293 What’s That Worth? How to Use Social, Behavioral, and Economic Science Methods to Understand the Value of Earth Observations

Monday, 7 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Gina M. Eosco, CNSP Support to NOAA/Office of Weather and Air Quality, Silver Spring, MD; and D. Geppi and J. Sprague

Understanding the value of NOAA’s products, services, and earth observations specifically, and the value of the Weather Enterprises more broadly, is a complex process that requires an investment in economic studies. The success of these economic studies, however, often depends on prior investments in social and behavioral science. This presentation will provide examples of completed and ongoing economic valuation research at NOAA and demonstrate how social and behavioral science methods integrates into this process. For example, many economists need research findings of who the end-user is for a forecast, product, or service, and subsequently what decisions this end-user made with this information. Additionally, using economic valuation to help prioritize research investments requires understanding how end-users could improve their decision with additional information (i.e., decreased uncertainty, earlier information, more lead time, more earth observations, etc.). As such, it’s paramount that the Weather Enterprise maintains an investment in social and behavioral science to provide the foundational research and data necessary to conduct economic valuation studies. Our goal is to show a general process for how programs within NOAA or how the Weather Enterprise could invest in similar studies, what types of questions to consider, and what data sets or information may be required.
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