After Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, governmental organizations have
placed the development of metrics to quantify social impacts, resilience, and community
adaptation at the center of their agendas. Following the premise that social indicators
provide valuable information to help decision makers address complex interactions
between people and the environment, several interagency groups in the United States
have undertaken the task of embedding social metrics into policy and management.
While this task has illuminated important opportunities for consolidating social and
behavioral disciplines at the core of the federal government, there are still significant
risks and challenges as quantification approaches move forward. In this article, we discuss
the major rationale underpinning these efforts, as well as the limitations and conflicts encountered in transitioning research to policy and application. We draw from a
comprehensive literature review to explore major initiatives in institutional scenarios
addressing community well-being, vulnerability, and resilience in coastal and ocean
resource management agencies.