Our affiliated Climate Communications Expert Work Group reviewed the products from the Shared Resources table at the conference to select one winning example. They considered the following questions based on the Climate Communications recommendations developed in partnership with the Land Trust Alliance and Open Space Institute:
Does this lead with a politically neutral message about conserving resources that people already care about?
Does it enlist a trusted spokesperson to deliver the message?
Does it focus on local impacts and responses, rather than causes?
Does it avoid technical jargon in favor of language anybody would be able to understand?
Does it use imagery that depict faces, actions, before-and-after, and scale?
They determined that the NE Climate Adaptation Science Center handout on "Maple syrup" checks the most boxes:
Maple syrup is economically and culturally important to New England, and not politically polarizing
The authors highlight a maple-sugar operator who is contributing data, and include a quote from a member of the Odawa Indian tribe.
Declining maple syrup production and quality is both a local, and regional, issue, and the authors describe how natural resource managers can respond.
While the headline contains some jargon, it leads with maple syrup. Overall, the language is accessible.
The images include faces, an easy to interpret map showing the scale of this resource, and jars full of delicious looking maple syrup.
They also identified a little room for improvement. On the back page, they'd suggest changing the format of the section: "How will resource manager apply results?" First, by rewording the heading for readability, to something like: "Here is how resources managers can apply these results," and then listing those applications in a bulleted list, rather than a dense paragraph.
Congratulations to the NE CASC!