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Florida Climate Knowledge and Participation

This is one of 6 past projects focusing on climate change research that was funded in 2010 as part of FAU’s Research Priorities. For more information about this project, contact the research scientist.

Dr. Patricia Widener, Department of Sociology   

Assessing Climate Knowledge and Participation in Southeast Florida

This pilot project will begin an analysis of the efforts of government agencies, the media, social organizations, and the private sector to engage, inform and enable public awareness, discussions and preparedness on climate-related issues and impacts. In other words, what are the mechanisms, including the opportunities, spaces and resources, of informing Southeast Florida’s population, including its workers, students, residents and businesses, of climate change?

For example, the four counties of Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach recently joined efforts to develop the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact in which county leaders have committed to addressing the challenges collaboratively. Yet it is unclear the extent to which the public in these counties have been informed.

This research will document both: a)  the type, quantity, and quality of climate-related information being presented in Southeast Florida, and b)  the avenues and venues for climate education and participation.

To do so, we will carry out three methods of data collection including:

  1. a media and document analysis
  2. audio-recorded, semi-structured interviews, and
  3. ethnographic observations of educational endeavors and participatory publics.

This research is conceptually oriented to assessing and analyzing equality in access and resources and therefore measures of socio-economic status, race, gender and justice will be part of the research.

Graduate students M. Ahumada and C. Rowe presented a poster of their work at the Broward Student Research Symposium in 2013: “Analysis of Media Coverage on Climate Change from 2000-2012”

Contact Dr. Widener - pwidener@fau.edu

Interested in media regarding sea level rise? Check out our Sea Level Rise Summit Facebook page.


 Last Modified 11/8/16