Environmental Communications Online Undergraduate Course

CM 2123
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Not offered in 2018

Cost per Credit Hour

$570

Total Course Cost

$1,710

Continuing Education Units

4.5 CEUs

Instructor: Dr. James Spartz

Dr. Spartz is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Communication at Unity College. James received a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, a M.A. from the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

Environmental Communications Overview

In this course, students explore how people think about the environment, how that is used by advertisers, policymakers, and opinion leaders, and how responsible environmental citizens can join the effort to manage public opinion about the environment.

In this course, you will:

  • Learn how people communicate about the environment and how such rhetoric is used by advertisers, policy-makers, and opinion leaders.
  • Discover how citizens can join (or resist) the effort to manage public opinion about the environment.
  • Discuss topics including environmental rhetoric, media and journalism, public participation in environmental decision making, social marketing and advocacy, nature in popular culture and green marketing.

By the end of the course you will:

  • Gain proficiency in analyzing texts to identify their antecedents, characteristics, and effects. Texts include objects that can be read for meaning, e.g., documents, artifacts, images, discourse. Antecedents refers to cultural contexts and creators’ intentions.
  • Understand characteristics including elements of form, style, meaning, and value. Effects include interaction with audience, relevance to everyday life, and specific issues.
  • Apply analysis of diverse texts to social and environmental problems at the nexus of various social-ecological systems.
  • Understand communication as both a pragmatic and constitutive process for engaging with, learning about, and affecting change regarding “the environment” and its myriad concerns.

Course Description

3 Credit Hours

From Aldo Leopold to Al Gore—how humans think, talk about, and represent nature has had an impact on policymaking, natural resource management, and the place that nature has in our day-to-day lives. In this course students explore how people (including themselves) think about the environment, how that is used (and used against them) by advertisers, policy-makers, and opinion leaders, and how responsible environmental citizens can join (or resist) the effort to manage public opinion about the environment. Topics include environmental rhetoric, media and journalism, public participation in environmental decision making, social marketing and advocacy, and nature in popular culture and green marketing.

Prerequisites for Unity College Students: CM 1013
Prerequisites for Non-Unity Students: One college-level writing course

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