10.2 Advancing National Weather Service Water Resources Services with Social Science

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 8:30 AM
Room 333-334 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Daniel Patrick Matusiewicz, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and R. H. Carr, A. O'Donnell, and M. G. Mullusky

The National Weather Service (NWS) Water Resources Services Branch recently engaged with social scientists in an effort to improve existing NWS hydrologic services and communications as well as design and develop new water resources services. A panel presentation is proposed to describe these social science accomplishments to the American Meteorological Society community.

Rachel Hogan Carr, executive director of Nurture Nature Center (NNC), will discuss the findings from NNC's study, “They Had the Facts, Why Didn't They Act: Understanding and Improving Public Response to NWS Coastal Flooding Forecasts.” This study explored how residents in coastal New Jersey use and understand NWS coastal flood forecast and warning tools, and particularly, emergency briefings. The study is a follow-up to a related study NNC conducted on riverine flooding.

Arleen O'Donnell, vice president for natural resources management at Eastern Research Group (ERG), will discuss the social science work ERG has done to help NWS inform the future direction of water resources services. She will briefly describe major findings from stakeholder engagement in six major river basins to identify priority user needs. She will also discuss how ERG used a general vision statement for improving monitoring, forecasting, modeling and communication of flash flood events to design an interactive process for developing flash flood requirements and then “ground truth” those requirements with five focus groups representing a variety of flash-flood prone geographic, social, economic and cultural settings. O'Donnell will summarize the methodology used and the findings from this research.

Mary Mullusky, chief of the Water Resources Services Branch at the NWS will discuss how these social science findings are informing both tactical and strategic efforts to enhance NWS water resources services. Mullusky will describe the specific improvements to the understandability and usability of products and services that are already underway as well as describe the strategic direction of the National Water Center informed by these social science participatory processes.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner