Joint Panel Disscussion 4 Shifting Paradigms: Communicating Space Weather through Social and Broadcast Media

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 11:15 AM-12:00 PM
Salon J (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Hosts: (Joint between the 15th Conference on Space Weather; and the 46th Conference on Broadcast Meteorology )
Tamitha Skov, Aerospace Corporation, Physical Sciences Laboratory, El Segundo, CA
Michael Cook, Space Weather Operations Center and Apogee Engineering, 557th, Omaha, NE
Delores J. Knipp, Univ. of Colorado Boulder, Aerospace Engineering, Boulder, CO; Nathaniel A. Frissell, Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation, Newark, NJ; Elizabeth MacDonald, NASA, College Park, MD and Paul Gross, WDIV-TV Detroit, Weather Unit, Detroit, MI

Similar to terrestrial weather, Space Weather causes a wide variety of issues that can affect our daily lives. As our reliance on technology advances, the effects of space weather go beyond the common knowledge of the aurora that transforms our skies to less well-known things like radio communications disruptions and the heightened radiation dose airline passengers receive during space weather events. Even some of the ubiquitous GPS errors on today’s smartphones can be attributed to space weather. From minor issues to historic catastrophes, space weather effects are all around us, all at once intimidating and awe inspiring. With the introduction of space tourism, we find our society beginning to leave the rim of our world and venturing out into a vast universe beyond. Within a few years, there are going to be commercial rocket flights and stratospheric balloons that will take ordinary people closer to the edge of space than ever before. However, the public largely has no idea what space weather means. Although NASA and other science agencies have done much to create an open data policy to increase public awareness, a huge disconnect still exists between the scientists who study space weather and those in the public who benefit from forecasting. As terrestrial meteorology was in the 1960s, so we find ourselves in a similar state for space weather now. Forecast data exists, but it is mostly geared towards specialized audiences, with very little avenue for dissemination to the public. It is a critical time. New modes of communicating space weather to a very eager public are becoming available. Some of these critical paths may be through broadcast and social media, and having actionable forecasts immediately accessible to the public could make all the difference. This is the paradigm shift that we must strive for—that space weather is real, relevant, and knowable. The proposed session will combine the expertise of space scientists, meteorologists, and broadcasters to stimulate an interdisciplinary discussion during this pivotal time in both the history of the AMS and in the communication of space weather. During the session the following questions will be discussed:  Who benefits from space weather forecasting and communication? What are the biggest challenges to successfully communicating and engaging the public? Where do key opportunities lie that facilitate collaboration and inspire unique platforms for engagement? How can we best engage and educate members of the AMS, AGU, and broadcast community in the art of communicating space weather?

11:15 AM
Introduction - Tamitha Skov
11:30 AM
Resources - Delores Knipp
11:45 AM
Auroras - Liz MacDonald
12:00 PM
Ham Radio and Space Weather - Nathaniel Frissell
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