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Major: Environmental Geography(emphasis in Atmospheric Science) and Political Science
Mentor: Dr. Gretchen Mullendore
Expected Graduation Date: May 2012
Hello my name is Korey Southerland, I am from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before coming to UND, I completed the Transfer curriculum at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, where I was co-founder of the Student Committee on Public Engagement. I was a delegate to two Minnesota elections and have demonstrated my dedication to public service by volunteering and conducting outreach with varied political and community organizations. In the spring of 2010 I received the Milton R. Young scholarship which is a competitive political science departmental scholarship that seeks recipients with a precocious dedication to public service. I am double-majoring in Political Science and Environmental Geography with an emphasis in Atmospheric Science; I am also seeking a Mathematics minor. During the fall of 2010 I was a weather intern and reporter for “Studio One” (the schools television network). In the summer of 2010 I participated in UND’s competitive “Communicating Climate Change” internship, funded by NASA’s Global Climate Change Education Program, where I conducted research using NASA Earth observation datasets and designed translational webcasts and lesson plans for students and the general public. With faculty advisor Dr. Gretchen Mullendore in atmospheric science. I recently established a group on campus titled UND Women in Science. During the spring of 2011, I presented research at the American Meteorological Society Conference in Seattle, and at a new undergraduate political science conference in Winnipeg titled “Red River Corridor Undergraduate Political Science Conference.” I will be presenting as a co-author at a competitive conference in Washington DC, Posters on The Hill, with Logan Stundal (another McNair scholar) who was accepted into the conference to present on privacy rights regarding social network users. In addition to class work and outside activities, I am a volleyball coach for an intermurals team on campus. I plan to pursue her doctorate in Atmospheric Policy or Climate Science, with an emphasis on identifying and specifying best practices within the scientific community for translational research on carbon emissions and climate change to promote effective communication with public and industry officials, inform the general public, and develop sound public policy.
Through a literature review this research will addresses the connection between public uncertainty about the existence of anthropogenic (human induced) climate change and how that uncertainty affects public policy outcomes. Climate scientists have reached consensus on the human contribution to climate change. If scientific consensus regarding the human impact of climate change exists, what simulates general public uncertainty? The general public acquires information about climate change from numerous sources, but predominantly, the public relies upon the news media. This news media influences public beliefs, attitudes, and values that reinforce incorrect perceptions of climate change. As well, it is important to consider who influences the media and how scientists communicate to the media. This research will focus on establishing a firm understanding of how the news media communicates to the public by using balanced viewpoints and how that trickles into the policy agendas of politicians and political stakeholders. In order to have sound climate policy the public must understand the significance of climate change and what that means for the future.