A recent survey of aquarium and zoo visitors (Climate Literacy Zoo Education Network – CliZEN – study) showed that a large portion of our audience looks to us for balanced information and recommendations for actions they can take. When we fail to talk about global warming and/or fail to ask our audience to take significant action to address climate change, we are eroding our own credibility on this issue and missing a key opportunity to inspire action. When talking to skeptics in the audience, continue to learn more and keep the conversation going to find common ground where the opportunity for an action, even if a small one to learn more, becomes available. For unaware audiences, find out more about them to see what action might make sense for them to take. Congratulate supporters, and make them a model for others in the audience, while making a more involved ask and encouraging them to up their game in helping to minimize climate change, recuse ocean acidification or lower their energy use. Keep in mind it’s important to recognize all positive actions regardless of who is taking them.
Our audiences expect interpreters to present balanced information and make recommendations for actions they can take, whether they’re just learning about climate change or are supporters who want to step up and do more.
Interpretive Technique: Open-ended Questions, Crediting Answers, Solutions
With a group of young Girl Scouts, an interpreter relates their positive emotions about the Steller sea lion to asking them to think about what they can take do to help this species in the oceans.