Our Grants

Neighborhood Heat Exposure and Urban Gun Violence


This study will assess whether variations in daily temperature generate different effects on gun violence risk in cities and neighborhoods that experience heat more severely.


In Progress


This project seeks to inform prevention efforts by identifying factors that influence the association between daily temperature and gun violence.


Use data on daily temperatures, social/physical environment variables, and fatal/non-fatal gun violence incidents from a large sample (n > 100) of U.S. cities, to explore the modifiers of heat effects (1) between cities and (2) within cities.


Exposure to urban heat is increasing with climate change, and disproportionately affects urban communities that experience greater social deprivation. This work will determine whether the effects of daily temperature on urban gun violence are most severe in cities and neighborhoods with the greatest heat exposure.

Investigator Bios

Dr. Zihan Lin is a spatial geographer who studies human-environment interactions primarily using remote sensing, Geographic Information Science (GIS), geospatial analytics, and cloud-based geo-computing. Her previous research examined the impact of dams on the Mekong ecosystem and the relationship between urban green space and human health and behavior in the United States. As a postdoctoral scholar at the Boston University School of Public Health, she will employ her geospatial expertise to investigate the relationship between daily temperature and gun violence.

Dr. Jonathan Jay (mentor) is a social epidemiologist studying urban health, especially racial disparities in youth exposure to gun violence, as an assistant professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He works at the intersection of data science and community health, focusing on relationships between the built environment and health and safety risks.

Gregory Wellenius (mentor) is a professor of environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and director of the new BUSPH Center for Climate and Health. He is an environmental epidemiologist committed to reducing the adverse health impacts of continued climate change through research, training, and engagement.

Grant Amount
Award Type
Boston University School of Public Health
Dr. Zihan Lin, postdoctoral scholar, Boston University School of Public Health
Expected Completion Date
August 2023
Focus Areas
Urban Gun Violence