Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Changes in the Wind

Science, collaboration and technology for ocean health

melting ice

5/19/2016 — By Nathan Gilles

When Peter Ruggiero meets with people in coastal communities to discuss climate change, he asks them to consider what they like most about where they live. And then he asks them to imagine the future.

"We get people to think about the positive aspects of the coast, what they like about working and playing along the coast," says Ruggiero, a geomorphologist (a scientist who studies land forms) at Oregon State University. "And then, in light of problems like sea-level rise and other climate hazards, we start thinking about strategies that can get them to their ideal," how the community might maintain its cherished values.

Climate change can be a daunting, difficult subject, but the thing is, says Ruggiero, this exercise helps people approach it with a sense of purpose. "We've found this actually moves the needle. People become more optimistic and less pessimistic about climate change."

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Other CEOAS faculty mentioned in the article include Ed Brook, Alan Mix, Peter Clark, and Phil Mote.

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