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CMJ 580: Environmental Communication: Home

Welcome to the CMJ 580 Course Guide!

There are myriad ways to learn from and contribute to environmental communication (EC) efforts. According to the International Environmental Communication Association, "environmental communication is communication about environmental affairs. This includes all of the diverse forms of interpersonal, group, public, organizational, and mediated communication that make up the social debate about environmental issues and problems, and our relationship to the rest of nature."

This guide will provide you with some resources and strategies to inspire your approaches to EC, as well as support your projects in Dr. McGreavy's class. Need help? Contact Jen Bonnet ( at Fogler Library!

Selection of Podcasts

How to Save a Planet is a podcast that asks the big questions: what do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? Join us, journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, as we scour the Earth for solutions, talk to people who are making a difference, ask hard questions, crack dumb jokes and — episode by episode — figure out how to build the future we want.

Water Dialogues is about creating space to share and listen to the stories, knowledge and voices that are too often absent in the discussion around water in Canada. Based on audio-recordings from a national Water Gathering event that brought together First Nations, Inuit, Métis and other Canadian water researchers and experts from across the country, this podcast project explores our conversations around the need to bring our diverse knowledge systems together to address the complex and increasingly critical water issues we face today.

Custodians of the Planet

Custodians of the Planet is an interdisciplinary podcast dedicated to being the voice of the environment and nature. Each episode will provide news, interviews, and narration on a wide range of environmental issues. The platform aims to reveal the tensions and harmony of human activities on a changing climate and invites listeners to tune in to nature. 

ESC is a work of experimental audio-based scholarship combining sound studies, radio history, and environmental criticism. 

Additional podcasts can be found at the Society or Environmental Journalists.

Selection of Social-Environmental Documentaries

Documentary films and series that communicate environmental issues to the general public are increasingly popular. They use a variety of approaches and appeals to connect with and educate audiences - several examples are linked below. Fogler Library has access to a range of nonfiction films that you can search for in URSUS, and we subscribe to Academic Video Online (AVO), a database of educational films and documentaries. Search AVO for documentary films and educational series on an environmental communication topic of interest to you.

Before the Flood (2016)

Before the Flood, presented by National Geographic, features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. He goes on expeditions with scientists uncovering the reality of climate change and meets with political leaders fighting against inaction. He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis. With unprecedented access to thought leaders around the world, DiCaprio searches for hope in a rising tide of catastrophic news.

Chasing Ice" visualizes devastation of global warming - The Martha's  Vineyard Times

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

Watch DamNation Online | Vimeo On Demand on Vimeo

DamNation explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power — One Earth Film Festival

In An Inconvenient Sequel (a follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth), Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy.

Merchants of Doubt || A Sony Pictures Classics Release

Merchants of Doubt "takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin. Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver- tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities – yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change."

The North Pole Season 2 — Coming This September

The North Pole is a series of short episodes about social justice in Oakland, California, including environmental justice.

Plastic Wars (full film) | FRONTLINE - YouTube

Plastic Wars "is an investigation into the fight over the future of plastics, the crisis of water pollution and whether the plastic industry used recycling to sell more plastic."

This Changes Everything” Screening

This Changes Everything presents seven portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana's Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Selection of Books Related to Environmental Communication

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