1. William (Billy) Spitzer
  2. VP. for Programs, Exhibits and Planning
  3. National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation
  4. http://www.nnocci.org
  5. New England Aquarium, FrameWorks Institute, New Knowledge Organization Ltd.
  1. John Anderson
  2. Director of Education
  3. National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation
  4. http://www.nnocci.org
  5. New England Aquarium
  1. Kate Flinner
  2. http://www.newknowledge.org/our-team/
  3. Research & Manager of Communications
  4. National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation
  5. http://www.nnocci.org
  6. New Knowledge Organization Ltd.
  1. John Fraser
  2. http://www.newknowledge.org/our-team/
  3. President & CEO
  4. National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation
  5. http://www.nnocci.org
  6. New Knowledge Organization Ltd.
  1. Hannah Pickard
  2. Education Programs Supervisor
  3. National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation
  4. http://www.nnocci.org
  5. New England Aquarium
 
 
 
 
Facilitators’, Presenters’,
& Public Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: John Anderson

    John Anderson

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2017 | 05:37 p.m.

    Thank you for visiting the NNOCCI project video. We are interested in your reflections and ideas. What do you find exciting or surprising? What do you want to know more about? Given that our project is six years old and has strong evidence of impact, what would you hope or recommend comes next to build on what we’ve already accomplished?

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
  • Icon for: Donna Charlevoix

    Donna Charlevoix

    Program Director
    May 15, 2017 | 12:27 p.m.

    Thanks for posting your video. I was not aware of this project. It sounds very interesting and effective. I had not heard of "strategic framing" and am going to investigate it more; it sounds like a framework we could use in some of our work.  

    Any plans to reach the central part of the country ("fly over country") where often climate change is met with strong resistance? More broadly, how do you recruit new institutions to join your network? 

     
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    John Fraser
  • Icon for: John Anderson

    John Anderson

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 03:15 p.m.

    Hi Donna - I'm glad you're interested and that you found out about NNOCCI through this showcase.  If you are interested in learning more, there is a free online course available. Our experience has shown that working with groups of professionals as cohorts and having participants apply in pairs is a positive support for the learning process, so I encourage anyone who is interested to find a colleague to join you in taking the online course. To access the course, look for Specialized Courses and then for "Framing for Climate Interpreters" at  http://frameworksacademy.org/  Put the course in your shopping cart (don't worry, you won't need to use a credit card for this course). Once you check out, you'll receive an email with direct access information.

     
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  • Icon for: John Anderson

    John Anderson

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 03:24 p.m.

    Hi Donna - We do want to extend our network and lessons to informal educators more broadly. In fact, we have quite a few colleagues involved from states in the middle of the country. One thing we've heard is that many people find once they start to practice initiating conversations about climate change, they find it to be more positive than they had expected. Interest levels among visitors are higher than many people perceive.

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director of CSR at TERC
    May 15, 2017 | 03:50 p.m.

    Hi Billy and John,  Great video. Can you explain strategic framing? Is it a challenge speaking with families, in that you have to address both young children and adults in one conversation? Do you have different materials or tools for each group? What "tools" do you use to help them understand the issues involved? How do you turn the conversation productively when you have an adamant person in the family who thinks that climate change is not happening or is not influenced by human activity?

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
  • Icon for: William (Billy) Spitzer

    William (Billy) Spitzer

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 05:07 p.m.

    Hi Joni! Strategic framing is, at its essence, an evidence-based technique that we use (with climate change in our case but it has been applied by Frameworks Institute researchers to many social issues)to help people understand what is at stake (by connecting to widely held values), how it works (using empirically tested metaphors and causal chains that are accurate and easy to understand, remember and repeat), and how they can be part of the solution (focusing on civic/community rather than individual/consumer actions).

     

    For example, we use "heat trapping blanket" to explain the impact of excess CO2 in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels rather than "greenhouse effect." Most people understand how blankets work, but not many really understand greenhouses.

     

    In places like aquariums, zoos and science/nature centers educators tend to be pretty skilled at adapting to their audience, including working with kids and adults at the same time. Sometimes we use hands on activities that kids engage in while we are talking with parents.

     

    We have found that it is in fact very rare to encounter someone who is adamant in not accepting the evidence for climate change or its human causes. By using a neutral tone, framing climate change in terms of values that tend to resonate across the political spectrum, and focusing more on solutions than the problem we tend to minimize this issue. Sometimes, we are able to pivot the conversation to be more productive by acknowledging someone's passion about the issue. But we do not advocate getting into an argument, it is not helpful for any one. And as I said, this is a really rare occurrence -- the vast majority of visitors want to know what they can do that will really make a difference (and they know it must be more than recycling or changing light bulbs). 

     
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    Carol Boston
    Joni Falk
  • Icon for: John Fraser

    John Fraser

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 07:47 a.m.

    Adding to Billy's points. As external researchers, we found the biggest limit to engaging in these conversations was the perception that the audience wasn't interested. The simplifying metaphors developed by FrameWorks Institute really helped interpreters overcome their concerns because even young children understand the idea that a heat trapping blanket might make the planet too hot.  People who choose to visit aquariums, zoos and nature centers are inquisitive and actively interested in building a better understanding of the world around them. They are eager to learn and find problem solving enjoyable.

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
    Joni Falk
  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director of CSR at TERC
    May 16, 2017 | 09:08 a.m.

    Thanks Billy and John. I love how your video captured my interest and how your posts very much aided my deeper understanding of how you are accomplishing your goals. Thanks! Using simplifying metaphors make a lot of intuitive sense to me in reaching a broad audience. How do you go about collecting data as to effectiveness of the intervention in an informal environment?

     
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  • Icon for: Patricia Ruiz

    Patricia Ruiz

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 09:31 a.m.

    Hi. Thank you for sharing your project, I learned a lot! I really like your focus on hope and civic action. Giving us (educators) tools for having these conversations is so important. I wasn't aware of strategic framing and look forward to learning more. Do you have any resources you might recommend - other than your website - for educators like me to learn more about strategic framing and developing tools for other communities to improve their effectiveness in this way? Thanks for sharing your very important work!

     
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  • Icon for: John Anderson

    John Anderson

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 11:19 p.m.

    Hi Patricia - Thanks for asking. There are a variety of resources that may be helpful. The ones that will be most useful may depend upon your learning preferences and context. Here are some possible starting points. 1) There are several great blog posts about components of strategic commmunication including this one: http://climateinterpreter.org/features/communic... I can add direct links to companion posts if you'd like. 2) There are some good background papers including an overall summary of recommendations: http://frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF.... 3) For those who are interested in learning by practicing, I encourage you to explore the four presentations (that you can present), with scripts, downloadable images and background information at www.vischange.org. And, 4) in a comment above I pointed to an online course. I hope that these various resources provide useful starting points for many colleagues. When you use them, please do share comments and offer feedback. It's important that we keep learning together. Offering and reflecting on Feedback is an important part of the learning process for the NNOCCI community. 

     
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    Carol Boston
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 17, 2017 | 09:49 a.m.

    Hi, 

        Nice work!  I have encountered ripples from your project at various informal sites (nature centers, MassAudubon, etc. ), so I have a feeling of the ripple effects you're having with allies around the country.   

        Do you have data about impacts on visitors?  This was hinted at in the video, but of course you can't put everything into a video.. I am particularly interested in two kinds of impacts:  [1] some indication that conversations create surprise/change in attitude (tihinking about impact on the "persuadable" portion of the Six Americas), and [2] evidence of kinds of engagements that were triggered/nudged/influenced by encounters at NNOCCI sites?  

       And what does your future look like (for the project, I mean!!)

     

     
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  • Icon for: Kate Flinner

    Kate Flinner

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 05:27 p.m.

    Thanks, Billy, for the nice synopsis. And thanks for the great questions and interest, Brian.

    To add a bit more detail, the effect of this kind of training on visitors is three-fold, which was suggested by the video. The strongest effect is visitors gaining a clearer understanding of climate change. To a lesser extent, but still significant, trained interpreters' discussions increased visitors' hope and likelihood to take part in a civic action to address climate change. We have not tested actual follow-through on these effects.

    As Billy mentioned, talking is a very important impact. Without the training, educators are less likely to talk about climate change. Talking normalizes the topic, which is important because much of the US public perceive that others in their social circles don't care about climate change, which is not the case. 

    We have a paper on this research that will be published in the Journal of Science Communications very soon. Look for this citation:

    Geiger, N., Swim, J. K., Fraser, J., & Flinner, K. (2017). Encouraging Public Engagement with Climate Change through Informal Science Learning Centers. Journal of Science Communications. 

     
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  • Icon for: John Fraser

    John Fraser

    Co-Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 06:07 p.m.

    Following on with Brian's question. In using our own alignment of data to the Six Americas, we discovered that people are remarkably comfortable aligning themselves along the continuum, but those at the extreme denial end are fewer than it would seem if we ask about attitudes and beliefs. If we get to the fact, we're closer to 5% (and a larger portion believe more outlandish ideas about other topics like Elvis still being alive). 

    We've also found that those who are active learners may be in the middle but they aren't influenced by persuasion. We call these folks inquisitive. They suspect something is up, they are likely to feel they are more concerned than the average person and suspect their concern might be irrational. But they are open to a discussion and learning more. These are the people who use our museums, aquariums, libraries and zoos. They go to nature centers, want to talk about these issues with their friends and family, and are actively engaged citizens.

    Sometimes we assume all Americans equally use informal learning centers, but the numbers show it's not everyone. Those who do use these places are more active socially and are willing to do more once they have a better grasp of the issues at hand.  I'd call these heartwarming results.

    Two of our recent publications offer more insight into the results we're finding:

    Swim, J., Geiger, N., Fraser, J. & Pletcher N. (2017) Climate Change Education at Nature-based Museums. Curator: The Museum Journal 60(1), 101-119.

    Swim, J.K., Fraser, J., & Geiger, N. (2014). Teaching the choir to sing, Use of social science information to promote public discourse on climate change. Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law 30(1), 91-117.

     
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  • Icon for: William (Billy) Spitzer

    William (Billy) Spitzer

    Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 02:04 p.m.

    Hi Brian!

     

    I'm happy to hear that you have experienced the "ripple effect" as this is something that we have both heard about anecdotally and tracked via evaluation.

     

    We do have a substantial amount of visitor and public survey data, which demonstrates that strategically framed interpretation leads to increased understanding, hope, sense of self-efficacy, and propensity to engage in civic behaviors. One of our major goals is to increase productive discourse about climate change, so "talk" is actually an important behavior, and we do an impact on this.

     

    A number of research studies including ours indicate that the vast majority visitors to aquariums/zoos/museums are already concerned about climate change and are looking for ways in which they be meaningfully engaged. Our research and evaluation work is starting to make its way into peer reviewed publications, and you can find some of what is available now on our website www.nnocci.org 

     

    In terms of the future, we must had a strategy session yesterday with some of our leadership team and key thought leaders. We have been piloting a modified regional training model, which looks like it will enable us to provide the key elements of our training model more efficiently and with less cost and travel. We also have some ongoing R&D questions about deepening community engagement and developing youth leadership. In addition, we are thinking about additional partnerships with allied sectors within the informal learning domain (e.g., we have already engaged science centers, nature centers parks, etc. at some level but this is something we could do more systematically).

     
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    John Fraser
  • Icon for: Rowena Douglas

    Rowena Douglas

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 06:10 p.m.

    Many of my thoughts and questions have already been asked and answered. My first reaction was the excellent video.  It was easy to understand.  Then I began to think about the visitors that attend informal science institutions.  They are, for the most part, as you said, already concerned about climate change and are interested in learning more meaningfully engaged. Your approach of engaging social scientists to help in developing metaphors that are easier for the lay person to understand and then communicate makes a lot of sense.  Blankets rather than greenhouses.

     
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  • Icon for: Lisa Samford

    Lisa Samford

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 06:36 p.m.

    I am really inspired by this project! I hear a LOT of conversation from the media community about how to create content that breaks through climate change resistance. It is incredibly useful to have evidence-based discussion about how other ISE sectors are addressing and empowering their unique communities, and this research is quite transferrable.

    I'm also impressed at the growth in your network of partners, and wonder if you have plans to expand that web or deepen the engagement amongst current partners. Have you considered targeting state/national parks or relevant NGO partners (wildlife refuges, nature centers, etc.)? 

    Pivoting the narrative away from politics and toward evidence-based dialogue changes the interchange substantially. It is essential to give informal science communicators the tools to effectively re-frame this conversation--anchoring it all on both shared/core values and solid science.

     
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    John Fraser
  • Icon for: John Fraser

    John Fraser

    Co-Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 05:56 p.m.

    Thanks so much for the thoughts Lisa!

     
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  • Icon for: Sarah-Mae Nelson

    Sarah-Mae Nelson

    Informal Educator
    May 17, 2017 | 07:41 p.m.

    Wonderful to see so much interest in the project! As a member of NNOCCI since the very first Study Circle, I have personally grown in comfort in communicating about climate and ocean chemistry change. Additionally, I have seen a marked change in the staff and volunteers I have gone on to train at my home institution. When equipped with values to establish common ground, explanatory metaphors to simplify the science, and community-level solutions to inspire collective action, our staff and volunteers feel confident and empowered to start climate change conversations with guests of any age and background. Best of all, evaluation shows we are making a real difference in the public discourse.

     
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  • Icon for: William (Billy) Spitzer

    William (Billy) Spitzer

    Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 07:49 p.m.

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for the positive feedback. Although our current network is mostly aquariums and zoos, about 30% are other kinds of informal education venues such as parks, national marine sanctuaries, wildlife reserves, nature centers, etc. We are in fact thinking about ways that we might expand to include other networks more systematically, as well as ways to deepen the impact within our current network. We are really excited about the momentum we've built, the impact we have been able to demonstrate, and the potential to have even greater impact in the future!

     
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  • Icon for: Lisa Samford

    Lisa Samford

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2017 | 10:36 a.m.

    What I love about this is how transferrable the approach is beyond the Oceans sector. The project has engaged an impressive number of stakeholders to elevate the dialogue on climate change regardless of the point of entry. Well done!

     
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    Julie Binz

    Informal Educator
    May 18, 2017 | 08:55 a.m.

    This training was the best I have ever been to. We have developed and modified our programs to reflect the techniques learned during NNOCCI, and it has increased improved them so much. NNOCCI has improved our confidence in discussing climate change to all types of audiences, even friends and family! The messages are positive and hopeful in this negative and argumentative world. 

     
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    Sarah-Mae Nelson
  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Researcher
    May 19, 2017 | 06:47 a.m.

    What a great way for national outreach on a crucial issue. Talk about a multiplier effect. Thank you.

     
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    Sarah-Mae Nelson
  • Icon for: John Anderson

    John Anderson

    Co-Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 11:29 a.m.

    Thanks Sharon!  And thanks to Julie and Sarah Mae for your comments from personal experience. One thing that I hope will come from this showcase and the NNOCCI video is increased interest and appetite for learning more about practical ways to use social science to guide education and communication. The informal education sector can continue to innovate and to evolve. 

    Please do encourage colleagues - particularly those from museums, nature centers, aquariums, zoos, botanic gardens and other informal science learning centers - to check out the resources available from our project, starting with the video because it's brief and accessible.

    That's one way to support the multiplier effect.

     
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  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.