Using video to support targeted behaviors on climate change

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Monday, 18 January 2010: 5:00 PM
B214 (GWCC)
Joseph Cone, Oregon Sea Grant, Corvallis, OR

The premise of most American video programming about science and nature appears to be to stimulate and to inform -- as the premiere PBS program breathlessly puts it, “NOVA revolves around a simple premise: the world of science is exciting!” It's all well and good to counteract the popular notion that science is boring or difficult.

But . . . what can intentionally “educational” videos concerning scientific topics accomplish in terms of influencing audience behaviors? As analysis of mass-audience climate-related programming -- Hollywood's The Day after Tomorrow -- has demonstrated, risk perceptions can be changed. This presentation will focus on using video developed from the risk communication approach of Granger Morgan, Baruch Fischhoff and other decision researchers. Is it possible to use video to support targeted decision making and behavior change relating to climate adaptation?

Excerpts of two recent examples of modest-cost, broadcast quality video programming produced by NOAA Sea Grant will be discussed and shown. The excerpts are from Maine (Building a Resilient Coast: Maine Confronts Climate Change)and Oregon (Lower the Barriers: Responding to Oregon Coast Climate Change). The integration of the video with university-based Extension Service engagement with local communities will be discussed. Since effectiveness of such use of video is critical but difficult to document and rarely evaluated, the rationale and preliminary results of audience evaluations will be presented.