Creating a climate conversation
ACE CRC ice core scientist Dr Tessa Vance and Cryosphere Program leader Dr Tas van Ommen took their climate change knowledge direct to the public in September.
Tessa and Tas, with IMAS PhD student Joel Pedro and Australian Antarctic Division krill biologist Rob King, visited the NSW coastal towns of Port Stephens, Old Bar, Lake Macquarie and Forster with the aim of answering the public’s questions on climate change. They also spoke to Year 8 students in a Port Stephens school.
"Rather than preaching to the converted we wanted to develop a talk that would encourage the members of the public who aren’t completely convinced about climate change to come along," Tessa said. "It was about providing them with the information that we have, and then letting them do what they want with that information."
Tessa said the panel faced "interesting, tough questions".Many audience members had seen inundation maps and were specifically worried about sea level rise, although a range of concerns around climate change was expressed.
Each scientist spoke to a brief slide presentation and then all four took questions. The group hopes to continue the "Climate Conversations" with different target audiences around Tasmania. The NSW tour was supported by the ACE CRC, AAD, NSW and Federal governments, Great Lakes Council and Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority.