Ogmius Newsletter

Center Projects

The following projects are under development in the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. We will be adding additional projects in the future. See our website for updates on Center projects.


The Atmospheric Sciences Policy Education and Network (ASPEN) Program is sponsored by the U.S. Weather Research Program and focuses on weather policy research, education, and outreach. It includes the following components:

    The Societal Aspects of Weather

    WWW portal, an online resource to facilitate, encourage, and support the formation of a researcher-user partnership and community of people involved in the societal aspects of weather;

    The WeatherZine:

    A bimonthly online and email newsletter on the societal aspects of weather;

    Weather and Climate Forecast Use and Value Bibliography:

    An online resource for peer-reviewed studies of the use and value of weather and climate forecasts;

    The weather-policy listserv:

    An email group to discuss the educational and research aspects of atmospheric sciences policy; and

    The Extreme Weather Sourcebook

    The Extreme Weather Sourcebook is an online report summarizing economic damage suffered from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, lightning and other weather events in the United States and its territories.

Predictioncentral.org (Coming Soon)

Predictioncentral.org is a joint project of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and the Center for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Columbia University. It is a follow-on project to work that led to Prediction: Science, decision making, and the future of nature (Island Press).

Decision makers in the public and private sectors solicit and use predictions with little understanding of their accuracy or utility and, often, without systematic evaluation of performance or mechanisms of accountability. Moreover, there are few, if any, institutional mechanisms for rewarding and highlighting good, policy-relevant predictions, or for comparing the outcomes of decisions made with competing predictive assumptions.

Predictioncentral.org will document predictions as they are made in a diverse set of policy-relevant settings, evaluate the accuracy of predictions, grade predictive performance, and assess the role of the predictions in the decision making process. The program will also develop “baselines of uncertainty” for various predictive methods and applications, to highlight those that are improving with time, as well as those that are not. Predictioncentral.org will seek to make predictions more transparent to decision makers who depend on them to better understand strengths and weaknesses, make decisions commensurate with this understanding, and, when appropriate, consider alternatives to prediction.

Global Climate Change and Society

Global Climate Change and Society (GCCS) is a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program of the National Science Foundation that places scientific research within its larger social context. It is a cooperative program between the University of Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, directed by a philosopher, a planetary physicist, and a policy scientist. Its goal is to introduce a group of undergraduates in the physical sciences, humanities, and social sciences to the constellation of perspectives surrounding the use of numerical climate models.

Twelve undergraduates come to Boulder, Colorado, each year for eight weeks. The program consists of three parts: an intensive introduction to atmospheric science, internships at NCAR and CU, and a short essay by the students in which they draw their own conclusions concerning the relevance of global climate change research to societal needs. Program outcomes include papers published in scientific, public policy, and philosophic journals and presentations at national conferences.

Western Water Assessment

The Western Water Assessment (WWA) works within an evolving social context to increase the relevance and value of scientific information to improve decision-making strategies. WWA research focuses on the decision-making processes of those individuals and groups in the Interior West who manage water resources, use the water, and are responsible for its treatment and the protection of the aquatic environment. By understanding the decision making processes of this community, researchers can develop hydro-climate products that allow the user community to make more informed decisions. The objectives of the WWA project are to: 1) understand the sensitivity of the user community to multiple stresses, the feasibility and environmental implications of various coping strategies, and the residual vulnerability of different groups when coping strategies fail; 2) develop issue-specific partnerships with climate-sensitive groups to examine the needs and barriers to the use of hydro-climate information and products; and 3) share findings on regional information needs with the federal and state agencies responsible for the operational development and delivery of hydro-climate information and products, and develop partnerships with these agencies to improve the quality, relevance, use, and, ultimately, the value of operational hydro-climate products.