New Audiences, New Products for the National Seismic Hazard Maps
SAFRR disaster scientist Sue Perry organized a workshop that united USGS scientists with leading researchers in risk perception and communication to discuss ways to expand the use and understanding of the National Seismic Hazard Maps ("the Maps"), a flagship product that helps to save lives and protect property through use in international building codes, insurance modeling, and policy decisions. Currently, primary users of the Maps are building code engineers, but the Maps and their underlying information have potential value for many other groups, such as city leaders, re-insurers, and state geologists. The workshop, held June 26-27 in Denver, Colorado, launched a multi-year collaboration to develop new Maps products that will serve new Maps audiences. Workshop participants shared knowledge from some twenty fields of expertise - widely ranging from geophysics to socio-linguistics to design to urban planning - prioritizing new audiences, brainstorming products, and identifying strategies to work with new users and support development of new products. During the two days of the workshop, participants showed great appreciation for the topics and sharing of knowledge and have since expressed enthusiasm about continuing on the project. We received numerous comments akin to "this was one of the most interesting and productive workshops of which I've been a part" and "I think that everyone involved - from speakers to originators of the meeting - found something to inspire and aid them.- This workshop was the first to employ a new SAFRR strategy, the SAFRR Cadre of Relevant Experts (SAFRR CORE) - a revolving group of researchers and practitioners from inside and outside the USGS, brought together to tackle shared, thorny problems.