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April 2017

Abstract or Concrete? The Uses and Effects of Climate change Images in the Media
Date: Monday, April 24, 10 a.m.
Location: 273 Giltner Hall
Speaker: Ran Duan, Journalism and ESPP
Host: ESPP
Contact: Karessa Weir
Series: ESPP Research Colloquia Series
Note: ABSTRACT: In today’s society, human attention is a scarce resource. People tend to prefer visual news information over reading text. Climate change is a topic that has been frequently reported and discussed in various media sources. The majority of people in the United States view climate change as an abstract and distant risk, even though images of climate change in the media are often thought to be consumable and concrete. How to effectively communicate climate change via images in a more concrete and urgent way remains a challenge. Until now no study has examined whether climate change images are concrete or abstract, and how images being abstract or concrete can impact people’s perceptions of climate change. In order to solve these open questions, we firstly studied whether climate change images in the media are concrete or abstract. We developed a novel and replicable coding scheme to quantify the abstraction level of images. Results show that climate change has been visually portrayed as a relatively concrete rather than abstract issue. Second, we studied how abstraction levels of climate change images can influence people’s perceptions of the issue. We experimentally tested to what extent images with different abstraction levels can influence people’s mindsets. By understanding the uses and effects of climate change images in terms of their level of abstraction, policy-makers and media workers can be better informed on how to use images effectively to influence public perceptions about the risk of climate change.

Social, Political and Scientific Challenges of the Zika Outbreak
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 3:00 p.m.
Location: 273 Giltner Hall
Speaker: Professors Steven Bursian (Animal Science), Michael Kaufman (Entomology) and Joe Messina (Geography, Environment and Spatial Science). Moderated by Nick Skaff (Fisheries and Wildlife, ESPP)
Host: ESPP
Contact: Karessa Weir
Series: ESPP Research Colloquia

Climate and Regulation of Mountain Lake Ecosystems by Predators and Resources
Date: Thursday, April 27, 3:30 p.m.
Location: 118 Eppley Center
Speaker: Johnathan B. Shurin, Ecology/Behavior & Evolution, University of California-San Diego
Host: Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior; Kellogg Biological Station
Contact: Phoebe Zarnetske and Elena Litchman, KBS
Series: EEBB Spring 2017 Seminars

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