Monday, April 1, 2013

UCSB Conference Will Address Sea Level Rise

Over the next century, rising seas will transform coastlines and coastal zones around the world, from small islands to entire continents.

“Figuring Sea Level Rise,” the Critical Issues in America series at UC Santa Barbara, will conclude this month with the Arthur N. Rupe Conference on Media and the Environment, which will focus on several crucial –– and highly misunderstood –– questions in the debate about climate change and sea level rise.

“Risk and Uncertainty and the Communication of Sea Level Rise,” will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 12, at UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion. The event will feature scholars, experts, and indigenous peoples addressing topics such as which coastal communities are likely to be directly and immediately impacted by rising seas, what form that impact will take, and the challenges inherent in accurately identifying and communicating the associated risks. The conference is free and open to the public.

“In the morning, the keynote speaker and panelists will discuss the human dimensions of sea level rise –– and the use of local and traditional media to represent these issues –– in indigenous coastal communities from Alaska to Hawaii to Santa Barbara,” said Ronald E. Rice, the Arthur N. Rupe Professor of Mass Communication at UCSB and co-director of the campus’s Carsey-Wolf Center.

“In the first afternoon session, panelists will explore the challenges in planning for and communicating the risks of climate change and sea level rise, when some outcomes are as yet unknowable, while others are of immediate and strategic concern to the United States,” he continued. “The final session emphasizes how different values and ways of thinking affect communication about –– and responses to –– the implications of sea level rise, and how to create engaging media while maintaining accurate sea level rise science.” More