Social Science Coordinating Committee
The Social Science Coordinating Committee (SSCC) fosters integration of the methods, findings, and disciplinary perspectives of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences and interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches into USGCRP activities in support of the Program’s strategic goals. The SSCC liaises with and serves as a social science resource to other USGCRP Interagency Groups, the Subcommittee on
- SSCC provided recommendations to the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) Federal Steering Committee on the integration of human dimensions of
climate changein NCA4. After the release of NCA4, the SSCC developed a white paper outlining findings and recommendations for the further integration of social science topics into future National Climate Assessments, based on focus groups conducted with report authors. SSCC continues to provide input into the sustained assessment process and products, such as the use of scenarios to incorporate human system change into climate projections.
- SSCC members are scoping several smaller projects, such as how to make federal Requests for Proposals more inclusive and attractive to social scientists and members of underrepresented populations.
- In collaboration with the Board on Environmental Change and Society of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), SSCC co-hosted a seminar, “Climate Resilient Pathways and Social Science Research to Action,” in February 2019. The seminar brought together federal managers and scientists, academic scientists, NASEM, and representatives from civil society. Participants discussed the role of social science research in informing actions to meet global change and sustainability challenges, and opportunities to advance interdisciplinary research in federal programs.
- SSCC provides ongoing inputs to the Indicators Interagency Working Group on methods for identifying and incorporating social indicators of drivers of change, impacts,
vulnerability, and resilience. A workshop, “Socio-environmental Systems Indicators for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience in the U.S.,” funded by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and NSF, took place in 2019. SSCC members are currently writing a paper summarizing the outcomes of this workshop. A separate paper will use wildfires in Colorado as a case study on the use of traditionally biophysical indicators to highlight social vulnerabilities.
- White papers: Social Science Perspectives on Climate Change
- In developing its initial focus, the SSCC drew heavily upon the recommendations of the USGCRP Social Science Task Force (SSTF) which was established in 2012 after the release of the 2012–2021 Strategic Plan. The SSTF fulfilled its mandate in early 2014 with the publication of a white paper and journal article:
Weaver, C. P., S. Mooney, D. Allen, N. Beller-Simms, T. Fish, A. E. Grambsch, W. Hohenstein, et al. “From Global Change Science to Action with Social Sciences.” (2014) Nature Climate Change 4(8): 656–59. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2319.
After these publications were released, the SSCC was formed as a committee of USGCRP to implement the suggestions of the white paper and aid USGCRP in interagency coordination with respect to social science research and perspectives.
- Recommendations for the NCA4 Steering Committee