Ninth Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research
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Call for Papers
The Symposium provides a forum for scholars to (i) share their policy and socio-economic research results and report on recent progress to other scholars in this field, (ii) converse with scientists about these results, and (iii) dialogue and engage with policy makers, practitioners, and federal agency officials in this area. It therefore allows for better coordination, iteration, and direction of the field, as well as an assessment of the body of knowledge designed to inform existing decision-making processes.
The theme for the 2014 AMS Annual Meeting is “Extreme Weather—Climate and the Built Environment: New perspectives, opportunities, and tools.” Herein, we broadly define weather and climate extreme events to include, but not be limited to, severe storms, tornadoes, tropical cyclones, floods, winter storms, drought, temperature extremes, derechos, aircraft turbulence, wildfires, extreme solar activity, and ocean-land responses (e.g. storm surges, landslides, debris flows). Our society is a “built environment,” increasingly connected by cyber, energy, water, transportation, health, social, and other infrastructures—one that interacts with the natural environment through ecosystem functions supplied by wetlands, barrier islands, etc. The sustainability of this built environment and stewardship of our natural ecosystems are clearly related to quality of life. The theme is designed to explore the aforementioned “focal point” combining scientific inquiry, technological advances, societal implications, and public awareness through the lens of past, current, and future extreme weather and climate events.
The Ninth Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research solicits contributions relating to this theme and all other topics germane to the policy and societal implications of weather and climate events. It particularly welcomes ideas from you for oral and panel sessions based on the latest research being done within the field that capitalizes on recent extreme weather and climate events having had significant societal impacts – contact the Symposium co-chairs by 1 May with your proposed session topics. Possible session ideas might include:
- Engaging Geographical Approaches that Explore Societal Impacts, Including on the Built Environment: Empirical or theoretical developments in geography including but not limited to GIS, place-based studies, environmental perception, and behavioral research that explore vulnerability, hazards response, framings of risk, and more.
- Engaging Social Sciences for Creating a Weather-Ready Nation: Empirical or theoretical developments in social and behavioral research related to the National Weather Service Weather-Ready Nation initiative that seeks to create a society that is better prepared for and better responds to weather-related events.
- Hurricane Sandy and its Impacts: Representing a follow-on to the 2013 AMS Town Hall meeting on Hurricane Sandy, developed and emerging research topics are sought resulting from this event, including but not limited to what and how information regarding the storm, including its surge and winds, was communicated to the public through broadcast and social media; how lives, property and infrastructure were impacted; and how individuals, families, and local, state and federal communities prepared for and responded to the storm.
- Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation: Explore climate change adaptability and mitigation strategies at the scale of seasonality, considering issues such as food security, water availability, and more.
- Policy and Socio-Economic Research Methods and their Applications: Introduce and highlight methodological techniques from the social sciences that can be used to address problems at the intersections of weather, climate and society.
- Partnerships, Technologies and Culture in the Integrated Warning System: This session seeks papers that discuss the integrated weather warning system; topics could include the culture among organizations involved in the weather warning system, how new technologies have impacted this system, and the emergence of new and/or evolving actors and partners.
- Citizen Science: This session will explore both the mechanisms and use of environmental information provided by citizen scientists and what motivates people to be involved in such efforts. We seek submissions covering studies of motivations to participate, engagement strategies, technology employed, and policy and decision-making applications resulting from the information. The role of social media or how information/observations can accentuate perception of a particular weather or climate event may be explored as well. Examples of citizen science programs include the National Phenology Network, CoCoRaHS, mPING, and the Drought Impact Reporter, although any project from local to national scale is encouraged to participate.
- Using Socioeconomic Scenarios to Understand Future Impacts of Weather and Climate: Future societal vulnerability to weather and climate will be strongly influenced by the evolution of human systems including changes in demography, economic conditions, land use, cultural attitudes, and policy. Increasing interest in climate-resilient development and climate adaptation is placing greater importance on incorporating consideration for such changes into anticipatory decision-making frameworks. However, as projections of such changes are associated with deep uncertainty, scenarios are a widely-recognized tool for exploring a range of disparate, yet plausible futures. New socioeconomic scenario processes, including the emerging Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), are creating new opportunities to develop scenarios of human systems to support assessment and decision-support for the management of risks associated with weather and climate. Yet, scenario development is a continually evolving area of interdisciplinary research and practice, characterized by a broad range of methodologies applied to different spatial and temporal scales in support of a broad range of end user needs. This session therefore explores emerging research and applications that reveal opportunities and challenges associated with the use of socioeconomic scenarios relevant to understanding interactions between weather, climate and society.
- Research Providing Decision-Support Tools for Extreme Weather and Natural Disaster Management: A session is proposed that highlights research offering decision-support tools for disaster risk reduction to the built environment. This session idea is inspired by conversations between the AMS and the NASA Applied Sciences Program and learning about the vast array of research that can assist decision makers involved with weather and disaster management. For example, current research addresses improvements to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's flood forecasts through incorporation of ensemble weather data sets. Another project analyzes volcanic clouds in order to guide aviation alerts. There is even a portfolio of wildfire research that provides tools like using remote sensing and satellite imagery to improve fire monitoring and management. We are interested in abstract submissions highlighting research that provides tools to assist decision makers in weather and disaster management. This session fits nicely with the annual meeting's theme of exploring tools to manage risks, such as extreme weather and natural disasters, to the built environment.
- Bringing Your Policy Program to You: The AMS Policy Program’s Policy Year in Review: The AMS Policy Program will conduct a two-hour invited speaker session that allows the AMS community to better familiarize itself with the Policy Program. Rather than a research session, we envision a session within which members of the Policy Program can discuss the 2013 activities of the Policy Program, introduce the 2013 AMS-UCAR Congressional Fellow and hear about her experience, and invite several science policy practitioners to describe their work in order to provide an understanding of science policy in practice. We hope to build this session over the years to grow the Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research, improve the community's understanding of the AMS Policy Program, portray the federal political landscape on an annual basis, and share the pressing policy issues with the AMS community. The invited talks will cover key federal policy topics such as the federal budget (the 2013 status and 2014 outlook), Congressional landscape (policy issues at the forefront, pending legislation, etc.), climate policy, natural hazards policy, the role of research in federal agencies, etc. This session will be organized and executed by the AMS Policy Program.
- Observing Weather and Environment along the Nation's Transportation Corridors: This session will focus on scientific, technical, and policy issues surrounding observing of weather and the environment related to motorized vehicles, trains, or aircraft. In particular, papers are sought on the following topics: (1) the accuracy and bias of mobile observations; (2) the use of mobile observations to improve weather forecasts, products or decision support tools that are provided via computers, vehicle-based or mobile devices; (3) user preferences for mobile data; and (4) issues of distraction related to providing weather information to drivers/pilots. Contacts: James Koermer, firstname.lastname@example.org; Paul Pisano, Paul.Pisano@dot.gov; Sheldon Drobot, email@example.com.
- Ways of Speaking: The Role of Language and Culture in the Production, Communication, and Interpretation of Weather Information: Language has the power to create multiple social realities (Philips 1999). The practices of producing weather information coupled with the various methods of communicating it results in multiple interpretations and multiple societal outcomes, or realities. To that end, this session seeks papers that discuss the role of language in the official and unofficial production of weather information, the various ways that communication takes place between and among groups, and the effects such practices have on society and the ability to adequately protect life and property. With a special focus on language, topics for this session could include: (1) Issues of linguistic competency, legitimacy, and authority as they relate to the production and communication of weather information; (2) Weather information as text -- investigations on the production, communication and societal effects of weather information presented in different formats; (3) The influence of language ideologies -- how do beliefs about language influence meteorologists, emergency managers, broadcast meteorologists and other stakeholders? And, how do language ideologies shape users’ cognitive processes and responses to weather information?; and (4) The language of emergency -- if and how does the production and communication of weather information change for multilingual communities?
- Identifying the needs and opportunities of small and medium-sized communities for data, information, and integrated tools for enhanced decision support: Two invited joint sessions are proposed for 9th Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research and 30th Conference on Environmental Information Processing Technology. The two sessions will identify community needs for enhanced decision support, as well as tools and technology available to address these needs. We will explore solutions that take advantage of scientific inquiry, technological advances, societal implications, and public awareness. These sessions align with the theme of the 2014 meeting “Extreme Weather—Climate and the Built Environment: New Perspectives Opportunities, and Tools.” The first session will focus on the needs of small and medium-sized communities for environmental information, data, and analysis tools for the purpose of interpreting and developing responses to changing weather and climate conditions. The second session will identify potential integrated decision support tools to support small and medium-sized communities to address these requirements that are available in the academic, public, and private sectors of the hydro-meteorological enterprise. The first of the two sessions will include five invited talks by local and regional planners and first responders followed by an extended question and answer period. The second session will also include five invited talks by representatives of the academic, public, and private sectors followed by a second extended question and answer period.
- International Panel Discussion - Climate Services to Support Risk-Informed Decision-Making for Building Resilience to Weather Extremes in a Changing Climate: Every day, news from many corners of the world point to more loss of life and significant direct and indirect economic losses caused by the disasters related to weather-, water- and climate-related hazards. Building resilience to disasters and protecting critical infrastructure (e.g., transportation, health, water management, energy, agriculture and food security, etc) are at the core of priorities of international cooperation in disaster risk reduction, facilitated through the adoption of Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA) by 168 countries at the second World Conference on Disaster Reduction (2005, Kobe, Japan). HFA has resulted in a paradigm shift from post disaster response to a comprehensive approach that would also include prevention and preparedness measures. HFA has facilitated unprecedented international cooperation among international development, humanitarian and scientific and technical agencies to assist Member States with a coordinated approach to build resilience to disasters. Furthermore, under the UNFCCC international agreements and related Damage and Loss Programme as well as the Global Framework for Climate Services, critical developments are underway to facilitate provision of science-based climate services to support risk-informed decision-making. Effective inter- and intra-sectoral risk reduction measures should be -informed, be underpinned by clear and consistent policies, legislation and legal frameworks at all levels of government and leverage partnerships (public and private). This invited panel/discussion session will explore opportunities of the weather and climate services to support risk analysis and provide fundamental information as input to policy development and risk-based decision-making tools, used by practitioners to reduce impacts and develop resilience to extreme events. Following a 20-minute presentation by the keynote speaker, each of the invited panelists will make a 10-minute statement, followed by a facilitated, interactive question and answer period.
- Extreme Weather and Climate Change: Exploring Impacts at the Intersection of Population Change, Health, and National Security: This joint session will examine the potential impacts that extreme weather events and climate change could have on critical infrastructure, vulnerable populations, food and energy production/consumption, and human health. These focus areas are important for understanding the linkages between environmental impacts and national/international security. Empirical and modeling studies, concept papers, and multidisciplinary investigations touching on one or more of the following topics are encouraged for submission.
1. Environment and Population Dynamics: Human, infrastructure, and economic impacts from major storm landfalls in populated coastal areas; Climate and security implications of population migrations to mega cities and coastal areas; Physical and social vulnerability to extreme weather events, and adaptation strategies to reduce risk from these events ; Vector borne and Zoonotic diseases (e.g., population growth and large human concentrations that increase the susceptibility of infections); Heat stress (e.g., planning and development of urban or rural environments that intensify heat stress) ; and Water borne diseases (e.g., combined sewage overflows that interject contaminants into waterways and the impact that warmer waters or changes in pH yield for vibrio outbreaks).
2. Food Security and Environmental Security: Impacts of extreme weather events and climatic anomalies on food production (e.g., centralized rice production in the Mekong delta and drought risk in Southeast Asia); Environmental, food-production, and energy implications of dietary shifts in developing countries (e.g., adoption of Western style diets in China and India); and Impacts of Tibetan Plateau glacial melt on the food security of South and Southeast Asia.
- Emerging Policy and Socioeconomic Issues and Challenges: All other areas of related research not covered above.
- Forecasting and Response to the 20 May 2013 Oklahoma City Area Tornado (Invited Only): The 20 May 2013 tornado in the Oklahoma City area provides a unique opportunity to consider preparation for and public response to a violent tornado in a metropolitan area, including the interplay between forecasts and preparation/response activities. Detailed observations and timelines from both national and local NWS forecasting operations and public safety officials in Oklahoma City allow us to connect operational activities of agencies. In addition, a large volume of twitter activity leading up to and in the aftermath of the tornado give a detailed, near real-time description of public understanding of the unfolding situation.
For additional information please contact the program chairperson(s), Randy A. Peppler (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kimberly E. Klockow (email@example.com).