This weekend we started a series of community workshops at Otago Museum. Yesterday we kicked things off by discussing and mapping the various climate resources and threats in the Dunedin area. We learned a lot from the community about the bay, its estuaries, and mining history as we located areas of preservation and vulnerability. Dunedin is a fascinating convergence of urban and natural forces, in a picturesque setting. It was exciting for us to learn more about the historical context of a city that has taken shape over the last 200 years.
We will continue to conduct public workshops over the next six days with community members, university students, and museum guests that will look at the city through various climate lenses, including environmental sensing, aerial photography, coastal mapping, and iconography.
Meanwhile, we are learning so much about the local animal life and natural setting from the staff of the museum. We were given a tour of their collection of New Zealand land birds, including the extinct Moa, during which they explained the changing understanding of the bird’s stature over the last hundred years, from that of an upright ostrich to that of a kiwi with a low stance. Discussing science as an evolving understanding of the past is helpful for us as we think about how to work in the changing environmental conditions of the present.
To learn more, we recommend checking out the New Zealand Ministry of Environment’s Climate Change Projections for the Otago Region.