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Loving Glacier National Park Online: Climate Change Communication and Virtual Place Attachment

  • Salma MonaniEmail author
  • Sarah Principato
  • Dori Gorczyca
  • Elizabeth Cooper
Chapter
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)

Abstract

We evaluate the use of place attachment and recommend best practices for the use of this tool in communicating climate change online. Focusing on the case study of Glacier National Park, Montana, USA, we used a mixed methods approach to: (1) design a website to evoke senses of identity, dependence, and emotion central to place attachment while also incorporating information on climate change science, adaptation, and mitigation; and (2) assess visitors’ sense of climate change concern at various geographic levels via pre- and post-website viewing survey analyses. Quantitative survey results show statistically significant differences between climate change concerns before and after viewing the website, with concern increasing for Glacier National Park irrespective of demographic and ideological identification. Qualitative analyses of survey comments adapted Schweizer et al.’s (Environmental Communication 7(1):42–62, 2013) and Leiserowitz et al’s (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, New Haven, 2009) Six Americas categories to interpret how respondents’ engage with climate change. The results of this pilot study indicate that place attachment shows promise as a tool for online climate communication and is useful in engaging different types of audiences.

Keywords

Place attachment Climate change Online communication Interactive websites Glacier National Park (GNP) 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to especially credit Dori Gorczyca, whose senior honors thesis kick-started this paper. Dori created the website, designed the survey, collected the data, and did much of the initial quantitative analysis. We thank the Provost’s Office and the Department of Environmental Studies at Gettysburg College, the United States Geological Survey, and the National Park Service. We also greatly appreciate help from Dr. Andy Wilson, Dr. Wendy Piniak, Teagan Tomlin, and Matt Beehr.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salma Monani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah Principato
    • 1
  • Dori Gorczyca
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesGettysburg CollegeGettysburgUSA

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