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ODU Faculty Present Climate-Science Research in Colorado

Presentations of projects that have been developed in conjunction with Old Dominion University's Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI) were on the agenda Sept. 13-15 of the International Conference on Culture, Politics and Climate Change at the University of Colorado Boulder.

ODU faculty members Jenifer Alonzo in communication and theatre arts and Victoria Hill in oceanography reported on their project, "Liveness, Science Learning, and Climate Change: Collaborating through Cultural Programming to Communicate Science to Family Audiences."

Alonzo and Hill, with the support of CCSLRI and funding from the ODU Office of Research, began work on the project last year and also formed Science Alliance Live, a science education outreach effort aimed at children. In November, the alliance sponsored an event featuring two short stage plays and games designed to teach youngsters about climate science. Other ODU faculty members who have worked on the project include Fred Dobbs in oceanography, Amy Adcock in STEM education and Steven Pullen in communication and theatre arts.

The presentation by Alonzo and Hill were part of a conference program titled "Climate Literacy Approaches and Tools."

Also presenting at the conference was Burton St. John, another ODU faculty member in communication and theatre arts. His research project, "Virginia Legislators' Knowledge, Awareness and Perceived Risks Covering Sea Level Rise," was presented as part of a program titled "Perceptions, Norms and Implications for Climate Policy." This was the first public release of the results of a survey of members of the Virginia General Assembly that St. John conducted earlier this year.

Working with St. John on the project are two other ODU faculty members, Wie Yusuf in urban studies and public administration and Ivan Ash in psychology.

The University of Colorado Boulder and its Environmental Studies Program are main sponsors of the International Conference on Culture, Politics and Climate Change. The meeting organizers invited top scholars in fields such as environmental communication, environmental policy and politics, risk communication, visual culture, religion and the environment, globalization and spirituality, journalism studies, and science communication, among others. The cross-disciplinary conference explored intersections between culture, politics, and science in order to enhance understanding of public policy addressing climate change.