Girl on her phone at train station.

Social science is the study of people

—what they think, how they feel, and how they respond—in a particular context.

Recent societal impacts from hurricanes, floods, snow storms, and wildfires, shows a great need to understand the intersection of people and meteorology.  The Social Science Program funds research that plays a critical role in connecting the improvements of NOAA’s weather forecast information to the public’s growing forecast needs.

Creating Actionable Information for the Public

Social Science Helps NOAA Improve Forecasts

  • Understand societal needs and decision making to determine what types of forecast improvements will produce the greatest societal benefit. 
  • Assess how people receive, interpret, perceive, and respond to weather information.
  • Design products and services that maximize the utility of numerical weather prediction improvements while integrating our understanding of end-user decision information needs.   
  • Understand the forecaster operational decision environment to consider and/or optimize cognitive demands as NOAA introduces new modeling tools and technologies.
  • Evaluate and quantify the economic value of NOAA’s products and services.
  • Improve and streamline processes, practices, and policies surrounding the 24/7 operational environment.

Our team works across the public, private, and academic sectors of the weather community to find and fund research to meet these goals and improve forecast delivery for the public. Through our Notice of Funding Opportunities, we select research proposals to meet our program objectives. Those objectives are based on priorities and critical areas for forecast improvement.

What’s Happening Now

Updates & Events

Current Focus Areas

Research to Applications Support

Help NOAA meet its mission by facilitating the transition of social science research and data into an operational environment.

Data & Research Support

Drive collaborative research that develops and tests methodologies that systematically collect data to ensure products and services save lives, protect property, and enhance the national economy.

Portfolio Analysis & Evaluation Support

Evaluate WPO’s evolving research and development portfolio, progress, and impact.

Project Vignettes

Putting Social Science Into Practice
for Forecast Improvement

Man writing

Weather Ready Quick Response Research

To advance NOAA’s social science data needs, WPO’s Social Science Program partnered with the National Hazard Center—with support from the National Science Foundation, and in collaboration with the National Weather Service and National Severe Storms Laboratory— to develop the Weather Ready Quick Response Research Initiative to support social science event-based…

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SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL

Our Program is currently accepting proposals for its Fiscal Year 2023 Notice of Funding Competition.

Submit your full proposal by November 17th, 2022.
Start your application in Grants Online today.

Have Questions?

Go through our step-by-step checklist to learn how to apply for funding.

Visit our Proposal Guide

Taking on Operational Challenges

Currently Funded Projects

Resource Library

Integrate Social Science Research into Your Projects

Click to watch: Readiness Levels, Transition Plans, and Knowledge Transfers, Oh My! Demystifying Social and Behavioral Research to Applications (R2X).
NOAA Library Webinar (2022) Readiness Levels, Transition Plans, and Knowledge Transfers, Oh My! Demystifying Social and Behavioral Research to Applications (R2X).
Click to watch: Building Successful R2X Collaborations: Ongoing WPO Efforts to Highlight Knowledge Transfer in NOAA’s Transition Practices, Processes, and Policies.
AMS Presentation (2022) Building Successful R2X Collaborations: Ongoing WPO Efforts to Highlight Knowledge Transfer in NOAA’s Transition Practices, Processes, and Policies.
Click to watch: Expanding the Definition of R2O: Findings from the WPO Social and Behavioral Science Research-to-Operations Workshop
AMS Presentation (2022) Expanding the Definition of R2O: Findings from the WPO Social and Behavioral Science Research-to-Operations Workshop
Click to read: Social and Behavioral Science Research to Operations Workshop Report
Workshop Report (2020) Social and Behavioral Science Research to Operations Workshop Report
Click to watch: A Community Discussion on Transitioning Social and Behavioral Science into the Next 100 Years
AMS Presentation (2020) A Community Discussion on Transitioning Social and Behavioral Science into the Next 100 Years
Click to watch: How NOAA’s Readiness Levels Work with the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
AMS Presentation (2019) How NOAA’s Readiness Levels Work with the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences

Social Science Data and Instrument Publication

Social Scientists Need Observation Systems Too! How Social Science Data Can Measure the Effects of Weather Risk Communication on Society.

The Importance of Social Science Data and Instrument Publishing to Advance SBES Integration within NOAA and the Weather Enterprise.

Weather Ready Instrument and Data Publications (2021) – This special call for Weather Ready Research with the Natural Hazard Center supported the publication of social science and multidisciplinary data, data collection instruments, and research protocols for natural hazards and disaster research via the DesignSafe CyberInfrastructure.

Annotated Bibliographies

If you are unfamiliar with an annotated bibliography, it is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents about a certain topic. The purpose of these bibliographies is to increase awareness of journal articles that exist on a certain topic by pulling together a variety of journal articles in one place.

Bibliography on Uncertainty and Probability Communication

Bibliography on Tornado Warnings: Delivery, Economics, and Public Perception

Bibliography on Social Science and Fire Weather (Coming Soon)

Uncertainty and Probability Communication: Past, Present, and Future (AMS 2020)

Click to visit the Social Science Insite (Google Site for NOAA & NOAA Affiliates)
An internal NOAA website dedicated to transitioning social science research into discoverable and usable insights. Please note: You must have a noaa.gov email account to access this website.

Social Science Webinars about the FY18 Hurricane & Disaster Supplemental

Click to watch: Numeracy and its Impact on Public Comprehensive and Responses to Probability Information in Hurricane Forecasts
Numeracy and its Impact on Public Comprehensive and Responses to Probability Information in Hurricane Forecasts (Joe Ripberger)
Click to watch: Improving the Web User Experience for NHC Tropical Cyclone Information from a Public Perspective
Improving the Web User Experience for NHC Tropical Cyclone Information from a Public Perspective (Robert Soden & Scott Miles)
Click to watch: Improving NWS tropical cyclone forecasts by understanding NWS partners’ decision timelines
Improving NWS tropical cyclone forecasts by understanding NWS partners’ decision timelines (Rebecca Morss)

Social Science Webinars about Economic Valuation

Click to watch: A Contingent Valuation of Hurricane Forecasts
A Contingent Valuation of Hurricane Forecasts (Renato Molina)
Click to watch: Estimating the Economic Benefits of the Tornado Warning Extension and Improvement Program
Estimating the Economic Benefits of the Tornado Warning Extension and Improvement Program (Kim Klockow-McClain & Kevin Simmons)
Click to watch: Measuring the Economic Impact of Preparedness during Severe Weather Events
Measuring the Economic Impact of Preparedness during Severe Weather Events (Haydar Kurban)

Social Science Webinars from NOAA Central Library

Click to watch: Valuing NOAA Products and Services: Connecting to Society Through Economics and Social Sciences
Valuing NOAA Products and Services: Connecting to Society Through Economics and Social Sciences (Monica Grasso)
Click to watch: Lessons Learned from a Decade of NWS Funded Social Science Research
Lessons Learned from a Decade of NWS Funded Social Science Research (Anas Askar)
Click to watch: Organized Chaos: Social Media, Severe Weather, and Disaster Management
Organized Chaos: Social Media, Severe Weather, and Disaster Management (Amber Silver)
Click to watch: Taking Action Based on Science - Emergency Management Decision Making and Severe Weather
Taking Action Based on Science - Emergency Management Decision Making and Severe Weather (Terri Adams-Fuller & Jayson Kratoville)
click to watch: Suffering after Harvey, Irma, and Maria: An analysis of the emotional and socio-political impact of the 2017 Hurricane Season
Suffering after Harvey, Irma, and Maria: An analysis of the emotional and socio-political impact of the 2017 Hurricane Season (Cassandra Jean)
Click to watch: The Growing World of Citizen Science
The Growing World of Citizen Science (Chris Bowser, Amy Fritz, Jenifer Jencks, John McLaughlin, Laura Oremland, Gil Compo)
click to watch: Effective Risk Communication Practices for Natural Hazards
Effective Risk Communication Practices for Natural Hazards (Eastern Research Group)
Click to watch: Science Communication @ NOAA: Effective strategies to increase public engagement and understanding of science.
Science Communication @ NOAA: Effective strategies to increase public engagement and understanding of science. (Leticia Williams)
Click to watch: Creating alerts and warnings for short messaging channels
Creating alerts and warnings for short messaging channels (Jeannette Sutton)

Social Science Webinars from National Weather Service

Click to watch: Risk and Uncertainty Communication Using Probabilistic Information: A Systematic Review and Assessment of Existing Research - Part 1
Risk and Uncertainty Communication Using Probabilistic Information: A Systematic Review and Assessment of Existing Research - Part 1
click to watch: Risk and Uncertainty Communication Using Probabilistic Information: A Systematic Review and Assessment of Existing Research - Part 2
Risk and Uncertainty Communication Using Probabilistic Information: A Systematic Review and Assessment of Existing Research - Part 2 (Joe Ripberger)
Click to watch: Cone of Uncertainty Social and Behavioral Research
Cone of Uncertainty Social and Behavioral Research - Part 1 (Eastern Research Group)
Click to watch: Cone of Uncertainty Social and Behavioral Research - Part 2
Cone of Uncertainty Social and Behavioral Research - Part 2 (Eastern Research Group)

We Provide Social Science Research Support for the Weather Program Office

Contact Our Team

Gina Eosco

Social Science and FACETs Program Manager

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Castle Williamsberg

Social Science Research-to-Applications Coordinator

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FACETS Program Coordinator

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Jonathan Mote WPO

Social Science Program Coordinator

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