Navigation Links
Environmental groups should pool efforts to reach the public
Date:7/26/2012

URBANA A lot of time, effort, and money are spent by agencies, municipalities, and other non-governmental organizations to inform and educate the public about environmental concerns. Could these groups collaborate to inform the public about an environmental concern even though their beliefs may be very different? Two studies suggest that they can and should.

University of Illinois professional geographer Bethany Cutts tracked messages to the public about water quality and usage from a variety of sources in Phoenix, Arizona. She found that considerable overlap in the messaging already existed, but there was little understanding or direction to collaborate and reach specific audiences, such as Spanish speakers in the community.

"When I began interviewing agencies in a fact-finding mission, I kept hearing the same things. They referenced each other, shared ideas, collaborated, and co-funded projects," Cutts said.

As the project progressed, Cutts determined that although the organizations' biggest strength seemed to be their connectivity and ability to share information, they haven't found a good way to manage and maximize the connections that already exist between specific groups within the public and the network of water educators.

"Everyone is trying to reach the entire public," Cutts said. "The really strong environmental groups are reaching people who already have a lot of interest in environmental and ecological issues so they're not the target audience."

Cutts suggests that even though their goals may be different, there could be more information and even financial sharing between organizations. They can work together to build public knowledge and empowerment in environmental decision making. "Some of these organizations have dissolved due to budget cuts," she said. "I wanted to see if their cumulative effort stacked information higher in some neighborhoods while missing other neighborhoods completely or if information was more randomly or evenly distributed so that everyone got some sort of information."

Cutts found that generally the public she interviewed had more information if they had heard it from several sources. "I was interested in the total number of messages a person would pass in their daily life," she said. "Someone might see a billboard and later get information in their water bill, and their child might be in an after-school program where there are puppet shows about water conservation. So some neighborhoods might be barraged with a lot of messages, whereas other neighborhoods even within the same city, might not.

"Efficiency would improve if they could be more strategic about the ways they get information distributed," she said. "They need to recognize that they can all be moderately successful at reaching the public at large or they can collaborate to engage in experimentation and to reach audiences they may be missing, such as the Spanish-speaking community."

Cutts believes understanding existing connections and seizing strategic opportunities to form new ones could be an outcome from the findings of this research.

"As the budget-constrained groups reconfigure, they can plan to preserve what they like about the way they reach the public while building public capacity and public will to prioritize water usage."


'/>"/>
Contact: Debra Levey Larson
dlarson@illinois.edu
217-244-2880
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Effects of environmental toxicants reach down through generations
2. Reproductive health providers should discuss environmental exposure risks with patients
3. Environmental factors in Tiny Tims near fatal illness
4. Increasing water scarcity in Californias Bay-Delta will necessitate trade-offs; hard decisions needed to balance various environmental risks
5. Stomata development in plants unraveled -- a valuable discovery for environmental research
6. Long-term research reveals causes and consequences of environmental change
7. New museum-university partnership ushers in new era of environmental science education
8. Tiny plants could cut costs, shrink environmental footprint
9. Wells Fargo fosters environmental conservation through University of Miamis RJD program
10. Environmental benefit of biofuels is overestimated, new study reveals
11. Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge shortlists 2012 projects
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/17/2016)... , March 17, 2016 ABI Research, ... forecasts the global biometrics market will reach more ... 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, ... fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two billion shipments ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ABI ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... , March 15, 2016 Yissum Research ... the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced today ... remote sensing technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera ... $2.0 million from private investors. ... on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ... --> - Renvoi : image disponible via ... --> --> DERMALOG, le ... de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement des ... sera utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité aux ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... building management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on ... business in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found in certain foods have ... Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. Click here to ... Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on polyphenols in cancer for ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product ... official 25th anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” ... for the privilege and honor of serving their product design and development needs through ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall ... as reported by Food Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for ... Olsen, CEO of Baltimore-based biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest ...
Breaking Biology Technology: