CONNECT! Natural Hazards Mission Area Facebook Account Exceeds 20K Followers, and New @USGS_Quakes Twitter Account Now Has More Than 200K Followers

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Through coordinated communication activities, the Natural Hazards Mission Area is committed to sharing news and science with broad audiences. Social media is an important part of this communications portfolio.

banner with 5 images for geomag, landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes, and coastal erosion

Natural Hazards Mission Area banner with 5 images representing geomagnetism, landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes, and coastal erosion. (Public domain.)

The Natural Hazards Mission Area (NHMA) operates a variety of social media accounts across our Programs. Recently, two of our social media accounts hit milestones; the ‘USGS Natural Hazards Science’ (@USGSNaturalHazards) Facebook account just passed 20K followers, while the ‘USGS Earthquake Science’ (@USGS_Quakes) Twitter account is fast approaching 200K followers. This growth demonstrates the public interest in connecting and engaging with our science, news and other activities.  

Take a look, there are many different ways to connect with our science.  

In total, as of this publication date, across the NHMA we have many ways to connect:

  • 7 Twitter accounts
  • 4 Facebook accounts
  • 2 Instagram accounts
  • 2 YouTube Channels
  • 5 RSS feeds
  • 2 Newsletters (NHMA’s Natural Hazards Newsletter and Sound Waves)
  • 2 Volcano Observatory (VO) blogs (Hawaiian VO “Volcano Watch” and Yellowstone VO “Caldera Chronicles”)

We continue to work with our scientists and communications staff to identify and develop content that we can share on webpages, social media and beyond. Below we describe a few of these different outlets. You can find a complete list of accounts and ways to subscribe on the NHMA Connect webpage.

The @USGSNaturalHazards Facebook account shares a broad suite of information from across the NHMA Programs including news, science, images and activities covering topics like earthquakes, volcanoes, coastal change hazards, landslides and debris flows, tsunamis, and geomagnetic storms. We also share other relevant hazards-related topics from other areas of the USGS including wildfires and flooding. This account just exceeded 20K followers.

screenshot of top of @USGS_Quakes Twitter page

USGS_Quakes Twitter Banner (Public domain.)

Our newest accounts are the @USGS_Quakes Twitter and @USGS_quakes Instagram. Both are managed by a team of scientists plus operational and communications staff. The team took over an existing USGS Twitter account in August of 2020 that was automatically posting noteworthy earthquakes. The newly managed account has added USGS educational earthquake-related science, news, and activities to the automatic earthquake posts in near real time. Following an earthquake of interest, we post information from the Earthquake Hazards Program event page along with information to further put the event into context. The team meets regularly to coordinate exchange and is committed to engaging in two-way conversations with followers, building trust and sharing our science at a personal level. In less than a year the account has grown to nearly 200K followers. The Instagram account highlights field activities and Earthquake Hazards Program scientists and staff at work. The team has been highlighting USGS women earthquake scientists for the ‘Women in Science’ theme during the month of March.

The @USGS_ShakeAlert Twitter account has been invaluable in supporting the recent roll-out of the ShakeOut Earthquake Early Warning system in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington). Keep up to date on ShakeAlert System news, updates, and other information on this channel. The @USGS_Seismic Twitter account focuses on regional and global seismic instrumentation topics.

The Volcano Hazards Program has three accounts: Twitter @USGSVolcanoes, Facebook @USGSVolcanoes and Instagram@USGSVolcanoes, for sharing amazing photos and videos and keeping followers updated on current U.S. volcanic activity and science. Partners at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) operate three accounts with specific information about volcanoes in Alaska (Twitter @alaska_avo, Facebook @alaska.avo and Instagram @alsaka_volcano_observatory). Not only do these accounts provide public safety notifications, but they also support a world-wide community of learning about volcano hazards based on scientific understanding of volcanic processes. The Volcanoes social media team relies on the speed and reach of social media to keep the public informed of eruption activity, which was successfully displayed during the Kilauea eruption in 2018. Both the Yellowstone and Hawaiian Volcano Observatories publish weekly articles, which are posted to the USGS Volcanoes social media accounts. The Volcanoes social media team relied on the speed and reach of these accounts to keep the public informed on many levels during the Kilauea eruption in 2018. Most recently, Mauna Loa activity has been in the news, and our social media has kept everyone posted on the daily activity and alert level.

screenshot of Coastal Facebook banner

USGS_Coastal Facebook Banner (Public domain.)

The Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program operates the @USGSCoastalChange Twitter account,  the @USGScoastalandoceanscience Facebook, and the @USGSstpete Facebook (USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center) accounts. Staff operating these accounts share a wide range of posts covering the diverse topics of coastal and marine science. The Program also produces the Sound Waves Newsletter, which has email and RSS subscribe options and is announced via these social media channels.

Two YouTube channels for Natural Hazards and for Coastal and Marine include informative videos on various science topics as well as B-roll for media and other applications.

NHMA RSS and email subscriptions allow subscribers to automatically receive our news through email and RSS formats, which support our newsletters and other accounts. You can find these on the NHMA ‘Connect’ page.

Other accounts that we host on our NHMA ‘Connect’ page help connect people to other hazards-related social media accounts from across the USGS include: The @USGS_TexasFlood Twitter account provides automatic river stage/discharge data for 290 stream gage sites in Texas when they rise above flood stage; the @usgsted account that automatically posts a tweet for worldwide earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 and greater.

To keep up with news, announcements, and the latest science across the Hazards Mission Area, subscribe to the Natural Hazards Quarterly Newsletter via RSS feed or email at: https://listserv.usgs.gov/mailman/listinfo/nhma-newsletter

All social media accounts are listed and accessible via the NHMA Connect webpage.