Strategic Sciences News

SSG Supports response to 2018 Kilauea Eruption (


On July 17-19, 2018, the Department of the Interior (DOI) Strategic Sciences Group (SSG) convened a multidisciplinary group of experts in Hilo, Hawai’i, to consider the cascading consequences of the 2018 Kilauea eruption to DOI resources, employees, and facilities as well as to the surrounding communities. The team developed scenarios to identify potential actions and known knowledge gaps to mitigate the negative effects of the eruption. This activation of the SSG was supported by the US Geological Survey (USGS).

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SSG methods used to investigate invasive animal pathogen (


Through SSG facilitation, the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative hosted a workshop on the the emerging amphibian fungal disease Bsal. Discussions focused on Appalachia with participants from NPS, USFWS, Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative, USDA/USFS, TN Wildlife Resources Agency, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Workshop goals included the identification of barriers that might slow a rapid response to a Bsal detection and scientific data gaps that need to be filled to support Bsal-related decisions. Participants explored the cascading consequences of a hypothetical Bsal detection in Great Smoky Mountains National Park followed by associated die-offs on USFS and Cherokee lands.

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In the News: Zika Virus Workshop for National Academies Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness and Catastrophic Events (


SSG staff co-facilitated a workshop on Zika virus at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness and Catastrophic Events. Using elements of SSG scenario-building methodology, workshop participants explored a scenario of active Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the continental US and the cascading consequences of implementing different types of integrated vector management strategies. Participants were encouraged to use workshop findings upon return to their home institutions which included federal, state, and local government offices.

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Web Reads: Web Reads: SSG Expert Roster system presented at 2015 Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop (


The SSG has formed partnerships with 20 professional societies and academic centers across the physical, life, and social sciences to expedite the formation of crisis science teams by helping to identify and vet potential team members. The SSG discussed the efficacy of this network with researchers, practitioners, and policy makers at this annual conference.

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