Social Science Woven into Meteorology: A new partnership at the National Weather Center

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Monday, 18 January 2010
Eve Gruntfest, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and H. Lazrus, G. M. Eosco, and M. K. Zappa

Social Science Woven into Meteorology (SSWIM) promotes collaborative research and partnerships between the social sciences and the physical sciences of meteorology, climatology, and hydrology to enhance societal relevance and to reduce the human risk from atmospheric and related hazards. Started in 2008 and based at the National Weather Center on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, SSWIM is supported by a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Severe Storms Laboratory, the OU-NOAA Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, the OU Center for Spatial Analysis, the OU Vice President for Research, and the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. SSWIM is located in the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies.

SSWIM includes researchers and graduate students from diverse backgrounds, including geography, anthropology, and communication studies. SSWIM weaves social science concepts and methodologies into the fabric of weather and climate applications and considers the complex problems at the intersection of weather, climate, and society. SSWIM addresses many challenges and opportunities including, but not limited to, improving forecasts and warnings, reducing social vulnerability to natural hazards, and understanding community and cultural adaptations to weather extremes, climate variations, and climate change.

This poster highlights SSWIM research projects showing some of the ways that SSWIM contributes to efforts to increase social science participation in weather and climate research and applications. These projects include work on next generation warning tools, probabilistic hazard information, daily examples of adaptation to climate change, visual communication of weather hazards, and drought perceptions and preparedness in several communities in Oklahoma.