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Social Science

The WPO Social Science Program coordinates social, behavioral, and economic science research needs, determines ways to translate social, behavioral, and economic science research into application, and learns from the operational meteorology community to understand the next research challenges.

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Social Science Transitioning From Research to Operations: A NOAA and NSF Grant is an innovative funding partnership between OWAQ and the National Science Foundation (NSF) that takes advantage of ongoing investments in basic research at the NSF to hasten application at NOAA. The Social Science Program works closely with these researchers to help foster and transition their findings to NOAA. The following STRONG projects were recently funded in Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019.

National Oceanic and Atmopsheric Administration Subseasonal to Seasonal (S2S) Testbed and Air Quality Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (the Weather Act) Weather Research Observations Disaster Related Appropriation Supplemental (DRAS) orecasting a Continum of Environmental Threats (FACETs) Joint Technology Transfer Initiative (JTTI) National Earth System Prediction Capability (National ESPC) Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS)

Supplement to A National Longitudinal Study of Community Trauma Exposure and subsequent Rapid Response Research Grant Responding to the Risk of Hurricane Harvey and Irma: Choices and Adjustment over Time

Dr. Roxanne Silver (PI) & Dr. Rebecca Thompson (Post Doctoral Researcher): University of California-Irvine

This project builds on 2 NSF grants that sampled approximately 1,600 Florida residents prior to and following Hurricane Irma. Here, the researchers seek to determine which individual factors (e.g., risk perceptions and emotional responses) help explain who evacuates as a hurricane approaches. OWAQ’s funds will help facilitate detailed data analysis of how risk perceptions changed with the physical forecast and ultimately how the forecast can impact real-time evacuation decisions.

Supplement to Collaborative Research: Online Hazard Communication in the Terse Regime: Measurement, Modeling, and Dynamics

Dr. Jeannette Sutton (PI: University of Kentucky) & Dr. Carter Butts (PI: University of California-Irvine) 

This project uses machine learning to code NWS tweets according to their engagement content (i.e., information, action, and community building) and structure (e.g., hashtags, URLs). These variables will be used to predict which types of content and structure lead to message amplification (i.e., retweeting) of NWS tweets during threat and non-threat periods. In addition, this study will explore how interoffice interactions among 12 WFOs also lead to message amplification.

Supplement to Hazard Prediction and Communication Dynamics in the Modern Information Environment

Dr. Rebecca Morss (PI), Dr. Julie Demuth (Co-PI), Dr. Heather Lazrus (Co-PI), Dr. Olga Wilhelmi (Co-PI), Dr. Chris Davis (Co-PI), Dr. Chris Snyder (Co-PI): National Center for Atmospheric Research 

This supplement focuses on transitioning the pertinent research findings from the NSF grant to help improve NOAA’s operational hurricane risk communication. By collaborating and working closely with relevant NOAA entities to understand their needs and challenges, this supplement will allow the researchers to enhance their ongoing Twitter data analysis and understand how different NOAA hurricane risk communications and graphics are propagated, interpreted, and used on social media. The PIs will triangulate this data with focus groups exploring two-dimensional and three-dimensional visualizations of storm surge risks in order to identify key avenues for improving storm surge prediction and communication. *PI = Primary Investigator