UC Faculty Members Partner with Cincinnati Museum Center

Research on climate change educates museum visitors, presents UC research on the issue


A museum visitor enjoys the new component

UC researchers – including one from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services – have recently collaborated with Cincinnati Museum Center professionals to develop a new museum component on climate change. Titled Climate Change and Us, the group of interdisciplinary UC researchers teamed up with the museum to highlight scientific research and discoveries concerning the effects and causes of global climate change.

By presenting this research at the Glacial Geology Hall in the Museum of Natural History & Science in Cincinnati, a wider audience has greater accessibility to the information, encouraging visitors to take an active role in understanding and minimizing the effects of climate change.

“Our hope for the exhibit is to have people realize that climate change is occurring now and that it is impacting us at a local, national, and global level,” said Linda Plevyak, professor of education and one of the lead organizers of the partnership. “We have the power to make an impact on climate change on a daily basis by making small changes: bringing your own bags to the grocery store; composting your leftover fruits and vegetables; recycling paper, plastic, and glass; taking shorter showers; turning down the heat, and turning up the air-conditioning.”

From an explanation on the greenhouse effect, to an overview on how the climate has changed through time, to details on the effects on animals globally, the component offers a broad range of complex information distilled and presented in an interesting way.  A case of extinct and endangered specimens from Cincinnati Museum Center collections also helps illustrate the ramifications of climate change.

In addition to man-made effects on the environment, natural forces have caused climate to change over the course of Earth's history – and this important fact is also explored in the component. Additionally, Climate Change and Us includes interactive touchscreen videos, produced and edited by the Cincinnati Museum Center, that share the findings and implications of several UC professors.

“This exhibit is a representation of hard work from both teams and will be read and reflected upon by many museum visitors,” said Plevyak. From UC, the interdisciplinary team was comprised of Brooke Crowley, Aaron Diefendorf, Erika Freimuth, and Plevyak.

Climate Change and Us opened to the public on Earth Day, April 22, 2014, in the Museum of Natural History & Science at Cincinnati Museum Center. The exhibit will be open during normal museum hours, and is included with the price of admission to the Museum of Natural History & Science or with your Cincinnati Museum Center Membership.