Honors College
 

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Major

Biology

Advisor(s)

Sara Lindsay, Erin Vinson

Committee Members

Sarah Lindahl, Frederick "Birdie" Sawyer, Jennie Woodard

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to study how viewers react to seeing climate issues communicated through dance. Past research states that an effective climate communicator is not necessarily an expert, but a person who uses their platform to create a dialogue, and encourages public engagement with climate change by making the issues interesting and appealing to viewers. With this criterion in mind, three short dance videos were made surrounding three relevant climate issues. Along with climate topic inspired choreography, these videos contained written information regarding coral bleaching, air travel emissions, and renewable energy. These videos were posted to the social media platform TikTok, and analytics were recorded including the number of likes, views, shares, and viewers, as well as the average watch time, and percentage of viewers who watched the entire video. The videos were also distributed in a survey to a select group of University of Maine students. The results from TikTok showed that likes and views increased with each video posted. However, the majority of viewers did not watch the entire video. The results in the survey were more positive, with findings that the majority of viewers had an overall positive Quality of Interaction with the videos. A Likert scale survey showed that the majority of viewers felt the videos were both entertaining and effective in communicating the respective climate topics. Word clouds formed from open response answers showed that viewers found the videos “informative” and most had emotional responses that reflected the intended mood of each video.

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