Karen Langbehn

Karen Langbehn

PhD Candidate, Applied Rhetoric of Science
University of South Florida
Tampa, United StatesWater
Education: Masters
Bio: I’m currently revising a case study of the USF Patel Center's "Resilient Tampa Bay: A Knowledge Exchange with Dutch Experts," in which I rhetorically analyze the implications of re-framing climate change conversations about adaptation as challenge appraisals to decision-makers. My analysis of the knowledge exchange argues that re-framing crises as opportunities for resilient responses can improve conditions for the economic and political feasibility of initiating engineering as a primary mode of climate change adaptation for coastal cities like Tampa Bay. I ultimately suggest that a new way forward for coastal cities' adaptation to climate change requires an integrated approach that synthesizes engineering with ecologically based adaptation strategies and sustainable policies in the exchange of knowledge about managing coastal cities' vulnerabilities. From a rhetorical perspective, I see the traction of this integrated approach as hinging on linguistic strategies of framing environmental communication with the communications strategy of "challenge appraisals," through what the meta-discipline of rhetoric calls "boundary work:" more specifically, work that re-frames climate change uncertainties/crises as opportunities for resiliency for the purpose of opening new space for the negotiation of resilient engineering strategies. Such re-framing, I argue, is necessary for enabling scientists and decision-makers the agency to develop and implement interdisciplinary climate change adaptation/resiliency plans for Tampa Bay and other vulnerable U.S. coastal cities.

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  • English - Mother

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