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ASU faculty honored for contributions to extreme heat research


Group of ASU faculty pose for a photo.

Clockwise from top left: David Hondula, Jenni Vanos, Ariane Middel, Patricia Solís and Melissa Guardaro. In recognition of their contributions to the field of geographical research, these faculty have been awarded the 2024 AAG Media Achievement Award. Photo courtesy ASU Knowledge Exchange for Resilience

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February 23, 2024

In a remarkable recognition of their contributions to the field of geographical research, several faculty and researchers from across multiple departments at Arizona State University have been awarded the 2024 AAG Media Achievement Award from the American Association of Geographers.

This prestigious accolade celebrates the exceptional efforts of Patricia Solís, David Hondula, Jennifer Vanos, Ariane Middel and Melissa Guardaro, who have dedicated their expertise to addressing the critical challenges of extreme heat.

The awardees, collectively affiliated with ASU's Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, have garnered widespread acclaim for their groundbreaking work. Utilizing a diverse array of geographical methods and approaches, they have conducted cutting-edge research on the pressing issue of extreme heat. Their ability to translate this research into actionable knowledge has significantly impacted policy and community spheres.

The team's work has been prominently featured in numerous high-profile outlets, including "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt," the "Today" show, "Good Morning America," The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Geographic, Rolling Stone Magazine, Slate, The Guardian, The Weather Channel, National Public Radio, Scientific American, High Country News, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Wired, The New Yorker, and "CBS News Sunday Morning." This extensive media coverage underscores the broad recognition of the team's contributions to raising awareness about extreme heat challenges.

Their sustained efforts in science communication have not only educated the public but have also provided concrete, actionable steps to mitigate the impact of extreme heat. As a result, their work has had a transformative effect on public policy in Arizona, highlighting the importance of geographical research in addressing critical environmental issues. 

Currently, KER has developed recommendations and innovative solutions to address extreme heat and provide cooling relief to Arizonans at the request of the director of the Governor’s Office of Resiliency.

The AAG organization serves as a unifying force for the global geographic community. They provide valuable resources and facilitate professional relationships for students, educators, practitioners and partners. 

Read more about all of this year’s AAG honorees here.

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