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Dr Wiebke Finkler

Wiebke Finkler

Wiebke received her PhD at the University of Otago. Her doctoral thesis on The Science Communication of Whale Watching: a people focused science communication approach, was completed in 2018 on a three-year University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship, and awarded with an Exceptional Thesis endorsement. In addition, Wiebke holds a Masters in Science degree in Marine Science (with Distinction) researching The Experiential Impact of Whale Watching: Implications for Management in the Case of the San Juan Islands, a Postgraduate Diploma in Marine Science investigated Customary Use of Beached Whales by Maori, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Natural History Filmmaking and Communication (with Distinction), from Otago University. Before moving to the New Zealand in 1999 Wiebke conducted her undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Greifswald in Germany. Wiebke has also been working as a freelance filmmaker and science communicator for the last 15 years.

Research interests

  • Visual Research Methods
  • Storytelling
  • Media, Virtual Reality & Filmmaking
  • Communication (Environmental, Sciences, Health, Cultural)
  • Online e-learning
  • Conservation Marketing/ Community-based Social Marketing

With a background in Media and Communication, Filmmaking, and Marine Biology I’m interested in how to use strategic communication for sustainable tourism management, conservation and human-wildlife interactions. I have a special interest in how video, when combined with community based social marketing approaches, can be used as a tool for change and social impact. My creative portfolio includes films on various topics including sustainable tourism, sciences, mental health and wellbeing, social issues, culture and arts. I am interested in how the concept of radical hope (the “broaden-and-build” theory of positive emotions) and community based social marketing can be used for strategic communication. This includes utilizing social science foundational research, audience segmentation techniques, barrier/benefit research, piloting of communication interventions, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

My doctoral research utilised a pragmatic quantitative-qualitative research approach to evaluate the potential role of marketing-based science communication to influence sustainable whale watching management. The research: (i) developed a conceptual format for effective science communication using video (ii) presented a social science-based analysis of relevant whale watching stakeholder insights, (iii) produced an original video as an intervention tool, (iv) evaluated the video as to its effectiveness as an educational management tool, and (v) proposed a strategic marketing-based approach and model for science communication.

My Postdoctoral Research Fellowship aims to develop a Cultural Acumen Tourism Training pilot program for small and medium sized tourism operators (SMEs). The project seeks to support SMEs to increase their cultural awareness and improve business preparedness to engage with international visitors from Asia and Latin America.

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Publications

Finkler, W., & Higham, J. E. S. (2019). Stakeholder perspectives on sustainable whale watching: A science communication approach. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/09669582.2019.1684930

Finkler, W., Higham, J. E. S., León, B., & Aitken, R. E. (2019). Bridging the void: Science communication videos for sustainable whale watching. International Journal of Science Education, Part B. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/21548455.2019.1671636

Finkler, W., Goede, W., Inglis, R., Jensen, E., & Bevan, B. (2018). The art and science of engagement: a global perspective on science communication through the arts. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 174-175). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Finkler, W. (2018). The science communication of whale watching: A marketing based people-focused science communication process and impact model. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 173). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Finkler, W. (2018, February). Towards a visual rhetoric for science communication: Whale watching and the future of filmmaking as a tool for science communication. Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Department Seminar].

Film/Video/CD Rom

Hendry, W. F. (director, producer), & Davis, L. S. (producer) (2009). Wind Dancer: The story of Shona Dunlop MacTavish [Film]. Dunedin, New Zealand: Green Concrete Films and Adelie Productions.

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Other Research Output

Finkler, W. (2018, February). Towards a visual rhetoric for science communication: Whale watching and the future of filmmaking as a tool for science communication. Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Department Seminar].

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Chapter in Book - Research

Higham, J. E. S., & Hendry, W. F. (2008). Marine wildlife viewing: Insights into the significance of the viewing platform. In J. Higham & M. Lück (Eds.), Marine wildlife and tourism management: Insights from the natural and social sciences. (pp. 347-360). Wallingford, UK: CABI.

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Journal - Research Article

Finkler, W., & Higham, J. E. S. (2019). Stakeholder perspectives on sustainable whale watching: A science communication approach. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/09669582.2019.1684930

Finkler, W., Higham, J. E. S., León, B., & Aitken, R. E. (2019). Bridging the void: Science communication videos for sustainable whale watching. International Journal of Science Education, Part B. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/21548455.2019.1671636

Higham, J., Cohen, S. A., Cavaliere, C. T., Reis, A., & Finkler, W. (2016). Climate change, tourist air travel and radical emissions reduction. Journal of Cleaner Production, 11, 336-347. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.10.100

Higham, J. E. S., Lusseau, D., & Hendry, W. (2008). Wildlife viewing: The significance of the viewing platforms. Journal of Ecotourism, 7(2&3), 132-141. doi: 10.1080/14724040802140501

Finkler, W., & Higham, J. (2004). The human dimensions of whale watching: An analysis based on viewing platforms. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 9(2), 103-117.

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Finkler, W. (2017). Using scicommercial videos to save the whales: Lessons from science communication for sustainable tourism management. In C. Lee, S. Filep, J. N. Albrecht & W. J. L. Coetzee (Eds.), Proceedings of the 27th Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) Annual Conference. (pp. 970-974). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Tourism, University of Otago. [Full Paper]

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Finkler, W., Goede, W., Inglis, R., Jensen, E., & Bevan, B. (2018). The art and science of engagement: a global perspective on science communication through the arts. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 174-175). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Finkler, W. (2018). The science communication of whale watching: A marketing based people-focused science communication process and impact model. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 173). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Finkler, W. (2016). Using SciCommercials to save the whales: Lessons from social marketing for better science communication. Proceedings of the 14th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference. (pp. 187). Retrieved from http://pcst-2016.org/

Finkler, W. (2014). Save the whales part II: A new science advocacy communication framework. Proceedings of the 13th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference. (pp. 146). Retrieved from http://www.pcst-2014.org/index.php/en/programme

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Awarded Doctoral Degree

Finkler, W. (2018). The science communication of whale watching: A people-focused science communication approach (PhD). University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://ourarchive.otago.ac.nz/handle/10523/8012

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