In June 2013, Nurture Nature Center won a national media/outreach award from the National Association of Floodplain Managers for its “Rising Waters” Program for the Science on a Sphere exhibit, which provides a compelling new way for public audiences across the country to learn about the impact of a changing climate on flooding around the world.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) designed the SOS exhibit and has installed it in approximately 100 museums and institutions around the world. In 2012, NNC developed a feature-length SOS program called “Rising Waters,” which describes how more people around the world are at risk of flooding due to a combination of development patterns and more extreme weather. Rising Waters provides a visually captivating look at the way that population and settlement patterns and climate change combine to create global flood risk in certain parts of the world. NNC hosted the show weekly on its SOS exhibit at its center in Easton, Pennsylvania, and also provided it as a group program for many local schools and non-profit organizations throughout the year. NNC has now shared this program with the entire network of SOS institutions, and has posted an abbreviated video version online on its flood education website, Focus on Floods. (See: http://focusonfloods.org/home/risingwaters). This version can be viewed by school and other groups in advance of a visit, and can be used as a teaching aid for any floodplain manager or other educator.
In addition to creating the Rising Waters sphere program for international dissemination, NNC hosted a series of community dialogue forums about climate change and flooding, including a forum specifically for emergency managers and one for classroom teachers. These forums used the “Rising Waters” program as a launching point for discussion about how climate and flooding affect our local communities, and what steps can be taken to reduce losses. Hundreds of people participated in the weekly shows and discussion forums. NNC has been developing a model of community forums around flooding since 2009, and recently released a companion handbook, “From Risk to Resiliency: Better Communities through Science Learning About Local Environmental Risks” (see: http://nnc.uberflip.com/i/114789), which can be used by SOS or non-SOS sites interested in creating discussion forums about flooding or other local risk topics.