U.S. Geological Survey
SAFRR - Science Application for Risk Reduction
SAFRR CORE (Cadre of Relevant Experts)
SAFRR collaborates with many experts whose knowledge and experience could benefit USGS communication efforts, so SAFRR has established a style of partnership called the SAFRR Cadre of Relevant Experts (SAFRR CORE). The SAFRR CORE is a rotating group of experts, brought together with USGS scientists to tackle a common problem. The CORE typically includes social scientists, marketers, and social impact designers, as well as potential users of USGS science. The CORE provides a way to share expertise in order to improve the understanding and use of USGS science.
SAFRR CORE products and activities include:
Get Your Science Used - Six Guidelines to Improve Your Products. This USGS circular summarizes the SAFRR CORE strategy to make effective products based on scientific or other technical information.
New Products, New Users for the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps (NSHM). The NSHM provide a broad view of earthquake ground shaking hazard across the Nation. To date, the main user group has been engineers working with earthquake building codes. SAFRR CORE is helping the NSHM team to make maps for new users who need NSHM for planning, risk reduction, and education.
As part of this effort, social scientists Chris Zarcadoolas and Wendy Vaughon conducted a usability study, sitting down to discuss certain NSHM products, one-on-one, with potential users in state and local government and emergency management. Read the results of the study. (5.2 Mb PDF)
Resources for Plainer, Clearer Communication from SAFRR CORE Partners
Hawai'i Tsunami Messaging
Recent scientific study reveals that certain large earthquakes in the Aleutian Islands can produce much greater tsunami inundation than Hawaii typically experiences. This higher level of tsunami inundation necessitates changes to current tsunami safety instructions - but only for this Aleutian event. For other tsunamis, the current procedures remain the ones to follow. Immediately upon learning of the new scientific study, Kevin Richards, Earthquake and Tsunami Planner, State of Hawai'i Civil Defense, recognized that preparing Hawaii for both kinds of tsunamis had to be handled carefully, to maintain the public's trust, uphold scientific and official credibility, and raise awareness while avoiding confusion.
Hawaii's current situation - a change in safety procedures because of improvements in scientific understanding - has important implications for other hazards in other places. Thus SAFRR scientist Sue Perry assembled ten SAFRR partners in the social and behavioral sciences, marketing, and design, to talk with Richards now and perhaps to eventually help to implement and evaluate the Hawaiian approach to making changes.
Perry and Richards wrote a white paper about the group's discussions. Download paper (0.5MB PDF)