Communicating the Environment : An Interdisciplinary graduate student conference

Start Date/Time: Friday, May 08, 2009, 9:30 AM
Ending Date/Time: Friday, May 08, 2009, 6:00 PM
Location: Communications Building (CMU)

The CMU builiding is located here:
Featured Keynote Address, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.:
“A Cold Climate: The Challenges of Communicating Science & Environmental News in A Declining Media Environment”
Usha McFarling, Science Journalist, Pulitzer Prize Winner for Explanatory Writing, 2007

9:30 to 11:00
CMU 104
Roundtable discussion: The Value of Multi-Directional Communication Strategies Ethan Allen, PhD, Genetically Engineered Materials Science and Engineer Center and Center for Nanotechnology
Deborah Bassett, Center for Workforce Development
11:00 to 12:30
CMU 104
Keynote Address by Usha McFarling “A Cold Climate: The Challenges of Communicating Science & Environmental News in A Declining Media Environment”

The mainstream media are in the midst of a rapidly accelerating decline, witnessed by widespread cutbacks and closures at a variety of once robust news outlets. In this talk, Ms. McFarling will outline why this media atrophy is especially devastating to the coverage of science and environmental topics.She will use examples from reportage on climate change to illustrate how vested interests from both the right and left side of the political spectrum attempt to hijack the narrative of the evolving climate science story to better fit their agendas. She will argue that the shift from old media to new media techniques is leading to a loss of civic discourse as sources such as general interest newspapers and evening news broadcasts, which serve a wide political spectrum, are overwhelmed by new sources such as blogs, tweets and social networks, which are much more specifically targeted. She will conclude by looking at several ways the rapidly shifting media landscape may evolve in the near future and discuss opportunities now arising in new media that offer the potential to improve the way science and environmental news is presented toand consumed by the public.

Usha Lee McFarling, a science journalist for nearly two decades, has worked at the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and Knight Ridder Washington Bureau. She has specialized in the coverage of climate change and in 2007 won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Writing for co-writing a multi-media series in the Los Angeles Times titled “Altered Oceans.” She earned an M.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in the field of animal behavior and earned a B.A. degree in biology from Brown University.
12:30 to 1:30

1:30 to 3:00
CMU 104
Roundtable discussion: Media and Journalism
CMU 126
Panel: Strategic Environmental Messaging The Impact of Media on Perceptions of Global Warming Uncertainty by Jing-Hwei Tzeng, UW-Bothell
The Big Picture: Does Environmental Benefit Scope Framing Alter Message Persuasive Effect? By Justin Rolfe-Redding, MA student, Communication
Resonant messaging: Strategic environmental communication and grid/group theory by Michele Poff, PhC, Communication

CMU 302
Poster/Multi-Media Session
Communicating Connectivity: Designing Opportunities for Ecological Literacy with Stormwater Streetscapes by Annika McIntosh, Landscape Architecture

Multimedia (Podcast/Radio Broadcast): Describing the Environmental Change and Ecological Challenges in Arid Wetlands Using Remote Sensing Technology by Chris Vondrasek, Senior, Program on the Environment and Environmental Science Resource Management, and Meghan Halabiski, Master’s Candidate, College of Forestry Resources and Evans School of Public Policy

3:00 to 4:30
CMU 104
Panel: The Environment as a Social Construction Political Seasons: Presidential Rhetoric and the Environment by Colin Lingle, PhD student, Communication Visual Communication of Complex Landscape Dynamics in Design and Planning? by Danielle Pierce, Master’s student, Landscape Architecture
Internal-External: Language and Environment by Jarek Sierschynski

CMU 126
Panel: Who Speaks for Nature?: Political Culture, Economics, and the State in the History of American Conservation Which Trees, Whose Forest?: Early U.S. Forest Policy among Native Americans by Nathan Roberts, History Green Gold: The IWA and the Politics of Conservation in the Northwest Woods, 1940s by Steve Beda, History Trees and Cities: Designating Wilderness to Shape a Region by Devon McCurdy, History
Doing Well by Doing Good: REI and the Business Culture of American Environmentalism by Chris Johnson

4:30 to 6:00
CMU 104
Panel: Environmental Public Outreach Barriers to Communicating the Environment in the Developing Country Context: Ecosystems-based Management Initiative in the Philippines by Anna Varney, Master’s Candidate, School of Marine Affairs
Human Dimensions of Marine Recreational Boating and Fishing: Implications for Puget Sound Outreach and Education Initiatives by Barbara Owens, Master’s Candidate, School of Marine Affairs
How to Give Trustworthy Expert Testimony by Ben Almassi, Philosophy

CMU 126
Panel: Confronting the Moral and Ideological Dimensions of Environmental Issues Powering our energy: Chevron and conceptions of energy in contemporary advertising by Brian Cozen, MA student, Communication
A Theory of (De-)Naturalization by Christopher N. Gamble, PhD student, Communication
Mitigating Climate Change: Moral obligations at the individual level by Monica Aufrecht, Philosophy