Welcome to the event schedule and directory for the 13th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium, November 20-21, 2019. Free and open to all, the Symposium encourages a comprehensive review of the current state of our watershed while creating learning and networking opportunities for a broad array of stakeholders. Sessions cover a broad range of topics on water quality and watershed issues with local, regional, and national relevance. Hosted by Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration.

Powerpoints and audio recordings are available. Click on a session and scroll down to the attached files.
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Wednesday, November 20 • 1:40pm - 2:10pm
Taking the "Risk" Out of Risk Communication

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Taking the "Risk" Out of Risk Communication

Effective risk communication improves interactions with the public during a pollution event. In this session, participants will learn how to communicate risk to the public; collaborate with agencies and stakeholders before, during and after an event; work with the media; and foster two-way conversations with affected publics.

Full Abstract:
Members of the public aren't always aware of the important role healthy watersheds play in their lives until their water source is threatened by an unexpected spill or contamination event. While most agencies and programs have communications experts who can explain the situation to concerned residents, it's the subject matter experts who are often called on to speak with reporters and provide answers to complex questions. In this session, watershed managers, staff, and scientists will learn how to effectively communicate risk to the public; collaborate with sister agencies and stakeholders before, during and after an event; work with the media; and foster two-way conversations with affected residents. Participants will learn: 1. How to communicate risk effectively using real-world examples of effective and ineffective responses to high-profile issues 2. How to develop a simple risk communication plan before an event occurs 3. How to craft messages that resonate with people and address fear and uncertainty during an incident 4. How to respond to community concerns with a combination of empathy and solid scientific information 5. How to apply the Seven Cardinal Rules of Risk Communication Session participants will receive a two-page risk communication template they can adapt to their particular needs and situations. The presenter will offer follow-up opportunities to discuss specific issues with participants after the symposium.

avatar for Christine Osborne

Christine Osborne

Environmental Planner, Utah Department of Environmental Quality
I am an environmental planner and NEPA coordinator with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality's Division of Water Quality (DWQ) in the Watershed Protection Section. I am the Communication Lead for the San Juan Watershed Program, coordinate NEPA comments from DWQ on federal... Read More →

Wednesday November 20, 2019 1:40pm - 2:10pm MST
Lower Level - Ballroom A/B