Lisa Yeager
  • Lisa Yeager

    Miami University
  • CEE-Change Fellow
  • 2021
United States

Graduate student Lisa (she/they) of Seattle, Washington, welcomes good news. More importantly, she creates it. No obstacles are too high (or too deep) for Lisa—she’d visit the Mariana Trench if she had the opportunity. Aside from her interest in exploring the deep sea, she loves  hiking, riding her bike, and learning dry-land mushing with her husky Loki—yes, that’s a real thing! 

She’s currently pursuing a second master’s degree through Miami University’s Project Dragonfly and brings with her a breadth of skills and experience including  in program and project management, consulting, and applied improvisation, all of which she is excited to share with the rest of the fellows. 

Lisa’s mission is to broaden the community of people talking about climate change, especially through the arts. She believes that when we diversity when, where and how we talk about climate, we create new pathways to civic engagement and co-created solutions. 

Climate Conversations: Improvising Our Way to Improved Civic Engagement

The Project
This project is focused on enabling volunteers in informal learning environments to be better equipped and feel more confident in their ability to engage the general public in conversations about climate change. Her project is focused on climate change conversations with three prongs: 

  • Empowering and tapping into existing volunteer resources and energy to effect maximum impact and reach
  • Finding ways to make regional success stories accessible and useful to support ‘good news’ stories
  • Using creativity and empathy to help volunteers navigate challenging conversations with confidence


Leverage tools and techniques from the world of improvisation. Tenants from improvisation include: deeper listening, finding common ground through discovering points of agreement and building on them (‘yes, and…’) and ‘making your partner look good. Building these skills will increase volunteers’ confidence and ability to actively address the barriers to broaching what is often considered a contentious topic.

Project Overview
This project will build on two 90-minute virtual training modules piloted in spring of 2021 with volunteers at Woodland Park Zoo. Key action steps include bringing together stakeholders from regional nature centers, science museums, zoos, aquariums, ski resorts and others for listening and design sessions. That way, revisions to the existing training content and planned support resources can be created to optimally leverage lessons learned from existing efforts.

Initial outreach will include a survey mechanism to gather input that will help shape the design of the listening sessions based on audience. Then, in the listening sessions, participants will help to identify shared needs and resources, review the content and approach of the sessions that have been piloted, and prioritize their needs.

Project Outcomes
The outcome of these listening sessions will drive the subsequent iteration of the ‘climate conversations’ toolkit, ‘train the trainer’ resources, any additional scaffolding resources such as a regional solutions repository and/or facilitated community of practice framework.