Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.50
Liaison Amy Kadrie
Submission Date Jan. 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Rochester
IN-27: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Student Internship Conducts Climate Research

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

During the summer of 2018, four students (Antoinette Nguyen ’21, Ivana-re Baldie ’21, Nicole Franki ’20, and Rebecca Saubermann ’20) worked with Katrina Smith Korfmacher, associate professor of environmental medicine, to analyze health equity aspects of the City of Rochester’s ongoing Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA). Korfmacher also directs the Environmental Health Sciences Center’s Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC), which works to address environmental health problems in the community.

The students surveyed Rochester city residents to identify who will be most affected—and how they will be affected—by climate change in the coming years.

“The project started organically after meeting with the stakeholders for the City of Rochester’s climate vulnerability assessment,” says Saubermann. In 2016, New York State awarded the city a Climate Smart Communities grant to undertake a climate vulnerability assessment as a way to help set goals and develop climate adaptation plans for the city. The team was given the opportunity to supply additional information and analysis about health equity issues to support the work being done by the city and its consultants.

Based on background research and data from the local government and area organizations, the team helped identify four key environmental health determinants that might be affected by climate change in Rochester:
Heat waves
Extreme storm events
Air quality and pollution
Ecological effects (e.g., changes in pollen or vector-borne diseases, which are human illnesses caused by mosquitoes, ticks, and other infected organisms)

As a result of this foundational work, the fellows decided to create and administer a public survey. Farmers markets, like the Rochester Public Market and Westside Farmers Market, gave them a chance to get a representative sampling of residents’ responses to questions like the following:
Which of the following do you have in your residence? (Please check all that apply.) ◾Central air conditioning
◾Wall or room air condition unit
◾Electric fan(s) or ceiling fan(s)
◾Back-up power or generator
◾None of the above

Where would you be most likely to go if your power was out and you needed to cool off during a heat wave or heat wave emergency?
Do you consider yourself at any increased risk of heat-related illness due to your age, work, living conditions or a medical or mental health condition?

The data was compiled and analyzed and a final presentation of their findings and recommendations were made to city officials.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Research
Public Engagement
Air & Climate

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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