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Melissa Deas: Urban Heat Islands and the District of Columbia's Heat Adaptation Strategy

Image of Melissa Deas

Melissa Deas serves as the Chief Resilience Officer at the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA). She leads efforts to ensure the District can thrive in a changing world by pushing forward policies that address shocks (e.g.  hurricanes, economic downturns, and pandemics) as well as chronic stressors (e.g.  affordable housing, stressed infrastructure, and inequality).

In this talk, Melissa discusses why some urban areas experience higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas, and potential solutions.  

Melissa comes to HSEMA from the District’s Department of Energy and Environment, where she oversaw the implementation of the District’s climate preparedness plan: Climate Ready DC. Before working for the District, Melissa served as a resilience expert for the California Energy Commission, Georgetown Climate Center, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Melissa received her B.A. in Sociology from Harvard University and her Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



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