6A.1 Climate 2.0—Engaging the public through social media to address issues of climate and weather

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 3:30 PM
606 (Washington State Convention Center)
Nazila Merati, Merati and Associates, Seattle, WA

In the past, from the public's perspective, scientific engagement appeared to be a one way street – scientists would collect data to test their hypotheses and, eventually, the data would make their way through the analytic gauntlet. The final outcome would be a peer reviewed paper. If we were very lucky, a map or figure, which could easily explain the results, would be released to the public. Now, the public is contributing value-added information to science, specifically climate and environmental science. Instead of the one way street, there is communication and feedback through user-generated content on maps and photos or directed conversations. The ease of using social media sites to share and contribute information that is of use to the climate and atmospheric community is opening up new opportunities for data collection, conversation, coordination, and civic engagement in the arena of climate monitoring. We can leverage this explosion in the need to describe what is happening in our lives and where it is happening at any minute using these technologies. This paper describes some projects that are using social media for climate and atmospheric research and visualization, some possible uses for web 2.0 technologies in climate and atmospheric monitoring, crisis mapping, and some caveats and practicalities about the incorporation of VGI for research purposes.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner