Biden-Harris Administration invests $4.55 million for community heat resilience through Investing in America agenda

Centers of excellence will support community-led heat resilience evaluation and strategies

Photo of Raed Mansour showing Ashwin Sunderraj how to use a heat sensor for Chicago’s July 28, 2023 urban heat island mapping campaign (Image credit: 2023 Chicago Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaign)

Raed Mansour shows Ashwin Sunderraj how to use a sensor for Chicago’s July 28, 2023 urban heat island mapping campaign. (Image credit: 2023 Chicago Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaign)

Today, the Department of Commerce and NOAA announced $4.55 million in funding for two virtual centers of excellence to support community heat monitoring and resilience as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. These funds from the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in history, will allow the federal interagency National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) to enhance community science observations and data collection on extreme heat, and provide assistance to communities planning for and evaluating equitable heat resilience projects. The centers will work alongside community members and community-based organizations to advance place-based heat information and decision-making, so they can reduce heat-related illness and death, harmful infrastructure impacts and other heat risks. 

“The impacts of extreme heat caused by climate change are an increasing threat to our health, ecosystems and economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to President Biden’s ambitious climate agenda, this investment will support new NIHHIS Centers of Excellence to help protect historically excluded communities from the dangers of extreme heat, boost climate resilience and increase awareness on best practices to tackle the climate crisis.”

NOAA led grant competitions to establish two NIHHIS Centers of Excellence, which will receive a combined total of $4.55 million in funds over three years. One center, which will be based out of Durham, North Carolina, will assist community serving organizations in conducting local climate and health studies. The other, which will be based out of Los Angeles, will support heat risk reduction decision-making through applied climate and health research and analysis.

“NOAA has a long history of working with communities to map urban heat islands and develop strategic heat resilience plans,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “This is an exciting opportunity to expand and enhance our efforts and develop extensive networks for sharing knowledge across multiple locations.” 

Below are additional details about the NIHHIS Centers of Excellence:

North Carolina


  • The Center for Heat Resilient Communities will receive $2.25 million in funding to support communities in determining the best strategies for local heat mitigation and management, leveraging federal investments to enhance heat resilience, and using decision-support tools to develop data-driven and equity-centered heat strategies. This center will develop and implement a Heat Resilient Communities Framework that brings together diverse expertise and knowledge-sharing hubs to identify and evaluate policies, protocols and lessons for heat resilience. With support from the University of California, Los Angeles Luskin Center for Innovation offsite link, Arizona State University offsite link and the University of Arizona offsite link, this center will directly fund communities and tribal entities across the U.S. It will also develop knowledge and lessons learned that can be applied in the U.S. and internationally. 

These efforts advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 initiative, which set a goal that 40 percent of overall benefits from certain federal climate and clean energy investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. It supports a whole-of-government effort of federal agency engagement with states and local communities to ensure that benefits reach disadvantaged communities. The centers will work with historically excluded communities to broaden the impact and benefits of participatory science, heat data and information, and decision-making tools to communities not yet served by these resources. 

The NIHHIS Centers of Excellence will build on eight years of NIHHIS efforts to map urban heat islands in over 80 U.S. and international communities. This information supports heat decision making by helping cities understand where heat is distributed and who is most at risk. Past heat mapping campaigns have informed city sustainability plans, public health practices and urban forestry plans. The new centers will interact with the communities of practice established as a result of these mapping efforts, so they can share resources, ideas and best practices. 

Visit NOAA’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act websites to learn about current and future funding opportunities.

Climate, weather, and water affect all life on our ocean planet. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict our changing environment, from the deep sea to outer space, and to manage and conserve America’s coastal and marine resources. 

Media contact

Monica Allen,, (202) 379-6693