2018 Summer Projects
Over ten weeks in the summer of 2018, eight interns developed a suite of communication products highlighting the impact of climate change on NPS parks. The interns were selected for specializations in graphic design, science communication/journalism, public health, and earth science. The interns engaged with subject matter experts from NPS and 4C to glean an understanding of NPS branding guidelines, park data sets (about visitors and park ecology), and communication techniques and theories. Relying on communication theories involving place attachment, social identity, and self-efficacy each product was designed in compliance with agency requirements which imposed challenges in the form of parameters around park visitor engagement. The final products included a video series, a health assessment report, an interactive website, and a set of trading cards.
Climate and Health at Manassas National Battlefield Park
Through an intense process of research, story design, and filming, the 2018 interns created a video series that focused on climate effects in Manassas National Battlefield park (MANA). The series included several videos that described the impact of climate on the experience of park visitors, including a video specifically designed for implementation in an existing middle school program that exposes students to the ecosystem in the park, incorporating climate education into their science curriculum. This video is expected to reach between 5 to 10,000 students. Additionally, the interns created a formal health assessment report that described the increased health risks climate change poses to citizens who visit MANA.
The Influence of Climate Change on Geology in the National Capitol Region
Integrating digital technology and physical products, 2018 interns created a unique toolset to enhance public understanding of how climate change impacts local geography and actions they can take to become better park stewards. They produced a website, entitled “Explore Geology,” developed with ESRI Storymap that discussed key geologic features found in the NCR, their interaction with the ecosystem, and the impact of climate change on that relationship. Additionally, they created a supplementary set of park-specific ‘trading cards’ that highlighted geologic features within each park, personal actions that could be taken by individuals to preserve the park, and a QR code to direct traffic to the website.