Life Below Water Challenge 3: Communication


Interview with Sara Tjossem, Diana Budds, and Zoe Berg by Yanging Ye, Tzu Ching, and Ben Bartlett.

Communication can be seen as a peer-to-peer problem, but it’s to the masses as well. Graphical, artistic, literary and big data are all forms of communication. With big data, perhaps the presence of multiple sensors and making sense of data can translate physical information.

Sara Tjossem, an environmental policy professor at Columbia, wishes that people within an organization recognize the immense work it takes to build collaboration. She says we must build a better understanding of natural systems. And we must build trust.

According to Sara, going forward, through a combination of education and communication, people in the marine science field must make clear the unavoidable connections between land and sea. If you were to ask someone on the street, most people would say that there is a disconnect. They don’t understand how inevitably tied they are with water.

Diana Budds is a design writer, She studied urbanism and sustainability in northern Europe. She didn’t want to work in policy or become an environmental lawyer, but she cared deeply about sustainability. She wants to bring measures and strategies being used around the world to the attention of committees who organize and implement people and solutions.

She isn’t investigative journalist. Her approach is from an editorial perspective. She interviews someone involved. Her stories are from the prospective of ‘this is the change we would like to see’, or exposing false advertising by corporations. Her article, The Cities of the 21st Century will be Defined by Water, discusses low-impact development and the implementation of natural systems, instead of relying of engineering systems for the permeability of cities.

Diana says that being informed is incredibly powerful. Knowledge is important. But she can’t decide how one might use that knowledge. Her work as a design writer isn’t a direct line of action. It’s just sharing knowledge and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Communication is also crucial between Zoe Berg’s research team and Oman, a country along the Arabian coast dealing with noctiluca scintillans blooms. Sara, who studies intergovernmental operations, believes that communication can give life to eroding environmental systems by knowing how to navigate political and cultural obstacles. Zoe, Sara, and Diana all strained the importance of communication in each of their pursuits.

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