7.3 Playing Together in the Same Sand Box: How Living Lab Test Beds Foster Trans-disciplinary Research and Transition to Practice

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 11:00 AM
Room 333-334 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Brenda J. Philips, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

The severe weather warning system encompasses observation technology, metrological models, stakeholder warnings, dissemination channels, and human perception and response. In such a complex system, improving societal outcomes requires an understanding of the interdependencies between the technical and human parts of the system. Trans-disciplinary research is necessary to improve our understanding of these interdependencies. This talk will show how testbeds that function in live environments and engage actual stakeholders foster trans-disciplinary research. Ideally, live testbeds support a tangible shared vision of the problem, create a common design space, facilitate learning across disciplines and collaboration with practitioners, and result in new knowledge with application to science and society. Two examples based on the work of the Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) Engineering Research Center (ERC) will be used to demonstrate successes and challenges from an academic perspective. CASA has developed a new paradigm for severe weather warning based on networks of X-band radars that provide high-resolution observations. The first example focuses on the multidisciplinary group of CASA researchers, emergency managers, and NWS forecasters that participated in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed. The second example focuses on a living lab testbed operating in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex for mobile device warnings that enables longitudinal research in public safety officials warning needs and in public perceptions and response.
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