Marist Alumna Attends United Nations Climate Conference — MARIST CIRCLE

Throughout the two weeks of the conference, the US Center hosted a variety of scheduled events, from a NASA satellite presentation to a climate solutions pitch competition. Several were also displayed in the pavilion displays For visitors to explore, including a virtual reality experience, art installation and data visualization touch screen. But Walsh-Thomas’ favorite events centered on the speaker panel Indigenous knowledge, Female climate action And Island Nation Partnership — for him, these perspectives are a significant piece of the climate puzzle.

“Hearing those stories and how they are affected really drives home, here and around the world, how important and how urgent it is to act on climate and how far we need to go to meet our commitments and take the necessary action. meet our goals, especially to make sure we keep that 1.5 degrees Celsius target within reach,” she said.

One of Walsh-Thomas’ main roles was to take pictures of all the events at the center, so she stayed there for most of the two weeks. However, she had the opportunity to see other countries’ events and pavilions – some of which even offered the benefit of free coffee. But along the way, he was able to connect with others around the world. “In the morning, before the events actually started, I could just have a friendly chat with them about how their pavilion was going, what they were most looking forward to… just very casual, but we were all there for the same reason. We are,” she said.

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By far, the most successful decision of the conference was the agreement to establish “Loss and damages” fund For those nations most affected by the climate crisis. Despite their minimal contribution to the climate problem, poor countries often bear the brunt of global warming, viz Floods in Pakistan In early 2022. The compensation provided by the developed countries will be prepared by a committee during the next year.

When she is not participating in international climate conferences, Walsh-Thomas works with Office of Policy and Public Outreach within the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. In her role, she tells the Bureau’s stories to both the press and the public by issuing news releases, creating fact sheets for blog posts and engaging with social media followers. Facebook, Twitter And Instagram.

Walsh-Thomas frequently collaborates with policy experts from both the Office of Environmental Change and the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate, as well as the latter’s communications team, to bring the technical details of federal environmental policy to life for a non-expert audience. “We are focused on science diplomacy, thinking about building bridges between communities, societies and nations through coordination, cooperation and partnership in scientific fields with other nations to address the national and global challenges we face today. Coping,” she said.

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Before joining the public sector, completed a science-policy fellowship with Walsh-Thomas National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine And American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also ended up working briefly with national scholars between academia and government, but her passion for the intersection of the natural and social sciences blossomed during her time as a student.

At Marist, Walsh-Thomas received her BS in Environmental Science and Policy, and her time with the department allowed her to engage in significant professional opportunities. For example, she met with the State Climatologist of her home state, New Jersey, and gained first-hand experience in citizen science and data collection. “My experience at Marist gave me so many different opportunities and allowed me to find my own way. I wasn’t pigeonholed or pressured in any way. I feel like I was really supported,” she said.

During her senior capping course, Walsh-Thomas stumbled The Six Americas of Global Warming, an audience segmentation analysis that classifies Americans into six groups based on their response to climate change, ranging from alarmed to dismissed. There is collaboration between research Yale Program on Climate Change Communication And Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.

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In fact, after her time as an undergraduate, Walsh-Thomas studied Earth Systems Science at George Mason, with the goal of entering the field of science. But something told him to change track. “There was a constant pull…my master’s program was in the same hallway [the Center for Climate Change Communication]So walking by it every day, that gravitational pull was real,” she said.

While completing her PhD at the same school, Walsh-Thomas had the unique opportunity to intern with National Park Service Climate Communication Internship Program. During this time, she was producing a major project Climate Change Communication Guide For the National Park Service. Used in NPS training sessions, the guide gives park rangers a blueprint for best practices when interacting with visitors. “They always speak to people. They are storytellers. They tell our natural history, our cultural history…it localizes that story into that personal experience that one has in a park,” she said.

When communicating about climate change, Walsh-Thomas recommends knowing your audience in advance and making scientific content relevant and translatable to local communities. Engaging in a two-way conversation is essential, but empowerment and optimism will always be key. “It’s important to talk about the problem, but we can’t forget to talk about the solutions… because there is no one-size-fits-all action,” she said. “Everyone can, and indeed should, do their part.”


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