Research

left image of trees and grass, right is a thermal image of the same scene.

How vegetation effects microclimates in urbanized Salt Lake Valley

A new study by Carolina Gómez-Navarro and GCSC affiliate faculty Diane Pataki, Eric Pardyjak, and Dave Bowling, looks at how trees and grass can help mitigate excessive heat in urban areas. Hard surfaces like roofs, buildings, and pavement absorb the sun’s heat and radiate it into the surroundings, creating a “heat island effect”. While trees cast […]


An array of solar panels against a blue sky dotted with white clouds.

The U reaches 71% renewable energy

By University of Utah Communications Originally published in @theU University of Utah Facilities Management has taken another important step forward as a leader in energy and sustainability by signing a 25-year solar energy contract with the Castle Solar Project near Huntington, Utah. The contract will deliver 20 MW of solar energy to campus over its […]


Rescuer on a water craft in front of a flooded home where a man wearing waders is carrying items out of the house.

GCSC seminar: disaster resilience in an unjust world

By Maria Archibald, Sustainability Office As climate-induced wildfires rage across the West and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten our communities, many of us have disaster on the mind. How will we respond when disaster strikes close to home? How will we recover? How can we build our communities to be resilient in the face […]


trees in forest

Anderegg: Know the Risks of Investing in Forests

William Anderegg, Assistant Professor in the School of Biological Sciences, has a central research question: What is the future of ecosystems in a changing climate? His lab studies how drought and climate change affect forest ecosystems, and seeks to gain a better mechanistic understanding of how climate change will affect forests around the world. In a […]


Tall buildings in Salt Lake City against the Wasatch Mountains, under a blue sky

Ewing: COVID-19 rates in urban centers

Research from GCSC affiliate Reid Ewing, College of Architecture + Planning, runs counter to the instincts that some city dwellers have had in fleeing to the suburbs in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Ewing is the Director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the U of U. In a study with his former graduate student and GCSC […]