University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Islands in the Sun

Islands in the Sun is a four-year research project funded by the University of Minnesota’s INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences to monitor the urban heat island of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. The project aims to improve understanding of the mechanisms contributing to urban heat islands with a goal of finding ways to lessen their effects through landscape design.

What are Heat Islands?

Urban heat islands are regions of strong warming that are localized around the core downtown region of a city with progressively lower temperatures as one travels away from the central region of warming – hence the name “heat island”.

Why do Heat Islands Exist?

Urban heat islands exist because of large differences in land use, building materials, and vegetation between cities and their rural surroundings. This difference can be in excess of 1-10°F during the daytime and as much as 12-20°F at night.

Listen to the Experts

Hear University of Minnesota climate scientists Peter Snyder and Tracy Twine talk about their research aimed at reducing the adverse impacts of the urban heat island effect.

Volunteer for the Project

If you are interested in housing a sensor on your property, please click on the button below to complete a brief application. We will contact you about housing the sensor within 2 weeks.

Funding for the Islands in the Sun project has been provided by:

The Islands in the Sun project is currently looking for volunteers to house sensor on their property. Visit the Sensors Network page for more details.

For questions about the Islands in the Sun project, please email Peter Snyder.