• Array

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. We have completed heat mapping for 2021! Thank you to the 80+ volunteers who made this happen. We collected data over the entire Mystic Watershed on August 12th and 13th. Stay tuned for the final heat and air quality maps!

  2. COLLECT DATA ON YOUR OWN TIME VIA ISeeChange! 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/.


Museum of Science Instagram Live

  • WATCH: @museumofscience on Instagram Reels
  • 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

  • WATCH: Full YouTube video
  • 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 Heat Waves: A Discussion on Health, Heat, and Climate Change

  • WATCH: Full YouTube video
  • READ: MAPC, MOS, and MyRWA joint press release
  • WHAT: Speakers will highlight projects across the Greater Boston area addressing the issues of rising and extreme temperatures, public health, equity, and climate change. This is event is co-hosted by Museum of Science, Boston; Mystic River Watershed Association; and Metropolitan Area Planning Council, with generous support from the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program. The Metropolitan Mayors Coalition Climate Taskforce and Resilient Mystic Collaborative are co-sponsors.

Wicked Hot Mystic: ISeeChange Webinar

  • WATCH: Full YouTube video
  • 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.

Wicked Hot Mystic Information Session

  • WATCH: Full YouTube video
  • WHAT: Interested in volunteering to help the Mystic River Watershed? Learn about our Summer 2021 in-person data collection. We'll be using heat and air quality sensors to look for the hottest (and coolest) spots in the Mystic River Watershed!

Wicked Hot Mystic: Temperature Data Collection Training

  • WATCH: Full YouTube Video
  • WHAT: To volunteer for the Wicked Hot Mystic, participate in this webinar to learn how to get temperature data, use sensors, and get more details on the project.

Wicked Hot Mystic Flyer English

Supported by the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program

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

More Resources