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Please note this meeting will be from 12-2pm and 3-5pm EASTERN TIME on each day. Each day has its own Teams link - please see links below or in the calendar invites.

Sessions will be recorded and posted to our wiki site shortly after the event. 

Questions? Please email To join the Risk Research and Applications Community of Practice, visit

Recordings now available for all 3 Days - please see Stream links below. These are currently available to only DOI employees. We will work on posting MP4s to our wiki.

Printable PDF of Agenda (includes additional detail on each session)2020 USGS Risk Community of Practice Annual Meeting-ForDistro.pdf

Meeting Goals

  • Review results of the Risk COP survey to better understand the composition and interests of the COP and to identify pathways to use this information for community planning

  • Reflect on lessons learned, opportunities, and challenges from the FY19 and FY20 Risk RFP experience. Identify potential themes for the FY21 Risk RFP

  • Learn from external experts about different methods and applications for risk analysis

  • Discuss and identify connections between Risk COP activities at the EarthMAP initiative

  • Identify community interests and specific needs for FY21 training, presentations, and interactions

  • Explore community interests and needs for engaging diverse stakeholders on future projects.

  • Review resources and tools for virtual stakeholder meetings.

  • Create an opportunity, even in a virtual environment, for networking across the COP.

Agenda: August 11, 2020 (Teams link)
All times below listed as Eastern Daylight Time

12:00 - 12:20    Welcome (Recording)

12:20 – 1:00     Risk COP Survey results and Discussion (Recording, Slides)

This spring, we held our first “state of the community” member survey for the Risk COP. We’ll recap the results, check in on member suggestions, and use the survey results to kick off a discussion of our priorities for the coming year (which will continue through other events on Days 2 and 3). Join us to learn more about your fellow community members and share your thoughts on what would make the COP most valuable to you.

1:00 – 2:00        Keynote: An evaluation of the risk of SARS-CoV2 transmission from humans to bats, Mike Runge, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (Recording)

Abstract: SARS-CoV2 is a betacoronavirus pathogen that results in the coronavirus disease COVID-19 circulating among populations globally. The pathogen is believed to have possibly emerged from human interactions with old-world bats. There are no old-world bats in North America, and though there is at least one betacoronavirus present in new world bats, there have not been identification of SARS-causing betacoronaviruses in North American bats. A key concern for management agencies is the risk human infection with the virus poses to native bat populations, and if bats can become infected, the risk to humans of zoonotic transmission in the future. This inquiry (OFR link) was designed to be a rapid assessment of the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to North American bats, an evaluation of the management contexts in which this risk might be relevant, and an assessment of possible mitigation actions that may be implemented by those who come into contact with bats or their habitats.

2:00 – 3:00        BREAK

3:00 - 3:20        Summary of FY19 Risk Proposal Awardee Experiences/Insights for FY20 and FY21 Awardees (Recording, Slides)

At our June and July 2020 meetings, we heard from the recipients of the inaugural FY19 Risk funding. Each speaker shared some valuable “lessons learned” from their experience. This presentation will revisit these lessons learned and will be particularly valuable to the FY20 Risk award recipients and to those who are considering submitting a proposal to the FY21 RFP.

3:20 - 4:30       FY20 Risk Proposal Awardee Presentations (Recording, starts at ~18:00 time stamp)

3:20 – 3:30 User perspectives on volcanic risk: Evaluating the effectiveness of co-produced risk communication products intended for public outreach -- Joseph Bard, Volcano Science Center

3:30 – 3:40 Developing community-scale earthquake hazards and risk modeling in Westport, WA -- Alex Grant, Earthquake Science Center

3:40 – 3:50 Science translation: Bridging user engagement with product communication and design -- Emily Himmelstoss, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

3:50 – 4:00 Open innovation playbook for risk -- Sophia Liu, Science and Decisions Center

4:00 – 4:10 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

4:10 – 4:20 Hazard Mitigation for Water Managers: Developing Criteria for Federal Stakeholder Needs using USGS Real-time Web Applications -- Veronica Romero, Texas Water Science Center

4:20 – 4:30 Answering to stakeholders: Sensitivity of liquefaction hazard to groundwater change from sea-level rise -- Anne Wein, Western Geographic Science Center

4:30 - 5:00          Discussion

5:00   Adjourn

Agenda: August 12, 2020 (Teams link)
All times below listed as Eastern Daylight Time

12:00 – 12:05 Welcome, Reflections from Day 1

12:05 – 2:00 Risk Analysis Panel Discussion (Recording)

What is risk analysis, how is it done, and what does it look like in the end?

This panel will feature speakers from outside the USGS who will address the following aspects of risk analysis: what are the tools of the trade? what is the state of knowledge in this broad field? What processes are used for risk analysis? How risk analysis is used in structured decision making? What are some example applications of/products using risk analyses?


  • Robyn Wilson, Ohio State University. Robyn Wilson is a Professor of Risk Analysis and Decision Science at The Ohio State University, School of Environment and Natural Resources. Dr. Wilson is a behavioral decision scientist studying individual decisions under risk. She is also interested in the development of strategic communication efforts, and the design of decision support tools that assist individuals in making more informed choices. Her current research focus is on adaptation to climate-exacerbated hazards, and what motivates and constrains different land use and land management decisions on private and public lands. (Slides)
  • Vitor Silva, Global Earthquake Model. Vitor Silva is a seismic risk engineer and Risk Coordinator at the Global Earthquake Model Foundation, who has led the development of several vulnerability and risk studies at the urban, national and global scale. He leads a team of 12 risk engineers that have assessed the impact of earthquakes in dozens of regions around the world, and conducted capacity building events covering more than 500 participants from more than 60 countries. Recently his research has focused on the integration of machine learning in risk analysis, forecasting of earthquake risk into the future and interaction of natural hazards and the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. (Slides)
  • Megan Linkin, Swiss Re. Megan Linkin is the Vice President of Products and Global Markets at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, where she designs innovative parametric solutions to cover natural catastrophe exposure for a range of client segments, including public sector buyers and large corporates. She is a seasoned insurance professional with over 10 years of experience in catastrophe modeling, innovative parametric and structured insurance solutions, as well as property underwriting.

  • Katherine Greig, Flood Re. Katherine Greigis a Senior Transition Specialist at Flood Re, a UK reinsurance Scheme. Prior to Flood Re, she worked as a Fellow & Strategic Advisor at the Wharton Risk Center and in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency focused on climate change, flood insurance, and building mitigation. She also worked on similar issues for the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force under Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan.

2:00 – 3:00 BREAK

3:00 – 3:30 Virtual Networking: Meet and Greet another Risk COP Member

(To participate in this session, please click HERE to fill out a short form by Aug. 11 at 5p ET)

3:30 – 5:00 Planning for the Next Year (Breakout Groups and Discussion - Slides for Breakout Group 1, Breakout Group 2, Breakout Group 3)

Risk is a unifying theme for much of our work across the USGS. If one looks at a hazard as a disruption to things we care about, there are transferrable skills, knowledge, and tools. How do we as a community effect knowledge transfer? How do we facilitate making connections across a virtual space? How can we support you this year? What do we need as a community to build capacity in risk research and applications? This session will include discussion and breakout groups to gather input from the community on these topics.

5:00   Adjourn

Agenda: August 13, 2020 (Teams link)
All times below listed as Eastern Daylight Time

12:00 - 12:10 Welcome, Reflections from Day 2

12:10 – 1:15 Actionable Intelligence: Connecting the Risk COP to EarthMAP (Recording) (Slides) (EarthMAP Intranet site, includes all EarthMAP related blogs and requires VPN) (EarthMAP Teams site - follow for updates and conversation)

This time will be used to explore connections between EarthMAP and the Risk Community of Practice, with a focus on the “actionable intelligence” component of EarthMAP. This session will include a brief presentation from the EarthMAP Project Management Team (PMT) followed by a facilitated discussion to identify concrete ways to collaborate in FY21. Background reading: see the July 27, 2020 Leaders Blog, "Actionable Information in Hazards Science: Advancing the EarthMAP Vision"

1:15 – 1:45 FY21 RFP Theme Discussion (Recording)

Each year, there is a competitive risk request for proposals (RFP) open to anyone in the USGS and designed to support projects that advance the USGS Risk Plan. This session will be used to collectively brainstorm ideas for an FY21 theme to incentivize projects in a particular area of focus.

1:45 – 2:00 Wrap Up 

2:00 - 3:00 BREAK

Note: the afternoon sessions are in response to specific requests from the FY20 risk proposal awardees and are open to anyone who is interested in attending. 

3:00 – 4:30 A Conversation about Engaging Diverse Stakeholders

Several members of the Risk COP have expressed interest in working with new stakeholders and/or with audiences with whom we have not traditionally worked – this may include new sectors of industry, non-profit organizations, frontline and underserved communities. This session will be dedicated to a discussion on how the USGS might approach working with new and diverse stakeholders and what is needed to do so. (Related ongoing activity: learn more about the Hazards, Race, and Social Justice speaker series here). 

4:30 – 5:00 Tools for Virtual facilitation for Stakeholder Meetings (Recording)

This session will be a quick review of several tools for virtual meetings that may be useful for those pursuing stakeholder meetings in a virtual environment. Peggy Gardiner of the USGS Office of Organizational Development will be available to answer questions.

5:00  Adjourn

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