Featured Research Project: Urban Heat Island Effect

Deza Frega ’24 is partnering with Stacy Porter, assistant professor of environmental science, this summer to quantify the urban heat island effect in Wittenberg’s hometown of Springfield and determine its possible influence on precipitation.

Wittenberg University environmental science and biology double major Deza Frega and Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Stacy Porter check a water gauge as part of their summer research. Click on photo or here to view complete photo gallery.

“Cities tend to be warmer than outlying rural areas, and we’re curious if that additional heat from cities impacts precipitation,” Porter said. “For instance, as a storm crosses over Springfield, is rain heavier on the leeside of the city given the additional buoyancy? We have temperature and precipitation gauges around the city that we check after every precipitation event.”

In the Student’s Own Words:

“I chose to do research on campus this summer because I wanted to work alongside Witt’s respectable faculty to learn better research and data analysis skills. I also thought Dr. Porter’s research question was interesting and a topic I wanted to learn more about,” Frega said. “I think the best part so far has been going around Springfield to collect our data. Every time we go out, we’re able to see a variation in precipitation amount, and I think that’s cool. It’s also nice because I’ve been able to learn more about Springfield and where things are. I’ve also learned that I really enjoy research, and I would like to continue research in the future.”

Deza Frega, Class of 2024
Hometown: Brunswick, Ohio
Majors: Environmental Science and Biology

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