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Partnering for Climate Change Communication in the National Capital Region

Jenell M. Walsh -Thomas, Melissa A. Clark, and Lindsey Beall, Graduate Students, George Mason University, Center for Climate Change Communication

In 2012, the Urban Ecology Research Learning Alliance in the National Capital  Region and the Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) formed a partnership to communicate about local climate change impacts on natural and cultural resources. The partnership supports NCR parks in telling their climate change stories. The internship involves eight interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate interns. NPS and 4C mentors work with interns to develop outreach and education products, which leverage traditional and emerging communication modes. Products have addressed communication needs,  structured web resources, and connected visitor experiences with park-specific climate change impacts. Interns have developed wayside content, webpages, social media posts, videos, infographics, and interpretive tools. We have evaluated materials informally and formally  through presentations to park staff and surveys in NCR. We see this program’s success as a model for other regions, agencies,  and NGO’s as a method to start discussions with stakeholders about localized climate impacts.

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