Karin Kirk

Freelance science writer, Yale Climate Connections

Karin is a freelance science writer, geologist, and skier. She’s a contributing writer for Yale Climate Connections where one of her ongoing interests is learning what makes people change their minds about climate change. She also enjoys deep diving into energy data and busting climate myths. In the geology realm, Karin has forged a partnership with the natural stone industry, where she plies her science communication skills to help consumers and industry professionals learn about granite, marble, and other types of stone. She’s found plenty of myths to bust in this work as well. And for ten months per year, Karin can be found on skis as often as at her computer. She’s a professional ski instructor and she writes about snowsports instruction and occasionally busts myths about ski technique (no, do not lean back while skiing powder). Whenever possible, she connects all three aspects of her work while traveling to the Arctic to ski and document the effects of climate change on snow and ice. www.karinkirk.com

Karin is speaking at

Platform: Zoom webinar CASW New Horizons in Science
October 23, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm


  • Maxwell Boykoff (Speaker) Director and professor, Environmental Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Karin Kirk (Speaker) Freelance science writer, Yale Climate Connections
  • Teresa Carr (Moderator) Independent health and science journalist


For decades, Americans have been divided along party lines over how to deal with climate change. Mass media coverage, framed in many cases along an “information deficit” model that has been repeatedly shown incorrect, has often unintentionally exacerbated the divide.

Yet there is more common ground than we realize. Recent polls have found that most Republicans understand that climate change is happening, for example, and a majority of conservatives under age 40 voice interest in taking action.

In this session, two expert climate communicators will describe communication techniques that research has shown effectively breach the partisan divide. They will show how to avoid framing, language, and other factors that unintentionally signal bias and undermine trust in climate science. And they’ll suggest ways to pitch climate stories to outlets that typically don’t cover the topic or that reach a skeptical audience.

In this live session, Max Boykoff, who heads up the Media and Climate Change Observatory at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will present the latest results from his group's study of 46,000 print articles on climate change from 17 sources in five nations and how these and other research results illuminate how different kinds of reporting about climate do—and do not—resonate broadly with the public.

Geologist and Yale Climate Connections contributor Karin Kirk will present a case study describing how she convinced editors at a sporting magazine that usually avoids climate change to tackle the topic, how she managed negative pushback generated by the piece, and what she has since learned about people’s motivations on climate change, why various messages tend to be ‘sticky’ and effective, and what factors actually help people change their minds.

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