Environmental Communication

Course Level: 
Master’s
Campus: 
Vienna
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Remote students
Academic Year: 
2020-2021
Term: 
Winter
US Credits: 
2
ECTS Credits: 
4
Course Description: 

Environmental Communication focuses on the principles of effective environmental communication for environmental professionals who work in a variety of contexts ranging from governmental and non-governmental institutions and the private sector to community-based or civic initiatives.  This course focuses on communication strategy development as well as the importance of framing and ascertaining the key message.  We also look into some of the social and psychological aspects that contribute to effective environmental communication.  As all major institutions and campaigns engage communication strategies to address specific issues and achieve certain goals, we can take this opportunity to create our own environmental communication strategies to gain a richer sense of the assumptions and workings behind such strategies and their implications while garnering valuable, transferable skills in effective environmental communication.  Additionally, we will also bring a critical disposition to existing environmental media to ascertain more of the nuances that affirm or counter dominant power dynamics through discourse and framing that perpetuate or transform environmental problems.  

In addition to these more substantive aims of the course, we will also reflect on what facilitates our own learning and teamwork.  Teamwork is an essential part of environmental work and is integrated as part of the learning experience in order to strengthen and fine tune teamwork skills and capacities in general. What can each of us (professor included!) bring to strengthen the course learning experience and the efficacy of our teamwork?  

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, students will:

1) Know and understand:

  • Tensions within the field of environmental communication, and where you might stand.
  • Theories and contemporary research findings on what strengthens (or weakens) the effectiveness of environmental communication. 
  • Self-reflective collaborative teamwork.

2) Have strengthened their intellectual skills in:

  • Bridging theory and practice.

3) Have gained practical and transferable skills in:

  • Designing an effective environmental communication strategy.
  • Constructing effective environmental messages.
  • Productive teamwork skills.
Assessment: 

Communication Strategy: Purpose (25%)

Quiz (25%)

Teamwork (25%)

Environmental Communication Strategy (25%)