Meet the 2024 VoLo VISTA Award Winners

The VISTA Award is VoLo’s highest recognition for students who display exemplary leadership, along with Vision, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, and Action in climate solutions. This year’s winning team will be presenting their ideas at our 2024 Climate Correction™ Conference in Orlando, FloridaThe team includes Ivan Oyege, Ph.D. Candidate, Earth Systems Science; Jordan Prats, Ph.D. Candidate, Earth Systems Science; Priyanka Belbase, Ph.D. Student, Earth Systems Science; and Moses Kiwanuka, Ph.D. Student, Earth Systems Science.Green roofs are innovative roofing systems that support plant growth on buildings. They replace traditional roofing materials with a layer of soil for vegetation, offering various benefits such as mitigating the heat island effect, reducing stormwater runoff and sequestering carbon. However, implementing green roofs in the challenging climate of Miami and South Florida is a formidable task due to high humidity, extreme heat, desiccating winds, and hurricanes. The urgency is underscored by Miami’s ranking as the third-worst urban heat island city in the US. The intensity of the problem is evident by the recent appointment of the world’s first Chief Heat Officer for Miami-Dade County, underlining the severity of Miami’s urban heat island effect.This project aims to recommend resilient plant species for South Florida green roofs, focusing on their carbon sequestration capabilities and reducing the urban heat island effect.

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