Chicago Zoological Society Approach

Video interviews with zoo visitors

Climate Change Interpretation


Develop new, conversational models of climate change interpretation that provide hope and inspire community action


To create a virtual, optimistic, solutions-based community that promotes, inspires and engages in climate change conversations as well as climate action, we train our interpreters to engage the public in hopeful, visitor centered climate change dialogue. The conversations focus on combating pessimism and celebrating mitigating and adaptive behaviors, while inspiring conservation action by fostering a sense of community.

Our holistic approach to climate change education

  • builds on research from the Climate Literacy Zoo Education Network (CliZEN);
  • applies the six core principles of interpretation and appropriate interpretive practices supported by the National Association for Interpretation (NAI);
  • implements the core aspects of the Chicago Zoological Society’s Learning Strategy; and
  • incorporates communication and engagement strategies from Connect and the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI).

CliZEN research shows that people believe climate change is real and want to take action to address it. However, many people perceive obstacles to addressing climate change and don’t believe they can make a difference.

The Chicago Zoological Society Learning Strategy is

  • a framework to put our mission into practice;
  • a core reference to create master plan experiences, programs, and events;
  • a means to make program and exhibit outcomes measurable;
  • a process that empowers people to become important agents for environmental change; and
  • a tool that develops abilities for many kinds of conservation leaders.