Dr. Eve Gruntfest, Trauma, Health and Hazards Center, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, CO 80918 (ecg@uccs.edu)
Jennifer Spinney, London, Ontario, Canada (jspinney@rogers.net)
Stephanie Hoekstra and Amy Nichols,University of Oklahoma Geography and Environmental Sustainability - (smhoekstra@gmail.com) - (nichols.amyc@gmail.com)


The Social Science Woven into Meteorology (SSWIM) initiative weaves social science concepts and methodologies into the fabric of weather and climate  applications.

SSWIM began at the National Weather Center in 2008. In 2011, activities are underway in Norman, OK, London, Ontario, and Colorado Springs, CO.

SSWIM considers complex problems at the intersection of weather, climate, and society. We address challenges and opportunities including, but not limited to, improving forecasts and warnings, reducing social vulnerability to natural hazards, and understanding community and cultural adaptations to weather extremes.


SSWIM’s objectives are innovative research and capacity building:

 · Using qualitative as well as quantitative approaches including archival, ethnographic, statistical, and participatory methods

· Collaborating with public, private, and academic sectors, including students, practitioners, and policymakers across the spectrum of stakeholders


Collaborative research & partnerships between the social sciences & meteorology, climatology, & hydrology to enhance societal relevance of research & practice & reduce risks from atmospheric & other hazards


Creatively & sustainably weaves social science concepts & methodologies into the fabric of weather & climate research & practice through academic & professional activities locally, nationally & globally


SSWIM facilitates a paradigm shift from conventional disciplinary perspectives to new integrated ways of knowing and communicating about weather and climate that

 · Changes the research to operations equation from a top down model to one that includes all stakeholders equally in seamless end-to-end relationships

· Cultivates a cadre of graduate students from diverse disciplines

· Provides grassroots social science education to weather and climate professionals

· Conducts qualitative and quantitative research to learn how emergency managers, school superintendents, university emergency managers, and others use weather information to support their decisions

SSWIM collaborates with

· NOAA: the Storm Prediction Center, the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the Warning Decision Training Branch, the Global Systems Division, the Hazardous Weather Testbed

· OU: Department of Geography, Center for Applied Social Research

· Others: GNS New Zealand, National Center for Atmospheric Research, American Meteorological Society and the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program

· Brings together researchers and practitioners working along the continuum from weather to climate