A Q&A with Ida Sami

Dec. 18, 2020
Ida Sami headshot

Ida Sami is a Ph.D. student in the Arid Lands Resource Sciences program. Her research focuses on climate change adaptation planning and environmental science, and she explores how heat stress is affecting pedestrian mobility patterns and their comfort level in multimodel corridors in the hot and arid climate.

Sami will give a poster presentation on “Pedestrian Thermal Comfort Evaluation of Multi-Modal Corridors in Tucson, Arizona” at the NCSE Conference 2021 on Wednesday, Jan. 6, during the 1-2:30 EST block.

What does your research focus on? What questions are you trying to answer?

I am passionate about heat mitigation strategies and designing comfortable outdoor spaces. This can enhance people's willingness to spend more time outdoors, benefiting health, and social linkages in the community. My research will focus on ambient and radiant temperatures along the Oracle Road corridor in Tucson, Arizona, to understand the effect of heat stress on the low-income pedestrian mobility patterns that will lead to the construction of a neighborhood-scale thermal comfort model.

Who will be impacted by your work, and how?

Recent extreme heatwaves have caused severe health, economic, and social problems, especially in urban areas, and these events will continue to add additional challenges. Discomfort and heat stress reduce outdoor workers' productivity. The elderly, children, people with chronic disease, and low-income communities are at a higher risk and may lead to more severe health problems. I hope my work can be used to inform ongoing climate action planning, hazard mitigation planning, long-range planning, neighborhood planning, and streetscape design efforts.

What are the biggest challenges you face in solving the problems your research aims to solve?

This research will be undertaken as part of a co-produced transdisciplinary research team comprised on the City of Tucson, Arizona State University, Pima Community College, and Shade Tucson. Right now, with the Covid-19 pandemic, my biggest challenge is getting in touch with my stakeholders and collecting data. With current health and safety situations about COVID- 19, as an external dependence, I might need to modify my research design. My research relies on face-to-face interaction for data collection through surveys, behavior observation, and fieldwork. With the current pandemic and the shelter-in-place order, all of us are experiencing social distancing. Therefore, I cannot go out to do the survey and behavior observation as I planned before.

What are you most excited to learn about and/or which session you are most excited to attend during NCSE Drawdown 2021?

I am excited to learn more about heat governance policy and resilience in urban planning and other sectors.

What do you like to do outside of your research?

I like painting, and whenever I have free time, I paint portraits.