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Albuquerque Urban Development (Summer 2022)

Team: Max Stewart, Christina Dennis, Ritisha Ghosh, Richard Kirschner, Steven Nystrom

Summary: The City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is experiencing increasing urban heat island (UHI) effects, which impact the health, safety, and comfort of the community. In partnership with the City of Albuquerque Department of Environmental Health, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Let’s Plant Albuquerque!, this project used satellite Earth observations from April 2016-August 2022 to model increases in tree canopy within the City of Albuquerque to help combat the urban heat island in the city’s warmer areas over the next decade. Using Landsat 8’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) and the Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on the International Space Station (ECOSTRESS), along with the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) Urban Cooling and ENVI-Met models, the team modeled tree cover interventions and created land surface temperature maps. These outputs will help the city make data-driven decisions for its tree-planting goal in a targeted approach.