Many ICAN activities enhance general understanding and appreciation for forest canopy organisms and processes. ICAN’s Board and staff publish numerous popular articles on forest canopies, and regularly consult with the media to supply scientifically sound information for newspaper and magazine journalists, radio commentators, and television writers and producers.
ICAN has worked in collaboration with the Research Ambassador Program (RAP) to reach non-traditional audiences with science and conservation messages. We have developed TreeTop Barbie, a modern-girl Barbie doll prepared with all the accoutrements she will need to access the forest canopy and discover its mysteries. ICAN has also worked with minimum security prisoners and school children to learn to grow mosses in a sustainable fashion. ICAN and RAP representatives have brought legislative aides to the forest canopy as well as artists and musicians to allow opportunities for learning and new views of the forest canopy.
Several films for a variety of formats (IMAX theaters, television documentaries, children’s programs) have used ICAN resources and personnel to disseminate the excitement and importance of forest canopy organisms and processes to the general public. One of these, “Heroes of the High Frontier”, a production of Oxford Scientific Films and the National Geographic Society, brought over 6 million television viewers up to the canopy to learn about canopy organisms and canopy researchers around the world. This film won the Emmy Award for Best Documentary film of 2000.
ICAN also makes efforts to educate policy-makers to the importance of forest canopies. For example, in 1998, Governor Gary Locke (Washington State) signed a Proclamation declaring July 17-24 as “Washington State Forest Canopy Week”