Exploring environmental communication : discussing systems concepts with communicators in Banff National Park
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Through examples of ecological or living systems this research project introduced selected systems concepts to a purposely-selected sample of environmental communicators within Banff National Park. Participants’ individual reflections and collective discussions of the systems concepts led them to develop an expanded understanding of what constitutes effective environmental communication. Subsequent changes occurred to the system within which the project took place, including changes to participants, between participants, between participants and their environment, and to the researcher. Research project design reflected the systems concepts being discussed and encouraged participants to freely construct their own experiences. Content analysis enabled examination of qualitative data collected through web-based questions and discussion. Conclusions support that a systems thinking approach can enhance understandings of effective environmental communication, including increasing awareness of looping processes such as feedback, promoting collective action and a sense of community, and developing understandings of connections between ecological systems and social systems.
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