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Science Communication with Angela Rossen

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IOMRC Auditorium

64 Fairway Crawley

Perth, WA 6009

Australia

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Artist and environmental educator, Angela Rossen, speaks about 'Appealing to the Heart' - her multidisciplinary approach to engage community with nature.

The effect of human impacts on natural systems is well documented and understood. It is strange therefore that a business as usual attitude by some sectors stands in the way of effective protection of natural resources and in particular shared natural places of high sentimental value.

The question is how to engage the public with protection and conservation in ways that speak to the heart and that change behaviours. As any parent knows, lecturing a teenager on the importance of doing their homework is an exercise in futility. The reluctant scholar needs to have his eye on the greater picture – what he wants his future to look like. The same underpins community conservation education. The community has to understand what needs to be protected and why so that they can contribute to the future that they want their children to have.

Most people are drawn to nature and long to participate in its beauty and wonder but are not sure how. Whilst the tradition of heroic conquest of nature is redundant, it is the underlying driver for a number of recreational pursuits. Destructive acts of conquest or consumption, such as driving fast over water ways and dunes, or catching and killing living things can simply be the result of the lack of the tools to engage with nature more creatively or thoughtfully.

The pursuits of the amateur naturalist seem the domain of elderly and slightly embarrassing aunts but this needn’t be the case. Discovering nature offers a rich experience for children of any age including adults. Bringing people together to observe and record biodiversity in the field is a simple way to encourage curiosity and connection. In turn, this understanding will inform a more nuanced use of resources and shared natural places. It will inform choices at the ballot box too. This presentation examines a number of community engagement projects that combine a multidisciplinary approach to bringing the community to an informed and life long engagement with nature.

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IOMRC Auditorium

64 Fairway Crawley

Perth, WA 6009

Australia

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