For Immediate Release: June 22, 1998
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Cool People To Conduct Pre-Flight
Dry Run for NASA Flyover Project

What: Students and other youngsters trained by the Sacramento Cool Community Project will practice ground-level temperature and ozone readings. The exercise is in conjunction with NASA's planned project to fly over Sacramento County to measure the "heat island" effect on the nation's 11th most air polluted metropolitan area.
When: 1-2 p.m. Thursday, June 25, 1998
Where: Discovery Museum, 3615 Auburn Boulevard, Sacramento
Who: Crews of students and other youngsters, armed with digital thermometers, will measure and compare varying temperatures of parking lots and grassy and shady areas.

The pre-flight educational practice session will prepare participants for their actual ground level efforts to validate the temperature readings of a NASA jet during the actual flyover on June 29. The Cool Community Project, a consortium of public and private entities coordinated by the Sacramento Tree Foundation is leading the dry run. The group hopes to make Sacramento more liveable by increasing shade trees and other energy-efficient measures.

Researchers from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, aboard a specially-equipped Lear Jet, will fly over the 40-square mile radius covering metropolitan Sacramento to gather information on bubble-like spots of hot air, called urban heat islands.

Heat islands develop over cities as natural vegetation gives way to asphalt, concrete and other man-made materials. The project will pinpoint where "urban forests" are to be strategically placed, and how the use of energy efficient methods, like reflective surfaces on roofs and parking lots may help cool cities, reduce air pollution, lower energy bills, modify growth plans and help mitigate further damage to air quality.

Sacramento, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Salt Lake City, Utah are the target areas in a pilot project on the heat island effect. Main sponsors are NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Contacts: Ray Tretheway, Executive Director, Sacramento Tree Foundation, 924-8733

Tom Whitney, Cool Community Project Coordinator, 730-8733

Note to Editors: Pre-flight educational practice session offers excellent local advanced story angles to the June 29 NASA flight. Lots of film and video opportunities for "live" or on-scene reporting for TV news meteorologists and regular beat reporters.

Sacramento Cool Community Project


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