. We acknowledge and thank the Indiana University Resilience Institute for allowing us to make use of portions of their survey.

Key themes from the survey:

  • A majority of respondents shared that 84.4% said high heat events are a “severe” or “moderate” threat to the Spokane community.
  • 88% said they intend to stay home during an extreme heat event.
  • 23.3% of respondents have no access to air-conditioning.
  • Of those who have A/C, 21.5% indicate they have impediments to using it, with the majority citing cost.
  • When asked about what resources respondents would like to see in their neighborhoods that can help bring temperatures down, over 50% responded that they would like to see more tree plantings and community gardens.

We will be sharing a report of our results soon, so make sure to sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date!

Data Walk

In April 2023, we are hosting a series of neighborhood-based community Data Walks in Spokane, WA inspired by Urban Institute.

A Data Walk is an interactive way of sharing research findings from our Beat the Heat survey and engaging community members as citizen scientists. During a Data Walk, we will use facilitated discussion methods and ask participants to interpret different data sets.

Data Walk image 

Register to participate in a Data Walk!

Spokane Extreme Heat Risk Intervention Stakeholder Synthesis Symposium

The Gonzaga Climate Center is a sub-award recipient of University of Washington’s Interdisciplinary Center for Exposures, Diseases, Genomics, and Environment (EDGE) Pilot Research Project grant. With this funding, we will be hosting a World Café Stakeholder Symposium in collaboration with University of Washington’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

The World Café is an opportunity to debrief from recent heat events and characterize remaining practice-relevant research priorities while identifying existing interventions. This one-day symposium will convene stakeholders including academia; state and local agencies; tribal communities; NOAA, and community-based organizations serving BIPOC and low-income communities, and medically at-risk populations. 

Questions? Contact the organizers at