Coastal Environmental Communication

Sarah Patterson

This semester I learned about coastal environmental communication and how to accurately and effectively communicate science to the public. This semester has not only peeked my interest in science communication, but also the coastal environment.

This class taught me a lot about journalism and the basic principles of writing about science. We covered basic Science Writing, Environmental and Coastal Communication, Climate Literacy, Story Telling, and how to make science understandable. The basics of science writing is to state the facts and be accurate, but to make them understandable and simple for the layman. For example, use real life examples to explain incredible large or small numbers. An example of this is “A nanometre is one-billionth of a meter, 80,000 times smaller than a human hair”. This puts the nanometre in s human scale that the lay person would understand.

CoralAnother helpful tool of explaining and talking about science is to use story telling. Put the information into a plot with real life characters. Make the science a reality by adding real people with real problems. This will help people relate to the science.

We also got the unique and exciting experience to shadow an environmental scientist I followed an oceanographer who specializes in coral. I learned about different types of coral and how they are being used to study patterns in climate and periods in history.

However, for me, the most interesting part of the semester was learning about the Coastal Environment. Being from Florida, I did not know about the issues effecting the Louisiana coast. I loved learning about the Context_2_USGSWetlandsLossMapissues of wetland loss, climate change, oil spills, sediment diversions, and many other coastal issues effecting Louisiana. I wrote articles on the BP Oil Spill, the 2014 Master Plan, sediment diversions, protecting the wildlife, and other issues about the environment.

This class has made me interesting in coastal environmental and what I can do to help protect Louisiana. In the future I hope to pursue coastal environmental issues in the field of architecture.

I would like to thank the two teachers that taught this course, Paige Brown and Zeynep Altinay. They have taught me so much about science communication and the coastal environment.

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