Climate Research Initiative

The Community Engagement Core (CEC) of the CHART Center seeks to solidify an equitable partnership with community leaders and key stakeholders in climate and health to strengthen the resilience of Atlanta neighborhoods to the impact of climate change on health. We utilize innovative methods of community and stakeholder engagement to actively engage partners, including under-resourced and climate-impacted communities, in all phases of current and future center research projects with the goal of creating tangible benefits in Atlanta and beyond. We apply principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR), systems science, and concept mapping to prioritize actionable research and support residents to implement projects to strengthen their adaptive capacity to the impact of climate change on their health. The CEC provides opportunities for bidirectional learning in alignment with the principles of CBPR to build and sustain equitable partnerships. 

We will achieve the CEC objective through the following specific aims: 

  1. Maintain and expand multi-directional dialogue and collaboration around climate, health, and justice with Atlanta-area communities most impacted by heat exposure and other climate hazards 
  2. Enhance community capacity to address local climate change and health concerns
  3. Guide CHART Scientists in community engagement and community-engaged research


By the end of the project period, the CEC will have established a strong and diverse Partner Steering Committee that has a meaningful role in the CHART Center. We will have supported bidirectional learning that has enhanced local communities’ capacity to address climate and health priorities and has strengthened the capacity of CHART scientists to partner with communities in equitable and actionable research. This work will lay a solid foundation for a sustainable partnership that will work collaboratively to strengthen the resilience of priority communities in Atlanta and beyond to address the impact of climate change on health.

Aim 1

Identify disparities in associations between heat and emergency department (ED) visits in Atlanta, GA

Aim 2

Assess risk factors among patients experiencing heat-related illness (HRI) requiring ED care using a mixed methods matched case-control study design

Aim 3

Characterize temperature exposure for individuals living in under-resourced communities