SILVER SPRING, Md. (WDVM) — Urban heat islands are areas that can be up to 20 degrees hotter than they should be. There are a number of reasons that the buildings themselves, pavement and other parts of urban environments amplify hot temperatures.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are helping the county with a grant to find citizen scientists who will help map the county’s hottest areas. The goal behind the ‘Heat Mapping: Project’ is to keep track of heat inequities in certain areas, then come up with a strategic plan to fix the problem.

Emergency Management Specialist Michael Boldosser said, “We can look at it and say yes, this area definitely needs more tree covers, more cooling centers, something to alleviate the heat islands.”

The volunteers will be trained to measure temperatures and humidity in August. Some of the urban areas include Montgomery Village, Germantown, Rockville, Bethesda, and Aspen Hill.