Social Media for Hazards Scientists

Date/Time & Location

Wednesday, October 9 from 11-12 PM in the Parlor C Room


Wendy Bohon, IRIS
Beth Bartel, UNAVCO


Social media can be a powerful instrument for the dissemination of hazards information before, during and after natural hazard events. Research has shown that even passive exposure to information can change public perceptions and behavior and so using social media as a science communication tool can potentially help improve resilience in at-risk communities. Additionally, because social media is a two-way communication method it can be used to answer questions, provide feedback and dispel rumors during a hazards event in real-time. However, hazards scientists that are using social media for science communication purposes need to be aware of the additional roles and responsibilities specific to this task, including empathetic response, appropriate “chains of command”, consistent messaging, and the communication of uncertainty.  In this SIG we will outline the current social media environment and discuss best practices for using social media for hazards communication.


  • Introductions
  • Social Media Basics
  • Social Media and Hazards Communication
  • Problems, Pitfalls and Potential
  • Best Practices
  • Group Discussion and Questions