COMMUNICATION, CULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Course Web Site

In this course, advanced undergraduate and Masters-level students are introduced to different schools of thought, modes of practice, and areas of research relevant to engaging the public and society on climate change and related environmental issues.  Students will gain an integrated understanding of the institutions, organizations, and actors involved in public communication and policymaker engagement; and the different roles they can play as professionals, educators, and advocates. Blending seminar-style discussion with strategic exercises, the course focuses on common themes and linkages relative to debates over climate change, the siting of wind and solar power; the transport and development of natural gas and oil; the regulation of geo-engineering and food biotechnology; the transition to local economies and food/energy systems; the transformation of urban spaces and transportation infrastructures; and the conservation of coastal and marine ecosystem services, to name just a few examples.  Assignments include classroom discussion and organized debates, short analysis papers, and a major research paper on a topic of the student’s choosing.  Students will have the opportunity to further develop their research papers as part of their thesis or capstone projects or to collaborate with the professor and other students on the development and submission of peer-reviewed studies.

THE CIVIC SCIENCE LAB

Workshop Web Site

This four-day workshop introduces scientists, engineers, social scientists and related professionals to research and strategies for more effectively engaging the public and policymakers on sustainability-related issues. Participants will be introduced to different schools of thought, modes of practice, and areas of research relevant to navigating the intersections among science, policy, and communication.  They also gain an integrated understanding of the institutions, organizations, and actors involved in public communication and policymaker engagement; and the different roles they can play as experts, professionals and educators. Blending seminar-style discussion with strategic exercises and scenario building, the workshop will focus on common themes and linkages relative to debates over climate change, energy technologies, marine and environmental conservation, food biotechnology, aquaculture, and other issues.

ADVANCED MEDIA THEORY

Course Web Site

In this introductory seminar for Doctoral students, each week focuses on a specific process, challenge, or topic relevant to the many intersections among the media, technology and democracy.   The goal is for students to  acquire an integrated understanding and expertise that enables them to build upon multiple disciplines in their investigation of communication, public problems and policy debates.  The course features research not only from the discipline of communication, but also from psychology, sociology, political science, and other fields.

ETHICAL PERSUASION

Course Web Site

This course is an advanced overview for undergraduates and graduate students of persuasion and strategic communication as applied in politics, advocacy, public relations, marketing, and advertising, with a focus on the major ethical, normative, and legal questions that are relevant to these fields.  By the end of this course, students think about communication and persuasion differently. They have an integrated understanding of how various industries, organizations, and professions influence what we think, believe, and do as a society and as individuals.  As future professionals, their assumptions of what is right, ethical, a best practice, or “good” for society are  challenged.  As citizens and consumers, they are better prepared to make more effective and wiser decisions.