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ALTERED STATE Climate Change exhibition. Aaron Pope Manager of Sustainability Programs. Altered State. A long-term Academy commitment to exploring climate change Budget: $1.8 million Size: 10,000 square feet Opened: September, 2008. Research Study.

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altered state climate change exhibition

ALTERED STATEClimate Change exhibition

Aaron PopeManager of Sustainability Programs

altered state
Altered State

A long-term Academy commitment to exploring climate change

Budget: $1.8 million

Size: 10,000 square feet

Opened: September, 2008

research study
Research Study

Prior to final design, IMPACT conducted a research survey:

  • 4,000 people, representing the Academy demographic
  • Respondents asked detailed questions about the role of the Academy and other institutions in terms of:
    • Environmental stewardship
    • Climate change education
survey results the good news
Survey Results – the good news
  • The science of climate change is clear, and that it was an important issue:
survey results the good news1
Survey Results – the good news
  • Individuals can have a big impact:
survey results the good news2
Survey Results – the good news
  • The Academy was a trusted institution:
survey results the bad news
Survey Results – the bad news
  • Far away in time and place:
survey results more bad news
Survey Results – more bad news
  • We have plenty of time to solve climate change
  • It would be considered a less important topic in 5 years
  • People were willing to make small changes in their own lives to respond to climate change…
  • but thought their neighbors should take stronger measures
survey integration impact modules
Survey integration – impact modules
  • Focus less on causes, more on impacts and solutions
  • Hit hard and hit home

Four, free-standing impact modules:

    • Changing oceans
    • Melting snow & ice
    • Hotter and dryer areas
    • Extinctions
  • Climate change impacts, globally and locally
  • Mitigation and adaption strategies
survey integration interactives
Survey integration – interactives

Two empowering messages:

  • Millions are people are involved worldwide
  • Academy visitors can join these efforts and

make a difference

Golden Rules:

  • Visitors want to join their peers
  • Visitors need to feel they have a real impact
  • Visitor efforts need to seem easy and manageable
  • Visitors need “a pat on the back”
  • Visitors are motivated to protect themselves, their families and their communities
evaluation results
Evaluation results
  • Conducted by Randi Korn & Associates:
  • Observation data and interviews
  • The exhibit succeeds in generating discussion about climate change
  • The overall tone of the exhibit is good: Visitors understand it is a daunting issue but are able to cite examples of solutions
  • The exhibition appeals equally to all ages
  • The interactive elements are the most popular part of the exhibit and text panels the least popular
  • The combination of museum specimens, videos and interactives are an important part of the learning process for many visitors
future improvements
Future improvements
  • The exhibit needs an intro section with a clear, main message
  • Less text panels, more interactives
  • New section on the scientific consensus on climate change
  • More collaboration with other museums, NGO’s, government agencies, etc.
  • An evaluation of long-term behavior change impacts