Three Steps to Better Risk Communication

Course Description

Communities want to be proactive when it comes to protecting what they value, but one of the main steps, which involves discussing risk, can be difficult. Thankfully, there are tried and true techniques for this task.

Participate in this four-week virtual course to learn what works. During the course you will engage with trainers, peers, and an expert guest speaker as you explore your situation and other real world examples. Best of all, you will walk away from this course with your own risk communication strategy.

The course format allows a group of learners to participate in virtual instructor-led sessions, combined with self-guided activities.

You will learn how to

  • Identify how and why people respond to risk the way they do
  • Improve audience understanding by analyzing their characteristics and values
  • Engage audiences in a group setting to encourage buy-in and identify options to reduce risk

Participant Requirements

No communication experience is required. There is no charge to participants, but space is limited. As a participant, you will be expected to

  • Join us for the duration of the course
  • Work on an actual risk communication challenge you are ready to tackle (pairs or small groups from an organization or community are encouraged)
  • Each week, participate in a 90-minute interactive session (Wednesdays from 3:00 to 4:30 pm Eastern time)
  • Each week, spend up to 90 minutes of your own time completing assignments and engaging with course participants electronically
  • Provide feedback on the course to help us shape future offerings
  • Use the following technologies to engage with trainers and fellow participants:
    • Headset or speakers and a microphone
    • Free Google-based account for Google Docs access
    • Adobe Connect and the learning management system Moodle, both furnished by NOAA


This is a pilot course, so we are counting on your feedback and full participation!

For participants who complete all aspects of the course, we want to show our thanks by offering a complimentary registration to the Social Coast Forum (February 3 to 6, 2020, in Charleston, South Carolina), which includes a learning and collaboration session specifically designed for course participants.

If you are unsure whether this course is a good fit for you, email Stephanie Fauver at

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