Fall 2020 Intern, Urban Climate Research Center

Start and End Dates: Start Aug 24, 2020 for fall semester, with potential to continue the position through the spring term.

Hours per week / total number of hours: flexible, up to 15 hours/week


Location: Students must be on-campus for at least part of the work, work will likely include some combination of field work, online acquisition and analysis of data, and laboratory measurements. COOR Hall 5th floor laboratory. Field measurements on campus and/or field sites in local communities

About the organization:

The Urban Climate Research Center (UCRC) employs a collaborative social/physical science framework to address critical issues in the urban atmospheric environment. Our core mission is to advance fundamental knowledge of processes in the urban atmosphere, and related interactions among urban systems by supporting and facilitating interdisciplinary research activities of our faculty affiliates.

The center integrates social and physical science in this domain to develop and test urban design/management policies and strategies that enhance the productivity, health, and sustainability of urban populations. End point concerns for this center include extreme heat, air quality, flooding & drought, urban ecology, and infrastructure services including energy, water, and transportation.

Position Description and overview:

The Urban Climate Research Center (UCRC) has several ongoing projects that would benefit from undergraduate research assistants. These projects often involve collaborations with local government and industry to evaluate technologies and approaches for cooling the urban environment. Strategies studied range from urban trees (e.g., ASU's Carbon Forest) and artificial shade structures (e.g., PV-shaded parking lots) to innovations in surface coatings that are highly reflective to solar radiation while simultaneously radiating thermal energy out of the urban environment.

In support of these projects we need to routinely gather and post-process data from weather stations as well as from other sensors that we deploy in urban settings. We also need to test and calibrate sensors in support of these projects. Additionally, some of these projects involve periodic field measurement campaigns focused on quantifying the urban thermal environment in outdoor settings.

Any laboratory work will take place in the Urban Climate Research Center's Laboratory for Urban Climate Instrumentation in COOR Hall under university-approved laboratory safety guidelines that ensure physical distancing and a clean/healthy lab setting. Field work will take place at outdoor locations on campus and in communities surrounding ASU, under the guidance of field-work safety protocols.

Responsibilities include:

Depending upon student background, strengths, and interests, the student will assist with a subset of the following duties:

  • laboratory calibration of temperature sensors
  • programming, deployment, retrieval, and downloading of data logging sensors
  • field measurements with portable equipment, including thermal cameras, spectrometers, and other hand-held or vehicle mounted sensors


  • An automated process for downloading, performing QA/QC checks, and archiving data from web-connected weather stations
  • Quality checks and calibration equations for sensors to be deployed in field measurements

Learning Objectives / Opportunities:

  • Develop quantitative skills related to quality assurance/quality control of data and calibration of sensors against accepted standards
  • learn basic datalogger programming skills
  • participate in highly collaborative and interdisciplinary work involving partnerships with local government and industry

Training / Orientation:

  • One-on-one training sessions with supervisor and graduate students for specific software and equipment (mostly via zoom)
  • Student will participate in weekly small group meetings with the supervisor (entirely by zoom through at least Fall Semester)

Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Student will work directly with the project supervisor and graduate students in schools of Geographical Science and Urban Planning, Design, and Engineering.
  • Student will participate in meetings involving stakeholders including local city governments and industry.


  • experience making physical measurements in a laboratory setting (i.e., through a university-level laboratory course in physics, chemistry, or engineering)
  • familiarity with MS Office products, including using Excel for data analysis
  • coursework in Geographical Sciences, Physics or Engineering with basic understanding of heat transfer, thermodynamics, and the urban climate

To Apply:

  • Submit a resume & cover letter including a summary of any relevant coursework or prior experience. Also include names and contact information for two references.
  • Submit these materials directly to Dr. David Sailor (dsailor@asu.edu) using subject line: “Application for UCRC internship”
Job Location: 
ASU Tempe, and fieldwork in surrounding community
Position Type: 
Internship (Paid)