James Voogt

James Voogt, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Western University


My academic training is in physical geography and boundary layer climatology and meteorology. My current research combines surface and boundary layer meteorology and climatology with remote sensing and GIS. It focuses on the importance of the surface.

  • Thermal remote sensing of urban areas and the use of remote sensors to estimate the surface temperature including the observation and modeling of anisotropic thermal emissions by rough surfaces.
  • Application of thermal remote sensing to the study of surface climates.
  • Modeling urban surface temperatures.
  • Urban micro- and meso-climatology with an emphasis upon processes occurring within the urban canopy layer (below building roof-top level) and the interaction between the urban built form and the climate of urban areas.
  • Parameterizations of urban effects for applied climatology related to building design and urban planning
  • Methods of climate measurements in urban areas, especially traverse methodologies for gathering climate data, radioactive source areas, and the variability of measurements with scale.

Current Projects:

Project: Micro and Urban scale modeling of green roofs in Canada. (MSc)

As part of an NSERC Strategic Research Project, an MSc student is required to perform evaluations of numerical models of urban climate that incorporate green roof simulations and to undertake simulations of how select Canadian cities may be impacted by green roofs.  The project calls for testing of the Town Energy Balance (TEB) model, originally described in Masson (2000) using data collected from project roof test sites.  We will then use the model to represent typical areas of Canadian cities to evaluate the potential impact of green roofs on Canadian urban climates. Part of this work calls for use of the new Canadian off-line urban modeling tool developed at Environment Canada.

Requirements: BSc or equivalent from Physical Geography, Environmental Science, Science, or Engineering. Required: familiarity with micrometeorology.  Desired: some experience working with computer models and programming; knowledge of urban climate.

Project:  Surface Urban Heat Island Analysis (PhD, MSc or BSc)

A number of potential projects are available that seek to better understand the surface urban heat island and its relation to urban climate.  Projects range from analysis of existing tower and remotely sensed datasets from aircraft and satellites to those that may involve a substantial modeling component.

Requirements: Ideal candidates will have a background that includes courses in microclimatology/micrometeorology and/or urban climates.  Depending on the specific project, students may require some experience in: use of spreadsheets to analyze data, use of remote sensing software, programming skills (Fortran), or field data collection (instrumentation/datalogging skills).

Project:  Time series analysis of thermal imagery for urban surface property characterization (MSc)

Time series of remotely-sensed urban surface temperature, used in conjunction with micrometeorological theory and numerical models may be used to determine various properties of the urban surface.  This project will use existing and possibly new data to explore the application of this technique to urban environments.

Requirements: A BSc or equivalent in Physical Geography, Environmental Science, Engineering or Science with courses in micrometeorology or surface hydrology, a good knowledge of surface-atmospheric exchange processes and theory, and the ability to analyze image and numerical data.

Publications (past 7 years)

Refereed Journals

Zhan, W., Chen, Y., Zhou,  J., Wang, J. Liu, W., Voogt, J., Zhu, X., Quan, J., Li, J. 2013’Disaggregation of remotely sensed land surface temperature: Literature survey, taxonomy, issues, and caveats’ Remote Sensing of Environment 131: 119-139

Henon, A., Mestayer, P.G., Lagouarde, J-P. and Voogt, J.A. 2012 ‘An urban neighborhood temperature and energy study from the CAPITOUL experiment with the SOLENE model. Part 1: analysis of flux contributions’ Theoretical and Applied Climatology 110(1-2), 177-196

Henon, A., Mestayer, P.G., Lagouarde, J-P. and Voogt, J.A. 2012 ‘An urban neighborhood temperature and energy study from the CAPITOUL experiment with the SOLENE model. Part 2: influence of building surface heterogeneities’Theoretical and Applied Climatology 110(1-2), 197-208

Zhan, W., Chen, Y., Voogt, J.A. Zhou, J., Wang, J., Ma, W. and Liu, W. 2012 ‘Assessment of thermal anisotropy on remote estimation of urban thermal inertia’Remote Sensing of Environment 123: 12-24

Salmond, J. A., Roth, M., Oke, T.R., Christen, A. and Voogt, J.A. 2012 ‘Can surface-cover tiles be summed to give neighborhood fluxes in cities?’ Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 51(1): 133-149

Lagouarde, J-P, Hénon, A., Irvine, M., Voogt, J., Pigeon, G., Moreau, P., Masson, V. and Mestayer, P. 2012 ‘Experimental characterization and modeling of the nighttime directional anisotropy of thermal infrared measurements over an urban area: case study of Toulouse (France)’ Remote Sensing of Environment 117: 19-33

Zhan, W., Chen, Y., Voogt, J., Zhou, J., Wang, J., Liu, W.and Ma, W. 2012 ‘Interpolating diurnal surface temperatures of an urban facet using sporadic thermal observations’ Building and Environment 57: 239-252

Chen, F. Bornstein, R., Grimmond, S. Li, J. Liang, X., Martilli, A., Miao, S., Voogt, J. and Wang, Y. 2012 ‘Research priorities in observing and modeling urban weather and climate’ Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 93(11): 1725-1728

Tooke, T.R., Coops, N.C., Voogt, J.A. and Meitner, M.J. 2011 ‘Impacts of tree structure on solar radiative received by urban residential dwellings’ Landscape and Urban Planning 102(2): 73-81

Henon, A., Mestayer, P.G., Groleau, D. and Voogt, J. 2011 ‘High resolution thermo-radiative modeling of an urban fragment in Marseilles city center during the UBL-ESCOMPTE campaign’ Building and Environment 46(9): 1747-1764

Krayenhoff, E.S. and J.A. Voogt 2010 ‘Impacts of urban albedo increase on local air temperature at daily through annual time scales: Model results and synthesis of previous work’ Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 49: 1634-1648 (DOI:10.1175/2010JAMC2356.1)

Grimmond, C.S.B, Blackett, M., Best, M.J. and 33 others (including Krayenhoff, E.S.and Voogt, J.A.) 2011 ‘Initial results from Phase 2 of the International Urban Energy Balance Model Comparison’ International Journal of Climatology. Accepted31(2): 244-272

Grimmond; C.S.B., Roth, M., Oke, T.R., Au, Y.C., Best, M., Betts, R., Carmichael, G., Cleugh, H., Dabberdt, W., Emmanuel, R., Freitas, E., Fortuniak, K., Hanna, S.,Klein, P., Kalkstein, L.S., Liu, C.H., Nickson, A., Pearlmutter, D., Sailor, D. and Voogt, J. 2010. ‘Climate and more sustainable cities: Climate information for improved planning and management of cities (Producers/Capabilities perspective)’Procedia Environmental Sciences, 1: 247-274

Grimmond, C.S.B., Blackett, M., Best, M., Barlow, J., Baik, J-J., Belcher, S., Bohnenstengel, S.I., Calmet, I., Chen, F., Dandou, A., Fortuniak, K., Gouvea, M.L.,  Hamdi, R., Hendry, M., Kondo, H., Krayenhoff, S., Less, S.-H., Loridan, T., Martilli, A., Masson, V., Miao, S., Oleson, K., Pigeon, G., Porson, A., Salamanca, P.,  Shashua-Bar, L., Steeneveld, G.-J., Tombrou, M., Voogt, J. and Zhang, N. 2010 ‘The International Urban Energy Balance Models Comparison Project: First results from Phase 1’ Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 49: 1268-1292 (DOI: 10.1175/2010JAMC2354.1)

Lagouarde, J.-P., Hénon, A., Kurz, B.,  Moreau, P., Irvine, M., Voogt, J. A., Mestayer, P. 2010 ‘Modelling daytime thermal infrared directional anisotropy over Toulouse city centre’ Remote Sensing of Environment 114(1), 87-105

Goodwin, N., Coops, N., Tooke, R., Christen, A., Voogt, J.A. (2009) ‘Characterising urban surface cover and structure with airborne LiDAR technology’ Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing 35(3): 297-309

Tooke, T.R., Coops, N.C., Goodwin, N.R., Voogt, J.A. 2009 ‘Extracting urban vegetation characteristics using spectral mixture analysis and decision tree classifications’ Remote Sensing of Environment 113 (2): 398-407

Pigeon, G., Moscicki, M.A., Voogt, J.A. and Mason, V. 2008 ‘Simulation of fall and winter surface energy balance over a dense urban area using the TEB scheme’Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics 102(3-4): 159-171 (DOI 10.1007/s00703-008-0320-9)

Voogt, J.A. 2008 ‘Assessment of an urban sensor view model for urban thermal anisotropy’ Remote Sensing of Environment 112: 482-495

Lemonsu, A., Belair, S., Mailhot, J., Benjamin, M., Chagnon, F., Morneau, G., Harvey, B., Voogt, J. and Jean, M. 2008 ‘Overview and preliminary results of the Montreal Urban Snow Experiment (MUSE) 2005’ Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 47(1): 59-75

Krayenhoff, E.S. and Voogt, J.A. 2007 ‘A micro-scale 3-D urban energy balance model for studying surface temperatures’ Boundary-Layer Meteorology 123: 433-461

Roberts, S.M., Oke, T.R., Grimmond, C.S.B. and Voogt, J.A. 2006 ‘Comparison of Four Methods to Estimate Urban Heat Storage’ Journal of Applied Meteorology 45(12): 1766-1781

Chapters in Books

Voogt, J.A. 2010 ‘Urban Climate’ in Encyclopedia of Urban Studies ed R. Hutchison (SAGE Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA)

Grimmond, C.S.B., M. Best, J. Barlow, A. J. Arnfield, J.-J. Baik, A. Baklanov, S. Belcher, M. Bruse, I. Calmet, F. Chen, P. Clark, A. Dandou, E. Erell, K. Fortuniak, R. Hamdi, M. Kanda, T. Kawai, H. Kondo, S. Krayenhoff, S. H. Lee, S.-B. Limor, A. Martilli, V. Masson, S. Miao, G. Mills, R. Moriwaki, K. Oleson, A. Porson, U. Sievers, M. Tombrou, J. Voogt, and T. Williamson 2009 ‘Urban Surface Energy Balance Models: Model Characteristics and Methodology for a Comparison Study’ in Meteorological and Air Quality Models for Urban Areas ed A. Baklanov et al. (Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg) 97-123 (DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-00298-4_11)

Voogt, J.A. 2003 ‘Urban Heat Island’ in Encyclopedia of Global Environmental ChangeVolume 3: Causes and Consequences of Global Environmental Change ed I. Douglas (John Wiley & Sons: ) 660-666


Natalia Ortiz Moreno

Natalia Ortiz, student of Project Management Environmental (PME) program in Seneca Polytechnic, has an Environmental Engineering background completed at Universidad El Bosque in Colombia. She has always been involved in sustainability roles and projects that included Environmental Management Systems implementation, Water Treatment Systems’ design and operation, Hazardous and Conventional Waste management and minimization practices, as well as Ecosystem’s Conservation and Energy
Efficiency programs.

For the PME – Applied Project Management Course, Natalia developed a Green Roof Assessment Tool for Seneca Polytechnic’s Office of Sustainability, with the aim to provide green roof technology recommendations best suited to a particular scenario, taking into consideration multiple aspects of green roofs and buildings; infrastructure, design, materials, environmental factors, and costs, as well as the Toronto Municipal Code – Green Roof bylaw. Natalia also has a scientific journal publication as the main author of the project “Selection and sizing of industrial wastewater treatment units required at the
new maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) aircraft facility owned by Avianca S.A. in Rionegro Antioquia” in the El Bosque University Journal of Technology.

Natalia strongly believes there are several research topics left to be developed, and the importance of
working towards Sustainability from different backgrounds, knowledge, and cultures to build strong, productive, and resilient communities.
With the vision of growing cities and infrastructure along with nature, always preserving and respecting the ecosystems’ attributes and services, Natalia would like to keep researching and acquiring more experience in Sustainability roles.

Emily Smit

Emily is a second-year PhD student in Geography at the University of Toronto, and a co-operator of a small home renovation company, Magnus Home Improvements. Her research seeks to determine how single-family homes can quickly and best be retrofit to achieve Toronto’s emissions reductions targets – including net-zero by 2040 – as part of the TransformTO climate action plan. Specifically, she will assess the impact of municipal home energy reporting and disclosure programs, as well as produce recommendations for growing the retrofit labour force in ways that attend to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Further, her research seeks to understand how home retrofit activities can be regenerative and produce net-positive impacts for humans and the environment towards transformative, place-based sustainability. When not at her computer, Emily can be found cycling with her kids to and from school or making funky sounds on her analog synthesizer.

Bofa Udisi

Bofa is a sustainability professional with over seven years in the energy and environment industry. He has a Bachelor of Science in Energy and Petroleum Studies from Novena University in Nigeria and graduate certificates in Energy Management and Environmental Project Management from Seneca College in Toronto. In 2020, he graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Master of Environment and Business degree. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Building Science program at Toronto Metropolitan University, researching whole-life carbon reduction in new construction and building renovations.

Bofa‘s work experience is primarily in the built environment, working in the private and public sectors in roles that involve structural and environmental assessment of building structures, HVAC engineering design and sales, and facilities management. Bofa is a member of several industry associations, such as the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the American Society for Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the Project Management Institute (PMI). SBC’s bursary will go a long way in supporting Bofa‘s research and his desire to learn.