2022

UCLA Fielding School project shows health effects of extreme heat across California at the community level


Tools developed by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health team show which communities are at greatest risk of harm during extreme heat days.

Orange sky and city skyline

As California enters the hottest season of the year, residents and policy makers can tell at a glance how extreme heat harms a community’s health, down to the neighborhood level, with a new on-line tool developed by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

“With the urgent threat of extreme heat over the summer, it’s critical that we have tools to support effective preparedness and response,” said Dr. David Eisenman, Fielding School professor of community health sciences and co-director of the UCLA Center for Healthy Climate Solutions and the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters.

“We’re releasing the tool for public beta testing for two reasons. First, we believe that the data we’re making available is critically important to protect people’s health now. And secondly, we want to understand how we can make this tool as useful as possible to California communities and policymakers,” said Eisenman, an advisor to the city of Los Angeles’ recently-organized office for emergency response to extreme heat events. “The tool shows us where there’s the greatest need for action and investment. By making it easy to use and working in partnership with communities on its development, we’re using this tool’s release as a step towards promoting health equity and environmental justice.”

The on-line tools - available at www.Uclaheatmaps.org - features several elements to ensure the map and its outputs are easy to understand and widely accessible to users, including a tutorial video and a feedback form, where users can submit recommendations for improvements or report any issues.

“Our heat map allows us to visualize and understand real health risks due to heat, based on historical data,” said Dr. Diane Garcia-Gonzales, one of the lead developers. “The model we developed helps us overcome some of the issues of underestimation that we typically see for extreme heat impacts.”

The project is a joint effort of the UCLA Center for Healthy Climate Solutions and the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters; both research centers are part of the Fielding School. Funding for the project was provided by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge.

“This is a unique health and heat risk map that will help the City of Los Angeles target resources to the most vulnerable areas exposed to extreme heat and thus prioritize the mitigation and adaptation measures where they are most needed,” said Marta Segura, the city’s newly-appointed “chief heat officer.”  “Climate, health, and equity are the pillars of our work at the City of Los Angeles.”

UCLA continues to lead on research to help California prepare for a hotter future under the climate crisis. The tool also adds to UCLA’s broader portfolio of resources — including a recently launched tool created by the Luskin Center for Innovation in partnership with the Public Health Alliance that visualizes extreme heat in California over the coming decades.

by Lynn Stoler


The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 761 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.

Faculty Referenced by this Article

David Eisenman
David Eisenman
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
glik, deborah
Deborah Glik
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Donald Morisky
Donald E. Morisky
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez
Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Kimberly Gregory
Kimberly Gregory
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Chandra Ford
Chandra Ford
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
May Wang headshot
May C. Wang
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Elizabeth Yzquierdo
Elizabeth Yzquierdo
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Sarah Blenner
Sarah Blenner

Director of Field Studies and Applied Professional Training

Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Ilan H. Meyer
Ilan H. Meyer
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
halbert, ronald
Ronald Halbert
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. May Sudhinaraset
May Sudhinaraset
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
James Macinko
James Macinko

Professor of Community Health Sciences & Health Policy and Management, and Associate Dean for Research

Community Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Elizabeth D'Amico
Elizabeth D’Amico
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dana Hunnes
Dana Hunnes
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Sean Darling-Hammond
Sean Darling-Hammond
Biostatistics Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Wendelin Slusser
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Charlotte Neumann
Charlotte G. Neumann
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Kimberley Shoaf
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dena Herman
Dena Herman
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Dana Rose Garfin
Dana Rose Garfin
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Paula Tavrow
Paula Tavrow
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Dawn Upchurch
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Courtney Thomas Tobin headshot.png
Courtney S. Thomas Tobin
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Ondine S. von Ehrenstein
Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Robert Kim-Farley
Robert J. Kim-Farley

Robert J. Kim-Farley, MD, MPH, is a Professor-in-Residence with joint appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Community Health Sciences

Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Alina Dorian
Alina Dorian
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Anne Pebley
Anne Pebley
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Michael Rodriguez
Michael Rodriguez
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Bo-Kyung Elizabeth Kim headshot.png
Bo-Kyung Elizabeth Kim
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Virginia C. Li
Virginia C. Li
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Samuel Stratton
Samuel Stratton
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Judith M. Siegel
Judith M. Siegel
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Marjorie Kagawa-Singer
Marjorie Kagawa-Singer
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Gilbert Gee
Gilbert C. Gee
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Randall Kuhn
Randall Kuhn
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Shira Shafir
Shira Shafir
Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Philip Massey headshot
Philip Massey
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Natalie Muth
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Sheba George
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Jessica Gipson
Jessica Gipson
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Michael Prelip
Michael Prelip
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Jennifer A. Wagman
Jennifer A. Wagman
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Michael Goldstein
Michael Goldstein
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Cathy Lang
Cathy Lang

Assistant Dean for Research & Adjunct Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences

Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile

Related Content

Los Angeles skyline sunset
June 20, 2022
Know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion

Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and director of the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, addresses the dangers of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Source: UCLA Health Read Full Article
Dr. David Eisenman
June 3, 2022
"Los Angeles appoints first chief heat officer"

CBS interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and director of the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, about Los Angeles' appointment of UCLA FSPH graduate Marta Segura (MPH, ’91), as the city’s first-ever “chief heat officer."

Source: CBS (KCBS-TV) Read Full Article