Introducing the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience


I think the thing that stands out the
most for me is this opportunity for Piper Trust to support work of ASU,
through the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, or “KER.” Piper has been
supporting ASU for almost 20 years and this grant is another example of how
much confidence we have in the university and its leadership, and its ability
to really move forward our community. This grant allows us to build
a boundary-spanning organization that sits with one foot in the university and
one foot in the community, where everybody can get engaged and working
together to solve the questions of how to be most resilient. To launch the project we thought
about, “What’s an example of a resiliency challenge for Maricopa County?”
One is economic resilience and the other one is heat
resilience. We know that the agencies, the municipalities and the private
industries have deep knowledge about how different kinds of systems work. But they
don’t necessarily have the resources or ability to compile that information to
help identify what solutions are. And so we have a project called,
“Heat Mappers.” And “Heat Mappers” has a kit of data
collection devices that we’re asking individual
families who are applying for utility assistance, to help us with a
10-day data collection of their cumulative exposure to heat. There are three devices in
the kit. One is called the Kestrel Drop. And the Kestrel Drop measures
temperature continuously over a period of time, and it’s something that
is attached to you as an individual. The second device that is paired with that
is a GPS receiver. So it lets you know not only the temperature, but where you
are located. The third device is an in-home
temperature device. So not only do we want to know, “What are people’s
temperature exposure throughout the day?” We also want to know, “What are their
habits?” With respect to setting the temperature within their house. I believe that this is
going to have an impact. and there’s never been anything like this
that is really meant for the social systems. How do we translate what we’re
learning about people and their lives into something that can be
used by municipalities, can be used by NGOs and used
by other agencies to better improve the lives of the
people who are living here? The thing that makes me
passionate is this long-term impact on our community.
It really should help us bounce back from stressors and shocks, because we’re
going to be planning ahead and we’re going to be using the knowledge of the
university and the community to solve complex issues across all sectors. The tremendous outcome here of this is that it is a people focused, quality of life
focused, Maricopa County focused resilience center, that we think will be
transformational.

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