About Me

This blog is primarily geared toward staff at the zoos, aquariums, museums (ZAMs), and other conservation education organizations that are part of our growing global network. We aim to provide you with cutting edge, challenging, and creative information, ideas, and tools to become as effective as possible at communicating about and for conservation with your visitors and the public.

See our ongoing communications research, or join our growing network, at The Ocean Project's website.

December 23, 2008

Transcending religious differences for humanity and our shared world ocean

As The Ocean Project works with our Partners to connect more effectively with the public to build ocean literacy and create a culture of conservation – and especially at this time of the year when some of the world’s religions are celebrating important holidays – it seems appropriate to highlight the activities of an organization that is striving to help the world “cultivate a transformative ethical language to spark a sustainable ecological culture.”

Certainly some of our individual and collective efforts to help transform human consciousness and behavior for a more sustainable society and a healthy ocean planet could benefit by better taking into account people’s spiritual and religious beliefs and values.

For 10 years, the Forum on Religion and Ecology, based at Yale University, has been a leading interreligious network of its kind. Mary Evelyn Tucker, one of the Forum's founders, states: “The environmental crisis is the catalyst for religious traditions to awaken to their ecological roles, and an opportunity to transcend their differences. The common ground for all humanity is the Earth itself and a shared sense of the interdependence of all life.”

And as Gus Speth, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies says, “Our environmental discourse has thus far been dominated by lawyers, scientists, and economists. Now, we need to hear a lot more from the poets, preachers, philosophers, and psychologists.”

For a wealth of information on the religious traditions of the world and their ecological contributions, among many other things, check out FORE’s website .

Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Source

In case you needed more convincing about the upward trend in use of the Internet for accessing information and the importance of having a compelling website, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reports today that the Internet has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news.

Their survey finds that 40% of Americans are getting most of their news about national and international issues from the Internet. And for Americans younger than 30, six-in-ten (59%) say they get most of their news online, the same percentage as television.

Read the summary of findings with link to full report here.

December 18, 2008

Science team for Obama Administration strong one for conservation

The "Science Team" for the Obama Administration is shaping up to be one of the best ever.

In a very exciting development for ocean conservation. Dr. Jane Lubchenco will be the new leader of NOAA. She brings impeccable science credentials, policy smarts, and a passion for conservation advocacy.

The new science advisor to President Obama will be John Holdren, the director of the Woods Hole Research Center and a widely recognized expert on climate change and how to tackle this overarching for our planet.

Read the Washington Post for complete story.

December 10, 2008

Top science books for children and teens

Here are some great ideas for science books for children and teens that our Partners can stock in your retail stores, and for the public to purchase as gifts for friends and family. AAAS recently announced 19 finalists in the annual science book awards, which include science books for young children up to young adults.

Also, for some other "TOP" books, check out our recommended "Ocean Book of the Month." We have plenty of great books to feature in 09, and please let us know of your own suggestions!

December 3, 2008

Study IDs six different audiences for developing effective messaging on climate change

The Ocean Project continues to provide our Partners and other friends with ways to improve education and communication efforts for conservation action.

Newly released research on effective messaging to Americans regarding climate change actions finds six discrete audience segments - from strongly engaged to completely dismissive of climate change as a threat - with different concerns, needs, values, and motivations.

The research, by Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., with the Yale Project on Climate Change, and Edward Maibach, MPH, Ph.D. and Connie Roser-Renouf, Ph.D., both from George Mason University, is based on telephone surveys done in the summer of 2007 involving 1,980 respondents.

The report suggests ways to carefully target each of these six different audiences, although the authors caution that much has happened since then and they are doing new research with findings expected in early 2009.

Read the rest of the summary at the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

Read the full 42-page PDF report.