Fall Research Expo 2021

Explaining Accelerated Sea Level Rise for the Netherlands through Animated Video

The Dutch are considered masters of water management. Since the beginning of civilization in the Netherlands, they have developed incredible strategies and technology to navigate flooding and rising sea levels, all while living under sea level. But with climate change, there is an unprecedented and dangerous challenge at hand. It is difficult to assess exactly how certain factors, such as the melting ice caps, will play out and affect rising sea levels, and also to predict the resulting damage. Thus, the government, scientists, and policymakers must collaborate and formulate a plan to address this problem. Currently, there are many proposals being made, but it may be helpful to include the general public in this conversation as well.

The overall goal of this project was to establish a series of explainer videos to inform the Dutch public and the public at large about accelerated sea level rise. We hope that this would contribute to the current debate about the best adaptive approach. We first researched both the topic at hand and the explainer video format so that we could develop the video to portray accurate, reliable information in the most accessible way possible. For example, we read studies on how melting ice cap can impact sea level rise and what that means for the governments and people living on land susceptible to flooding. We also read up on the different proposals to combat sea level rise, which ranged from a retreating from coastal land to building higher dikes. To supplement our research, we also spoke with Dutch people varying from professionals working with the IPCC to comedians who have a keen interest in the Netherland's reaction to rising sea levels. During our brainstorming process, we also frequently asked them for critique. Our biggest concern was that the visual metaphors we use, our pacing, our script, or the video in general would not be effectively impart the information we want to our audience in an interesting way. For the first video we discussed an important question that seemingly has wildly different answers: How Much of the Netherlands is Under Sea Level? We hope that by answering this question and gearing the video towards both an English speaking and Dutch speaking audience, we invite more people into this very important conversation.

PRESENTED BY
PURM - Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program
College of Arts & Sciences 2024
Advised By
Simon Richter
Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Join Rebekah for a virtual discussion
PRESENTED BY
PURM - Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program
College of Arts & Sciences 2024
Advised By
Simon Richter
Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Comments

This looks is a really creative solution to a signficant problem that everyone around the world seems to be facing in one way or another. With the lessons you learned from creating this video for the Dutch climate situation, what would you do to convey the significance of the threat of climate change to American or other audiences?