To travel or not to travel: The case of AMS 2007
Kimberly E. Klockow, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Norman, OK; and R. A. Peppler
Inspired by the Weather and Society*Integrated Studies (WAS*IS) workshop held at the University of Oklahoma in April 2006, we took advantage of an opportunity to apply social science to the study of the behavior of a meteorological community during a rare weather event. To do so, we conducted a survey of those in the Norman weather community who made plans to attend the American Meteorological Society's Annual Meeting during January 2007 in San Antonio. A winter storm producing primarily sleet and freezing rain snarled travel in Oklahoma and Texas in the days leading up to the meeting, closing airports and rendering road conditions hazardous. Knowing that most of our colleagues somehow made it to San Antonio, we wondered how they as meteorologists (and some geographers), presumably a highly weather-salient population, made decisions and weighed or perceived risk in deciding whether and how to travel to San Antonio (a doable one-day driving destination from Norman). Ultimate goals of this study include learning about the kinds of information consulted, the decision-making made under uncertainty regarding whether to travel, and the risks imagined and encountered. Cost-benefit conclusions are drawn that may be generalizable to travel by other professionals to society meetings. While risk conscious and possessing different levels of anxiety, our survey indicates that our weather salient group ultimately was willing to assume the risks of travel and would make the same decisions again. We will look at these risk-takers in light of factors such as age group, gender, mode of travel, size of travel party, group dynamics, and education and professional level.
Poster Session 1, Policy and Socio-Economic Research Posters
Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Exhibit Hall B
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