Interpreting and Framing Climate Change in the Great Lakes

In 2015, two Kalamazoo Nature Center staff, Ashley Wick and Jennifer Brenneman, participated in the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation's (NNOCCI) Study Circle. NNOCCI’s goal with their Study Circles is to establish a network of professionals who are skilled in communicating climate science to the American public. Wick and Brenneman brought back knowledge on communicating climate science to different audiences by framing climate change in a context to which people can relate. We apply lessons learned to communications and educational opportunities in our work in the Great Lakes and suggest how others working in conservation can use everyday interactions to convey the importance of climate change action using the strategic framing method. Participants will leave the roundtable with an elevator speech they can use in their everyday lives and careers to clarify the “how” of climate change and inspire people to act and motivate around solutions. These interactions will focus on hope and community-level action to reduce our fossil fuel reliance rather than the doom and gloom message presented around climate change in the past.

Subject Matter Level: 
Roundtable Discussion
Saturday, January 16, 2016 - 12:15pm to 1:05pm
Ashley Anne Wick
Kalamazoo Nature Center
Ashley grew up on the prairies of Iowa and has been studying nature, sustainability, and mostly - butterflies - for the past 12 years. She is currently the Biological Research Director for the Kalamazoo Nature Center where works on the conservation of rare butterflies, runs the statewide Michigan Butterfly Network, and facilitates the Kalamazoo Climate Change Coalition.
Jennifer Brenneman
Kalamazoo Nature Center
Jenny hails from southwest Michigan and has brought her interest in freshwater ecology and environmental psychology to the Kalamazoo Nature Center for the past 10 years as the Experiential Education Director where she oversees school and community outreach and camp programming. Her academic, personal, and professional experiences have helped her develop a commitment to getting everyone access to the benefits of being out in and learning about the natural world and developing a stewardship ethic.