If a picture is worth a thousand words, then 30 frames per second in short video offers a science-policy link in a fraction of time. We have adapted our work on forest and watershed restoration, on water information and management in California, on food-water security, and other topics for a lay public and decision-maker audiences. We have worked with University of California Television (UCTV) to develop short (3-60 sec), solution-based, sustainability videos for education and outreach. UCTV reaches a massive audience through a proprietary web interface in addition to subscriptions, YouTube, iTunes, and public broadcasting. Work is amplified through social media and a network of sustainability organizations with UC. We build stories and curriculum to accompany a video that “grabs” the audience. For example, in the inaugural video for our Sustainable California channel (
http://www.uctv.tv/sustainable-cal/), “Water in the Balance,” initially received thousands of views on Facebook and over 750 views on YouTube in addition to website subscriptions. Developed through our UC Water Security and Sustainability Initiative (http://ucwater.org/), it succinctly tells the story of water sustainability in the state relying on three changing and interconnected stores of water: snow, reservoirs and groundwater. By introducing the viewer to hydrology, climate science, and geospatial analysis, the value of geosciences is linked to one of our most critical resources: water is in the news every day. A second video covers the connections between forests and water resources, arguing for integrated management, and introducing viewers to the geosciences through the layers of the biosphere to lithosphere, where life meets rock. It highlights research from our Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (https://criticalzone.org/sierra/). Water is the actor, flowing through the whole system. We link the forest story with implications for downstream water users. Video resources invite the audience to our scientific meeting, take them in the field to experience data collection, and engage with the natural resources and related ecosystems on which we all depend. This presentation aims to empower fellow scientists to share their scientific sustainability stories through the medium of video.
Bales, R. C.; Bernacchi, L.; Conklin, M. H.; Safeeq, M.; Viers, J. H.; Gilmore, M. (2017): Sustainable California: Getting the word out through a web-based TV channel. Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, December 2017. Abstract PA42A-07..