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Wicked Hot Mystic

The Greater Boston Area is known for its cold winters, snowy city streets, and Nor’easters. We know to budget for salt on our roads, keep warm indoors, and do the “penguin shuffle” to get to the car. Summers, however, are becoming increasingly important to plan for since they are getting longer, hotter, and more humid. Surprisingly, extreme heat, sometimes known as the “silent storm of extreme weather” causes more deaths in the US than all other weather hazards combined. As daily temperatures continue to increase in Massachusetts, the Museum of Science, Boston, in partnership with the Resilient Mystic River Collaborative (RMC), Mystic River Watershed Association, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, are focused on building a community of resilience to prepare for a hotter Greater Boston Area within the Mystic River Watershed.


To help better understand where extreme heat and urban heat islands are, the team is conducting a heat mapping campaign called Wicked Hot Mystic this summer to collect real-time ambient temperature data (the air we breathe and feel) in the Mystic River Watershed (click here for map). Data collected by volunteers via cars will be used to develop a detailed temperature map to identify heat islands and places people can go to cool off in the Mystic watershed. By understanding where the outdoor hot spots are in the Boston area, cities can more accurately assess and adequately plan for the potential health impacts of extreme heat on people.


  1. SIGN UP TO BE A VOLUNTEER SCIENTIST FOR SUMMER 2021! We’ll be mapping the watershed in July and August 2021. If you are interested in being a heat mapping volunteer by driving or navigating in Mystic Watershed along designated routes, please sign up here.

  2. COLLECT DATA ON YOUR OWN TIME VIA ISeeChange! There are also other ways to get involved! We’re seeking volunteers to collect data via ISeeChange – on your own schedule, at the location of your choosing.

    It’s easy! Just post your photo of how the heat is affecting you when you’re out and about and you’ll help inform regional climate and social resilience planning. Examples of posts can be how the heat is affecting you, your neighbors, pets, or areas in your community that are hot or cool.

    Sign up for ISeeChange today at https://www.iseechange.org/.


Cambridge Science Festival

  • WHEN: April 20th from 11am-12pm
  • WHERE: Zoom - Register here
  • WHAT: How is climate change impacting communities in the Boston Area? This family-friendly program highlights local initiatives that will help people to better live with the changes we are experiencing. at. Learn why heat is a public health issue, know about our Wicked Hot Mystic project, and volunteer to be part of this community science project.

Museum of Science Instagram Live

  • WHEN: April 20th at 5:30pm
  • WHERE: Follow @museumofscience on Instagram
  • WHAT: Join Sara Benson, Museum of Science, and Melanie Gárate, Mystic River Watershed Association, to learn why heat is a public health issue, know about the Wicked Hot Mystic project and volunteer to be part of the volunteer science project!

BARI Conference 2021: Building Back Smarter

  • WHEN: May 14th from 11am-12pm
  • WHERE: Zoom - Register here
  • WHAT: The Many Dimensions of Environmental Justice panel discussion with Conor Gately, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Nathan E Sanders, ComSciCon & Astrobites and Sara Benson, Museum of Science. Moderator: Roseann Bongiovanni, Executive Director, GreenRoots Chelsea

From snow days to hot days: climate change volunteer science in the Mystic

  • WHEN: May 24th at 6pm
  • WHERE: Zoom - Fill out this form to receive the registration link.
  • WHAT: Join us for a panel discussion to learn why heat is a public health issue, know about our Wicked Hot Mystic project, and volunteer to be part of this volunteer science project.

Wicked Hot Mystic: ISeeChange Webinar

  • WHEN: June 16th at 4pm
  • WHERE: Zoom - Register here
  • WHAT: You’re invited to join us on this webinar to learn more about the Wicked Hot Mystic program and how you can collect critical summer heat data through a free app called ISeeChange.

If you would like to receive email updates about this project, please sign up here. You will only be emailed about Wicked Hot Mystic.

Supported by the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program

In partnership with Mystic River Watershed Association, Resilient Mystic Collaborative, and the Town of Arlington.

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