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San Joaquin Valley Climate Resilience Center: Informing Equitable Climate Outcomes Through Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Science for DOE Climate Resilience Centers

Active Dates 9/1/2023-8/31/2026
Program Area Atmospheric System Research
Project Description

Samuel A. Markolf, University of California-Merced (Principal Investigator)
John Abatzoglou, University of California-Merced (Co-PI)
Adeyemi Adebiyi, University of California-Merced (Co-PI)
Asa Bradman, University of California-Merced (Co-PI)
Xuan Zhang, University of California-Merced (Co-PI)
Karis Mcfarlane, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Co-PI)
Kimberley Mayfield, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Co-PI)
Jermain Reece, Little Manila Rising (Co-PI)
Irene Calimlim, Little Manila Rising (Co-Investigator)
Jasmin Leek, Little Manila Rising (Co-Investigator)


The San Joaquin Valley Climate Resilience Center has two core aims: 1) gain a deeper understanding of how environmental and climate hazards, such as air pollution and extreme heat, vary spatially and temporally across urban environments; and 2) contextualize the effectiveness and unintended consequences of adaptation strategies for reducing the impacts of air pollution and extreme heat. Emphasis will be placed on identifying specific urban environmental conditions and adaptation strategies that disproportionately harm (or benefit) certain locations or groups.

Each of these aims corresponds to a research focus area (RFA). RFA1 will investigate urban-scale variability of heat and air quality under different conditions and scenarios. Additionally, RFA1 will investigate the influence that interactions between climate, urban ecosystems, and air pollutants have on localized air quality and extreme heat conditions. Performance of RFA1 entails a variety of methods including climate models and projections, Earth systems models, statistical analysis, air sampling/modeling, and integration of satellite observations (e.g., dust properties) with ground-based measurements (e.g., surface temperature and humidity). 

RFA2 will identify, analyze, and compare various solutions for addressing climate and environmental risks at various scales (temporal and geographic) and under different scenarios. These objectives will be achieved through a combination of approaches including the integration of different environmental (e.g., California Heat Assessment Tool) and socio-demographic datasets (e.g., Census Data, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Screening Tool), scientific summarization and translation, data and geospatial analysis (e.g., hazard and risk maps), decision analysis, and collaborative engagement with local stakeholders (e.g., surveys, workshops, scenario visioning activities). 

Anticipated outcomes of this project include estimates of environmental and climate hazards at geographic and temporal scales pertinent to communities in the San Joaquin Valley, improved understanding of interactions between soil and the atmosphere and their effect on air quality and local temperatures, scientific support for ecological and nature-based climate solutions, and a decision-support framework for equitably assessing and addressing climate-induced impacts. 

Ultimately, the significance of this project is that it will help advance fundamental knowledge of urban environmental systems in the context of climate change, embed community perspectives in scientific processes and outcomes, help inform actionable and novel climate solutions, and catalyze the development of a network of localized talent and expertise for addressing environmental, climate, and equity challenges.
Award Recipient(s)
  • University of California, Merced (PI: Markolf, Samuel)