Implementing the Risk Plan

Science Center Objects

The USGS Risk Plan is an actionable plan to ensure that USGS hazards information is delivered and incorporated into risk assessments and other products that can be used by decision makers to reduce loss. It includes 23 recommendations for capacity building, 17 case studies, and 6 project ideas.

Implementing the recommendations of the Risk Plan has included establishing a Risk Research and Applications Community of Practice and providing seed funding to risk-focused projects.

road with lava encroaching in two places

Lava on road. (Public domain.)

Risk Community of Practice

The purpose of the Risk Research and Applications Community of Practice is to convene like-minded scientists and staff from across USGS to discuss issues relevant to risk research and applications. Monthly virtual meetings include a mix of presentations, training, discussions, and announcements about relevant resources, events, and activities.

Risk Awards

Every year, the USGS issues a bureau-wide request for proposals to award seed funding to projects that focus on innovative risk research and applications. Project teams interact with the USGS Risk Community of Practice; foster cross-center, cross-mission area, and interdisciplinary research; strengthen user engagement; demonstrate lessons learned; and, identify new resources. Below is a list of awarded projects.

2021 Risk Research Projects and Lead Principal Investigators 

  • Co-production of lahar hazard products with Mount Shasta emergency managers and communities
    Jessica Ball, Volcano Science Center 

  • User needs assessment of southern California emergency managers to improve post-fire debris flow inundation hazard products
    Katherine Barnhart, Geologic Hazards Science Center 

  • Difficult disease decisions: how to reduce risk when dealing with multiple competing objectives and opposing risk tolerances
    Graziella DiRenzo, Massachusetts Cooperative Research Unit 

  • Wind erosion risk on Navajo Nation lands of the Colorado Plateau
    Seth Munson, Southwest Biological Science Center  

  • Coastal Vulnerability Assessments in Puerto Rico: focused stakeholder engagement to foster equity and inclusion
    Legna Torres-Garcia, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center 

  • Predicting risk of plant invasion following wildfires in the United States
    Janet Prevey, Fort Collins Science Center 

  • Perceived and realized risks to vegetation communities on lands managed along the US-Mexico border: identifying restoration needs in human-altered drylands
    Daniel Winkler, Southwest Biological Science Center

2020 Risk Research Projects and Lead Principal Investigators 

  • User perspectives on volcanic risk: Evaluating the effectiveness of co-produced risk communication products intended for public outreach
    Joseph Bard, Volcano Science Center
  • Developing community-scale earthquake hazards and risk modeling in Westport, WA
    Alex Grant, Earthquake Science Center
  • Science translation: Bridging user engagement with product communication and design
    Emily Himmelstoss, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
  • Open innovation playbook for risk
    Sophia Liu, Science and Decisions Center
  • Integrating decision analysis and risk analysis: Using utility theory to help DOI decision makers understand their context-specific risk tolerance
    Michael Runge, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
  • Evaluation criteria to measure the impact of USGS real-time web applications for flood decision support and risk communication
    Sachin Shah, Texas Water Science Center
  • Answering to stakeholders: Sensitivity of liquefaction hazard to groundwater change from sea-level rise
    Anne Wein, Western Geographic Science Center

2019 Risk Research Projects and Lead Principal Investigators

  • Quantifying Rock Fall Hazard and Risk to Roadways in National Parks: Yosemite National Park Pilot Project 
    Brian Collins, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, Menlo Park, CA
  • The State of Our Coasts: Coastal Change Hazards Stakeholder Engagement & User Need Assessment 
    Juliette Finzi-Hart, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Manhattan Beach, CA
  • Re-visiting Bsal risk: how 3 years of pathogen surveillance, research, and regulatory action change our understanding of invasion risk of the exotic amphibian pathogen Batrochochytrium salamandrivorans
    Dan Grear, National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, WI
  • Assessing the Risk of Global Copper Supply Disruption from Earthquakes 
    Kishor Jaiswal, Geologic Hazards Science Center, Golden, CO
  • Communications of risk - uranium in groundwater in northeastern Washington state 
    Sue Kahle, Washington Water Science Center, Tacoma, WA
  • Cascading communication: exploring how scientific research affects policy and earthquake preparedness communication in areas of induced seismicity 
    Sara McBride, Earthquake Science Center, Menlo Park, CA
  • Hazard Exposure Analyst Tool (HEAT) 
    Jason Sherba, Western Geographic Science Center, Menlo Park, CA
  • Ecological Forecasts for Risk Management 
    Jake Weltzin, National Phenology Network, Fort Collins, CO