Unit # 1
This unit explores conservation methods, the use of classification in population status and explains in-situ and ex-situ conservation.
This unit explores:
• What is conservation?
• Use of classification and population status
• In-situ and ex-situ conservation
• Conservation methods
• Overall goals in conservation projects
• Case Studies
Unit # 2
This unit observes how the media advertises conservation, explaining the effective ways to communicate on social media to promote and educate in animal conservation and research.
This unit explores:
• Different types of media
• How conservation projects utilise media
• Communicating through media effectively
• Promoting and educating in conservation and research using different media techniques
Conservation and the Media Course
Media is important for community groups and organisations to gain positive and consistent coverage in the media and show the work that they do and what they achieve.
It can have an effect on the audience because if they can see what the organisation is about and what work they have carried out, this will ensure that they are more likely to gain support.
Media consumption can often go unnoticed due to it becoming an everyday occurrence and this is when media literacy comes in.
Media literacy is the ability to access, analyse, evaluate and create media and is important in terms of ensuring people are aware of the information that they are receiving and can piece it all together to form an opinion.
Media can heavily influence how people think and what decisions they make.
Conservation and the Importance of the Media
The purposes of media are to; inform, amuse, persuade and enlighten and as there is a way for people to media multitask – meaning people can
simultaneously use two or more forms of media – it is important that consumers know how to decipher the messages they are given.
Social media platforms provide a place for the sharing of biodiversity related content and posts about nature experiences. This could come in useful for conservation science as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr can be used to extract knowledge and information from. This is because in social media, each post contains information about when the content was created or shared and when it is geotagged, the pictures and texts have co-ordinations for the location of where it was taken from. This social media content has potential in representing populations, especially in terms of the identification of specific individuals, the threats of certain habitats and can back up data that has been collected previously. Social media data does have a potential in playing an important role in conservation science as it is useful in the collection of crowd-sourced citizen science data. Citizen science data is classed as; public participation, science, the outcome of which can often help in the advancement of science and can aid in increasing the publics understanding of conservation because they can get involved and take action in their areas.
By extensively monitoring biodiversity, this type of data can be used to learn more about the movement patterns of the species, the values and activities related to biodiversity conservation and what that means to different groups of people. Though social media data is far from solving all data challenges that arise in conservation science, it can be combined with other sources of data and help in providing innovative ways to address the information needs for any future conservation projects and challenges. However, even though social media can contribute to conservation science, there are a number of challenges which include; inaccurate geographical locations, a content bias in the post, self-selecting users and any ethical concerns that should always be addressed when using social media as a research tool.
Conservation and the Media
There are uncertainties that are associated with the way research is reported in the news in regard to climate change and natural environments. Research into conservation media has shown there has been misrepresentation and made the consequences more catastrophic in terms of species extinction and climate change, making timescales appear longer or shorter when it comes to the threat of species.
This has become known as a struggle for legitimacy; between what the public see and the trust that they have in what they are viewing and reading. Problems in scepticism have also been raised in terms of conservation media, the sceptics have been observed to deny any seriousness in environmental problems and have claimed to be unbiased while posting and using junk science. This means public read into something that is either untrue or not properly researched and ends up having a negative impact on conservation without realising it. Misinformation is then shared with the public and it then becomes hard for conservation projects to share information as people believe other things. Due to this struggle for legitimacy, it can be difficult for educators, media and conservation practitioners to engage effectively with the public in raising awareness and develop the understanding to make a practical and positive difference. This course explores how best to ensure that the media works to the advantage of the work being carried out by the conservation organisation.