Zoo and aquarium professionals’ concerns and confidence about climate change education

Janet Swim, John Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Educators at America’s Zoos and Aquariums have the potential to have extensive impact on the public’s knowledge about climate change. However, evidence suggests that educators at these institutions may not be taking full advantage of these opportunities. The present research suggests that about one-third to two-thirds of these educators would like to say more about climate change than they currently do. Anticipated audience responses to messaging were examined as a possible barrier. Results indicate that educators are not particularly concerned about those who doubt or deny climate change. Instead they are relatively more concerned about visitors’ disinterest in climate change. The results suggest that, in order to increase educators’ tendency to more fully say what they would like to say about climate change to visitors, it would be helpful to build educators’ confidence not only about visitors’ receptivity to climate change information but also their confidence in their ability to present climate change information. This includes confidence in their knowledge about how to strategically present climate change information, their ability to make connections between global climate change and local environmental problems, and their ability to reach youth audiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-501
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geoscience Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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