National Park Service Staff Communication Guide: Knowing & Interacting with Your Audience

Nov 9, 2014 | All Categories, Reports

Climate change has been identified by Jonathan Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service, as a high priority for the service because implications for management and resource protection are unprecedented. Interns from the Climate Change Communication Internship program, a partnership between George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) and the National Park Service, have created this Climate Change Communication Guide to help NPS employees engage visitors in climate change conversations and inspire them to support actions in parks and take actions at home. Research shows that the National Park Service is a key trusted source for information. This guide aims to better prepare park staff to meet the needs of visitors, create more meaningful connections between visitors and parks, and sustain productive dialogues.

The guide is based on communication research of 4C and its partners. It is divided into two sections: Audiences and Impacts. The first section introduces the different levels of knowledge and concern about the issue of climate change among six different audiences identified: the “Global Warming’s Six Americas.” Tips are provided describing how to most effectively communicate the issue with each audience. The second section displays the impacts of climate change in the National Park Service by bioregion of the United States, and identifies specific effects on park resources in the changing climate. The content of these two sections gives you tools needed to communicate, in your own way and through park examples, the messages that the National Park Service has identified as key: (1) climate change is real, (2) it is affecting parks, and (3) we all can do something to help mitigate its impacts.

Click Here to Download the Guide.