Telling a New Climate Story — Giving Students a Positive Voice in the Age of Science Denialism

Wednesday 1:30pm-4:00pm TSU - Humphries: 222
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Cheryl Manning, OrbWeaver Consulting

Forest fires, floods, hurricanes, and famine are challenging problems. It doesn't help that the "grown-ups" running our country can't seem to agree on anything. For any individual, it seems like there is so little that one person can control or impact, and the effects on our mental well-being can be significant. In this mini-workshop we will explore how we can use storytelling to communicate our understanding of climate change data and evidence while charting a path toward a future very different from our past.


By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Explore evidence that climate change may be affecting mental health.
  • Experiment with the components of effective storytelling
  • Create their own climate change story to address an issue of personal concern

Presentation: Storytelling, Climate Change, and Wellbeing

1:30 Welcome, introductions, and goals

1:40 Small-group discussions: stories of climate change, youth action and mental health; identify and share strategies to reframe the issues from crisis to action

1:55 Reviewing the components of a good story (handout)

Story Development Template

2:00 Break

2:10 Developing your Story

  • Listening and connecting to develop audience awareness
  • Identifying your Goal
  • Making it Relevant
  • Recognizing and preparing for Obstacles
  • Achieving your Goal

3:30 Giving and Getting Feedback

3:50 Wrap-up and Workshop Evaluation

4:00 Adjourn


  • Berry, H. L., Waite, T. D., Dear, K. B., Capon, A. G., & Murray, V. (2018). The case for systems thinking about climate change and mental health. Nature Climate Change, 8(4), 282.
  • Clayton, S., Manning, C. M., Krygsman, K., & Speiser, M. (2017). Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, and ecoAmerica.
  • Marshall, N., Adger, W. N., Benham, C., Brown, K., Curnock, M. I., Gurney, G. G., ... & Thiault, L. (2019). Reef Grief: investigating the relationship between place meanings and place change on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Sustainability Science, 14(3), 579-587.
  • Moezzi, M., Janda, K. B., & Rotmann, S. (2017). Using stories, narratives, and storytelling in energy and climate change research. Energy Research & Social Science, 31, 1-10.
  • Obradovich, N., Migliorini, R., Paulus, M. P., & Rahwan, I. (2018). Empirical evidence of mental health risks posed by climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(43), 10953-10958.