Our methods

Research Methods & Approach

The Southwest Urban Corridor Integrated Field Laboratory (SW-IFL) integrates high-resolution observations, modeling, and civic engagement to provide new knowledge that addresses extreme heat and related urban environmental challenges, while delivering next-generation predictive tools that are regionally specific but also translatable to other sunbelt regions by:

  1. Improving our understanding of how the built environment affects local to regional climates, emissions, and air chemistry.
  2. Establishing empirically-grounded theory of how governance, actors, plans, and policies shape resilience to heat.
  3. Building a framework and simulation capability to facilitate equitable mitigation of extreme heat and its societal impacts.
  4. Engaging government & community stakeholders in an advising and co-discovery role to drive the research process toward decision-relevant knowledge. 
SW-IFL Heat Vulnerability Dashboard Arizona State image

Beta version of SW-IFL Heat Vulnerability Dashboard
(Click on image to explore)



The SW-IFL Observations team leverages existing networks of weather, air quality, and hydrological measurements, supplementing available data with crucial new measurements of land-atmosphere exchange processes, atmospheric composition, and emissions. Intensive observational periods (IOP) throughout the summer months (from hot/arid pre-monsoon months throughout the peak of the North American monsoon season) will use mobile observatories to measure large-scale boundary-layer processes, and focused neighborhood-scale heavily-instrumented testbed experiments to elucidate drivers of microclimate variations and to evaluate the efficacy of proposed solutions.

Interested in Observation team activities? Click here for examples.



The SW-IFL Modeling Team will develop next generation predictive modeling capabilities for urban regions by improving representations of fine-scale physical processes, while coupling existing state-of-the-art models that integrate human behavior and atmospheric phenomena ranging from neighborhood to regional and global scales.

Interested in Modeling team activities? Click here for examples.


Resilient Solutions

The SW-IFL Resilient Solutions team utilizes testbed experiments that will leverage data from the IOPs and include additional short- and long-term measurements that will engage researchers from across our university network as well as citizen scientists from our stakeholder organizations and the broader SW-IFL communities.

Interested in Resilient Solutions team activities? Click here for examples.