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On November 2, 2016 the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach California hosted a day-long forum titled “Climate Change Messaging that Works: Psychological Perspectives.”

The forum brought climate scientists and psychologists together to develop strategies to motivate people to act on climate change. Thomas was a panelist and also member of a working group of experts consulting about climate change education at the aquarium during the evening panel titled “Facing Climate Change: Overcoming Fear & Other Obstacles to Change.”

The ideas developed during the Aquarium forum will be captured in a set of programs that will be tested and evaluated at the Aquarium with its visitors over a twelve-month period. Video from the day’s proceedings is archived on the Aquarium’s website .

The forum was inspired by climate scientist and Jungian psychologist Jeffrey Kiehl’s new book, Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future. Forum participants included Kiehl, biologist and paleontologist Anthony Barnosky, science communicator and exhibit designer Tom Bowman, psychologist Thomas Doherty, biologist and geologist Elizabeth Hadly, artist and architect Rori Knudtson, engineer and designer Heidrun Mumper-Drumm, climate scientist Richard Somerville, psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes, economist Gernot Wagner, psychiatrist Peter Whybrow, scientist and exhibit curator Deborah Zmarzly, and Aquarium President and CEO Jerry Schubel.

After the forum, the Aquarium will publish a report on its findings, including a summary of the forum discussions and recommendations, and share this with other informal science learning institutions throughout the country at no cost. New climate change programming based on the research will be unveiled at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Southern California on Earth Day 2017.

[SEE photos from the event and WATCH video below]

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Published by Thomas Doherty

Psychologist Thomas Doherty's work on environmental sustainability and health has been featured in publications like the New York Times and in talks worldwide. Thomas consults with individuals and organizations through his business Sustainable Self. He was the founding Director of the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School and Founding Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed academic journal Ecopsychology. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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