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.

November 19, 2009

How Understanding the Human Mind Might Save the World


An article today by Annie Jia in ClimateWire and reporting from the recently-concluded third annual Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference, nicely summarizes what we need to stay focused on to create a culture change, and a better, healthier planet for all.

Understanding people is the key, and it's why The Ocean Project invests so much in market research and making the findings and implications widely known for our Partner network and the wider conservation community, to take advantage of to become most effective.

As the article states, "Thinking does not equal doing" and it discusses how critical it is to move beyond thinking that helping people understand the issues and changing people's attitudes will translate into action. Because it doesn't.

Doug McKenzie-Mohr, a guru in community focused social marketing, discusses how effective programs are designed to change behavior surrounding climate change and other issues, by first understanding and addressing the barriers to action. Knowing the exact barriers can help you tailor programs to address them.

One critical barrier is people not knowing what actions to take in order to help. This is also a key finding from our recent market research: It is clear that, zoos, aquariums, and museums (ZAMs) are trusted messengers for information on issues and increasingly the public is looking to our Partner ZAMs to provide solutions to the issues that people can incorporate into their daily lives.

The article also discusses how social networks are powerfully effective ways to affect people's behaviors.

You can read the whole article, reprinted here in the New York Times.

November 18, 2009

Results Available from First Ocean and Climate Change Tracking Survey


The results from our first tracking survey are now available online. Also on our website are a couple of recent presentations from AZA that explain the findings, including America and the Ocean v2.0 — A Summary of Findings Developed by The Ocean Project, by the lead researcher for this initiative, Scott Corwon, with IMPACTS.
The Ocean Project is conducting ocean and climate tracking surveys every six months, to measure changes and test messaging. These tracking surveys nicely complement the comprehensive research that we completed in 2008 on public awareness, attitudes, and behaviors concerning the ocean, climate change, and related issues. This national survey is the largest ever on any environmental issue, with 22,000 American adults surveyed. We also have some data on youth, as well as Canadian adults.
To access the latest survey findings, click here.

November 13, 2009

Leadership on climate change from most vulnerable nations

Earlier this week, and just a few weeks before talks in Copenhagen, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a nation facing the very real threat of being overwhelmed by rising seas due to climate change, gave an impassioned speech at the Climate Vulnerable Forum. In it he challenged the nations most vulnerable to climate change to demonstrate moral leadership, and join a "global survival pact" by committing to carbon neutral development. Read the speech via link above and/or watch some of it here.