Community Climate Communicators

A Community-Based Approach to Climate Science Communication: Results From a Pilot Climate Extension Program

Graphic showing 3 aspects of effective climate communication: tell personal stories, share local information, and focus on the other person's values

Suzanna Clark, Heidi Roop, Katerina Gonzales, Caryn Mohr, Anne Dybsetter, Linda Kingery 


More frequent, effective climate conversations initiated by a diversity of trusted voices can help to increase climate concern and desire for action at the community level. However, in the United States, there is a disconnect between the level of concern individuals have about climate change and the extent to which individuals talk about the issue. To help bridge this gap, the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership developed a training program aimed at inspiring and equipping local community members across Greater Minnesota with the skills and confidence to have effective conversations about climate change in their communities. This paper summarizes the programmatic activities we used to support our goals, and some reflections on the program's results. This pilot program provides a framework for future efforts that can be facilitated by Extension programs, community-based organizations, universities, and others to inspire and accelerate similar community-centered climate conversations.