This week I’m at the National Adaptation Forum in Baltimore, Maryland, representing the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (University of Colorado Boulder). The Forum gathers the adaptation community to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support for a better tomorrow. The session I spoke at earlier this morning was on innovative ways to communicate science, with my talk focused on science storytelling and engagement through film.
Climate change is not only an existential threat to humanity but also has large impacts on natural resources. We are at a pivotal moment where we see risk and vulnerability to the impacts of a changing climate entering the discourse of decision-makers at all levels of policy and natural resource management. Scientists and science agencies partnering with natural resource managers can provide valuable insights for adapting to climate change. However, scientists must compete for attention among other more urgent threats, bureaucratic challenges, and a flood of other information with which managers must contend.
Packaging messages in easily digestible forms that communicate effectively and capture attention among today’s plethora of sources is thus of utmost importance. Examples include interactive handouts, online story maps, short video pieces, and interactive toolboxes for conservation and adaptation strategic planning. For example, the Climate Toolbox is a series of web tools for visualizing past and projected climate of the contiguous United States. And you can explore projected sea level rises for various future climate scenarios here.