The workshop in Ohio was fun. It was meaningful to talk to people about ginseng’s biology and culture, and really encourage folks to plant ginseng in their backyards. This workshop was based on my belief that if individuals participate actively in conservation, they can keep ginseng (or numerous other species) from becoming extinct. One person can certainly make a difference, and prevent the tragedy of the commons…
One of my favorite things to do when teaching people about outreach is to share a YouTube video staring a famous scientist/naturalist and ask people to talk about the elements that make it effective. I love showing David Attenborough talk about the Lyrebird (Scroll down to see my thoughts!)
1) Vocals: You can always hear him, but he switches up the volume, tone, and pace. This keeps it super interesting... (Not that he can help it, but his accent is perfection!)
2) Connects: I personally love when he describes how the Lyrebird clearing a space on the forest floor is similar to the bird creating a concert hall! What a clever way to make it relatable, and to compare it to an idea that people are familiar with.
3) Passion: It is easy to see that he loves birds and his job. This instantly makes it more fun to watch.
4) Tell a story: He saves the bird’s songs that mimic chainsaws until the end. I have one word for that: WOW! By building up the songs that reflect human influence, and ending on the song that reflects deforestation in the area, he is telling an environmental story without mentioning the topic directly. This pulls at the emotional heartstrings of any tree-hugger, and clearly illustrates how the lyrebird is losing its habitat.