Authors

Eryn Campbell

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Abstract

Climate change communication has become a topic of growing importance. Because of the polarization that surrounds this issue, effective communication platforms are needed in order to address its severity. National parks are revered areas of preservation throughout the United States and are trusted sources of information. These characteristics make them an ideal platform for the communication of human-induced climate change and strategies for its mitigation and adaptation. The purpose of this internship project was to provide parks in the National Capital Region with climate change communication materials that connect the geology, ecology, and future climate impacts of the region together. Over the course of three months, climate change communication materials were developed for twelve parks found within the National Capital Region of the National Park Service. These materials included a website titled “Explore Geology” and printed trading cards for distribution in the parks. The website demonstrated the connections between geology, ecology, and climate change and suggested personal actions park visitors can take to ensure the preservation of the parks in the future. The trading cards featured park-specific facts related to the big picture message as well as presenting simple personal actions. The effectiveness and reasoning behind these materials was analyzed and discussed with respect to communication theories, many of which applied directly to climate change communication. The products effectively implement communication strategies that would enhance the audience’s understanding of climate change. This provides a basis for future ‘common ground’ climate change communication within the parks.

Comments

Department: ATM

MPS Track: WCS

Location: George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication and the National Park Service

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