Department Home Atmospheric Science Geology and Geophysics Geography

Dr. Jennifer K. Vanos

Vanos  Assistant Professor, Atmospheric Science
Office: 1207 Media and Communication
Phone: (806) 834-3319
Fax: (806) 742-1738

Department of Geosciences, Atmospheric Science Group,
Texas Tech University, Box 41053, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053
Google Scholar Curriculum Vitae


  • B.Sc. Environmental Science, Earth & Atmospheric Science, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2008
  • Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2011


  • Human Biometeorology: Extreme Heat, Air Pollution, Atmopsheric Radiation
  • Applied Synoptic Climatology
  • Microclimatic Landscape Design
  • Climate and Health

I specialize in the study of human biometeorology and bioclimatology, connecting weather and climate to human health, with a specific focus on extreme heat, atmospheric radiation, and air pollution exposure in urban areas. This research employs empirical human energy budget modeling applied to heat health and urban design, urban microclimate instrumentation, and air pollution exposure science. I co-manage the Texas Tech Atmospheric Science Instrumentation Lab at the Reese Technology Centre, which my research group uses for micrometeorology instrumentation purposes. Measuring human-scale exposures to heat, radiation, and air pollution allow me to assess the influence of specific attributes of an outdoor space on well-being, active and/or intended use, heat island mitigation, and environmental adaptation and/or sustainability strategies (e.g., through urban design). My research is increasingly geared towards understanding the environmental exposures and lessening negative exposures to children.

I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in 2011 (Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Science), and PostDoc from Health Canada (Environmental Health Science Research Bureau) before beginning as an Assistant Professor in the Atmospheric Science Group at Texas Tech. I also work within the interdisciplinary Climate Science Center (CSC) at TTU, collaborating with lead climate scientists and climate experts across the South-Central US. Ongoing work is increasingly geared towards transdisciplinary research, working across and beyond disciplines to synthesize knowledge and translate knowledge to disciplines or sectors within and outside academia. This translation-based approach is vital to strengthen society's capability to anticipate, comprehend, and cope with the impacts of extreme weather and a changing climate, with the hopes of improving human health and the environment.

I stay closely integrated with research being completed at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. This research focuses on providing interactive models, frameworks, and instrumentation for designing thermally comfortable urban parks and outdoor spaces that ameliorate the combined impacts of the UHI and climate variability. Finally, I am is also on the American Meteorological Society's Board of Environment and Health, and an integrated member of the International Society of Biometeorology (ISB) as Chair of the Students and New Professionals Group (SNP), facilitating and implementing international connections and workshops for SNP members.


ATMO 1300: Introduction to Atmospheric Science; ATMO 2301: Weather, Climate and Human Activities; ATMO 5302: Weather, Climate, and Applications


Recent Publications:

Vanos, JK., Middel, A., McKercher, GR., Kuras, ER., Ruddel, BL.(2015). A Multiscale Surface Temperature Analysis of Urban Playgrounds in a Hot, Dry City. Landscape and Urban Planning. 146, 29–42.

Karner, A., Hondula, DH, Vanos, JK. (2015). Heat exposure and vulnerability during non-motorized travel: Implications for transportation policy under climate change. Journal of Transport & Health. 2(4), 451–459.

Hondula, D.M., Balling, R., Vanos, J.K., Georgescu, M. (2015). Rising Temperatures, Human Health, and the Role of Adaptation. Current Climate Change Report. 1(3), 144-154.

Vanos, JK. (2015). Children's Health and Vulnerability in Outdoor Microclimates: A Comprehensive Review. Environment International. 76, 1–15.

Brown, RD., Vanos, JK., Kenny, NA., Lenzholzer, S. (2015). Designing Urban Parks That Ameliorate the Effects of Climate Change. Landscape and Urban Planning. 138, 118–131.

Vanos, JK., Hebbern, C., Cakmak, S. (2014) Risk assessment for cardiovascular and respiratory mortality due to air pollution and synoptic meteorology in 10 Canadian cities. Environmental Pollution. 185, 322–332.

Media: Dangerously hot playground temperatures explored by Texas Tech researcher