All about the 2001 Conference on Communication and Environment

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Communication and Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making: Advances in Theory and Practice.


July 27-31, 2001

Cincinnati, OH

Marriott Kingsgate Conference Center

University of Cincinnati campus


Center for Environmental Communication Studies and Department of Communication, University of Cincinnati


University of Cincinnati Institute for Community Partnerships

Scripps Howard Foundation

University of Cincinnati Just Community Initiative

University of Cincinnati Department of African American Studies

University of Cincinnati Radway Environmental Information Project



Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Ware Professor of Sociology and Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University, will present a keynote speech open to the general public on Saturday, July 28, at 7:30pm, at the Kingsgate Conference Center ballroom. Free parking is available


"Fruit of the Orchard: Pollution, Environmental Justice, and Social Responsibility," a photography exhibit by Ms. Tammy Cromer-Campbell, will be on display at the U.C. Health Sciences Library Gallery from July 16-August 24. Ms. Campbell will also attend the conference. For samples of her work, see


On Monday afternoon, July 30, conference participants will be invited to go on a "toxic tour" of an urban Cincinnati community.


The Conference will make a Resource Room available where individuals or organizations can place information related to environmental organizations, environmental books and other publications, undergraduate or graduate programs in communication or other fields, upcoming conferences or other events. If you would like to bring items to display in the Resource Room, please contact Steve Depoe at



The purpose of this conference is to bring together environmental communication scholars, environmental and community activists, and environmental decision makers who are concerned with informed and empowered public involvement in environmental matters. Our hope is that the conference will serve as an opportunity to establish a dialogue between communication and other scholars interested in environmental matters, and further the discussion of the relationship between academic research and public policy, and between scholarly activity and public activism.

We invite papers and panel proposals that contribute to the theory and practice of public participation in environmental decision making. Applied, critical, and theoretical explorations of the constraints on and possibilities for public involvement; the strategies and tactics of public advocacy; and the impact of public participation on environmental decision making in local, national, or global environmental controversies are welcome.

In keeping with the tradition of the previous five Conferences on Communication and the Environment, papers and panel proposals that are not related to the 2001 Conference theme are also welcome.


We invite public participation practitioners, environmental decision-makers, environmental organizations, community-based environmental activists, and others to submit proposals for special programs or sessions. Ideas for such programs may range from practical workshops for effective participation strategies, and roundtable discussions by citizens and activists describing their attempts to participate in environmental decision making, to the viewing of films/videos that document public involvement in a particular environmental controversy. We are looking for programs that will complement, and yet provide an interesting alternative to, traditional academic presentations of research.


1. We will accept completed papers on the Conference theme, panel proposals on the Conference theme, completed papers not on the Conference theme, and thematic panel proposals on a non-Conference theme. Abstracts will not be considered for inclusion in the Conference. The deadline for receipt of Conference submissions is March 1, 2001.


2. Papers should be submitted with a cover page that includes the title of the manuscript, the author's name and affiliation, and contact information. A second separate page should include the title and a one paragraph abstract of no more than 200 words. Manuscripts should be typed and double-spaced with notes and references on separate sheets, immediately following the text. Manuscripts should be no longer than 7,500 words (including text and references).


3. All panel proposals must include: a rationale for the panel and a one-page abstract of each paper, along with a commitment of each participant to attend the conference if the panel is accepted. Any panel that involves a respondent must include a rationale for including a respondent.


4. Four copies of papers or panel proposals should be mailed to:

Steve Depoe, Director

Center for Environmental Communication Studies

University of Cincinnati

ML # 0184

Cincinnati, OH 45221



The Conference registration fee is $50. This fee will be waived for any graduate student who attends the conference. Fee covers costs of publishing proceedings, along with Monday evening dinner. Additional costs are detailed below in the "Accommodations" section.


Pre-registration for the Conference is optional, but we encourage it. Conference registration will be held on Friday and Saturday of the Conference. If you wish to pre-register, please use one of the following registration forms.

  • COCE-2001 Registration Form - Word
  • COCE-2001 Registration Form - RTF (Rich Text Format)
  • COCE-2001 Registration Form - PDF (Adobe Acrobat Reader)

NOTE: Forms removed after the conference.



Costs for staying at the Kingsgate Conference Center are as follows (assuming 4-night stay):

Single occupancy: $169.00/night

Double occupancy: $112.50/night

Triple occupancy: $109.00/night

Quad occupancy: $102.00/night

This price includes lodging; meals (except for Sunday breakfast and Monday dinner); and conference facilities (meeting rooms, A/V equipment, breaks, parking, etc.). This price does not include applicable state and local taxes (currently 10.5%).

You can make room reservations at the Kingsgate by calling 1-(888)-720-1299. Mention the group name "Conference on Communication and Environment" to get the conference rates. Reservations must be made by July 6, 2001.

For more information about the Kingsgate Conference Center, see their web site at


Daytime or commuter conference attendees (including attendees staying at other hotels) will pay a Day Meeting Package rate of $54/day plus tax, which includes lunch, along with conference facilities. The rate increases to $62/day plus tax for breakfast and lunch, and $79/day plus tax for all three meals. (NOTE: THIS IS A CORRECTION FROM PRICES QUOTED IN EARLIER CONFERENCE INFORMATION).




The 2001 Conference on Communication and the Environment will produce two publications. We are seeking a publisher for a book that will include the top 10-14 essays that address the Conference theme. We will also publish a set of Conference proceedings. We intend to pursue an on-line publication of the Conference proceedings as well as publishing a hard-copy version.


Only completed papers submitted by the beginning of the conference will be published in the conference proceedings. Participants must submit two hard copies, and an appropriately formatted computer diskette copy, of the manuscript at the start of the conference. These guidelines must be followed:

a. Hard copies of papers should include a cover page containing the title of the manuscript, the author's name and affiliation, and a one-paragraph abstract of no more than 200 words.

b. Papers should be typed and double-spaced with notes and references immediately following the end of the text. Papers should be no longer than 7,500 words (including text and references).

c. Papers must follow the APA style manual (4th Ed., 1994).

d. Computer diskette versions of the papers should be formatted as follows:

1. MICROSOFT WORD, version 97 (readable by IBM PC).

2. 10-point font

3. No page numbers or borders

4. Minimal use of bold and italics.

5. Content notes at end of paper.

6. Consult with us if you wish to use tables, charts, figures, or photographs.

e. Papers produced as part of panel presentations should also follow the above guidelines.

We reserve the right to omit papers not conforming to final manuscript guidelines. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Text files containing completed manuscripts may be sent electronically via e-mail attachment.


In the call for papers, we indicated that along with conference proceedings, we were going to attempt to publish a book containing essays related to the conference theme of public participation in environmental decision-making. We still plan to pursue this option.

Because of the very high quality of panel proposals we received that were relevant to the conference theme, and because we want to give anyone whose theme-related paper was accepted a chance to revise their work, we are now amending the call for papers for the book project as follows:

a. Papers that were either submitted alone or as part of panel proposals are now eligible to compete for inclusion in the book project.

b. We are giving authors interested in participating in the book project until July 1, 2001 to complete and/or revise their essays and send them to us for further review.

c. If you have already submitted a paper, and would like for it to be considered as is for the book project, send an e-mail to that effect to If you would like to revise the paper, please send an e-mail to the same address, then send the revised manuscript to the contact address listed above by no later than July 1, 2001.

d. If you submitted an abstract as part of a panel proposal, and plan to submit a finished essay for the book project by July 1, 2001, please drop me an e-mail to let me know.

e. Submissions may be sent electronically via e-mail and attached file (WORD PERFECT OR WORD 97 only).


FRIDAY, July 27


4:00-6:00pm - Opening reception for "Fruit of the Orchard" photography exhibit - University of Cincinnati Health Sciences Library Gallery

6:00-9:00pm - Dinner for participants staying at Kingsgate

9:00-11:00pm - A memorial celebration of the rhetoric, campaigns, and influence of David Brower on the environmental movement - LOCATION TBA





9:00-10:20am - CONFERENCE PANEL

"Top 3" Papers in Environmental Communication - SALON AB

Chair: Steve Depoe, University of Cincinnati

"Toxic tours: Communicating the 'presence' of chemical contamination," Phaedra C. Pezzullo, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (top paper)

"Environmental information, decision-making and communicating," Gabrielle Kuiper, University of Technology, Sydney (AU)

"Advocating smart growth to urban sprawlers: The sense of self in places run amok," Jessica L. Durfee and James G. Cantrill, Northern Michigan University

10:20-10:30am - BREAK

10:30-11:50am - CONFERENCE PANELS

Defining participation through the voices of the public - MT. ECHO

Chair: Phaedra Pezzullo, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

"President Clinton's roadless areas directive as national policy: Is public participation an oxymoron?" Gregg Walker, Oregon State University

"Breaking the vocabulary of consensus: Listening to the voices of participants in the Georgia Ports Authority's stakeholder evaluation group," Caitlin Wills, University of Georgia

"Participant views of activism and involvement in the remediation of a DOE nuclear weapons facility," Jennifer Duffield Hamilton, University of Cincinnati

"Community response to risk communication about low dose radiation," Seth Tuler, Thomas Webler, and Jennifer Wilhoit, Social and Environmental Risk Institute

Studies in media coverage of environmental issues - MT. LOOKOUT

"Contextual information and the political economy of environmental risk communication," Lawrence Lhulier and DeMond Miller, Rowan University

"Setting the agenda--and setting the table--for genetically modified foods in the press," Jean P. Retzinger, University of California, Berkeley

"Climate change in the press 1999-2000: From scientific to narrative ambiguity," Mark Meisner, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

11:50am-1:20pm - LUNCH - SALON AB


Local environmental activists roundtable - MT. ECHO

Moderator: John Delicath, University of Cincinnati

Participants will include:

Marilyn Wahl, Environmental Community Organization

Linda Briscoe, Winton Hills Citizen Action Assication and Ohio/Cincinnati Women's Health Project

Laverne Mayfield, Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center

Marti Sinclair, Sierra Club

Risk communication and public participation in biotechnology and genetic engineering - MT. LOOKOUT

"Risk communication and the dynamics of environmental risk knowledge," Sally M. Macgill and Yim Ling, Siu, University of Leeds (UK)

"Public opinion as a means of rationalization of biotechnology and genetically engineered foods in the US," Eunjung Lee, Cornell University

"Framing the monarchs: A study of the monarch butterfly controversy and its role in the US debate on genetically engineered crops," Susan Sattell, Northwestern University

2:50-3:00pm - BREAK

3:00-4:20-pm - CONFERENCE PANELS

Community action and technical expertise: Tales from the IEER (Institute for Energy and Environmental Research) Files - MT.ECHO

Chair and participant: William Kinsella, Lewis & Clark College

Participants will include:

Lisa Crawford, Fernald Residents for Environmental Safety and Health

Arjun Makhijani, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research

Communication and public participation: Ramifications of the public process that the defined the "organic" label in the US - MT.LOOKOUT

Moderator: Michael S. Bruner, University of North Texas and Humboldt State University

Participants will include:

Pat Toomey or designee, Toomey's Natural Foods, Cincinnati OH

Sean McGovern or Sylvia Upp, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association

Rachel Belz or designee, Ohio Citizen Action

David Rosenberg, Wooden Shoe Gardens, Cincinnati OH

4:30-6:00pm - BREAK

6:00-7:15pm - DINNER - 5/3 PLAZA

7:30pm - KEYNOTE ADDRESS - (open to public) - BALLROOM
Dr. Robert Bullard, Clark Atlanta University
Director, Environmental Justice Resource Center




9:00-10:20am - CONFERENCE PANELS

Critiques of current public participation practices - MT. ECHO

"Decide, announce, defend: Turning the NEPA process into an advocacy tool rather than a decision-making tool," Judith Hendry, University of New Mexico

"The ritualistic uses of public meetings," Katherine A. McComas, University of Maryland

"Stakeholder involvement and public participation at the U.S. EPA: Lessons learned, barriers, and innovative approaches," Eric Marsh, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Barriers to trade: Case studies in the challenge to global trade policy - MT. LOOKOUT

"Global governance and social capital: Mapping NGO capacities in different institutional settings," Amos Tevelow, University of Pittsburgh

"Failures of public participation, transparency, and democratic accountability in the Free Trade Areas of the Americas (FTAA) treaty," Robert Cox, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

"A case study of grassroots resistance in global trade: The challenge of multi-issue organizing," Heather M. Zoller, University of Cincinnati

"Organizing public participation around globalization in Cincinnati: An inside view," Steve Schumacher, Alliance for Leadership and Interconnection, Coalition for a Humane Economy

10:20-10:30am - BREAK

10:30-11:50am - CONFERENCE PANELS

Case studies in public participation practices - MT. ECHO

"Section 4(f): A role for citizens in the protection of significant public recreation areas," Gordon Steinhoff, Utah State University

"Public participation and (failed) legitimation: The case of Forest Service rhetorics in the boundary waters," Steve Schwarze, University of Montana

"Public participation in waste management planning in Los Angeles County," Holly Welles, Environmental Policy Specialist, Pacific Gas & Electric


Discourses of sustainable development - MT. LOOKOUT

"Discourses of sustainability and biodiversity: Scientific or social norms?" Scott Denton, University of Arizona

"Rhetoric of sustainability: Senate testimony on behalf of the National Pork Producers Council," Richard McGrath, Central College

"Involvement of scientists in community sustainable development strategies: Some preliminary results of a case study in Sao Carlos, Brazil," Chloe Furnival, Federal University of Sao Carlos (BR)

11:50am-1:20pm - LUNCH - BISTRO


Theoretical advances in public participation - MT. ECHO

"Questioning idealism and raising practical concerns: Wilderness advocacy and local participation in decision-making," Pete Bsumek, James Madison University, and Dave Pacheco, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

"Theory in the crosshairs of public participation," Linda Andrews, University of South Florida

"Fairness and competence in public participation: Empirical insights to the theory," Thomas Webler and Seth Tuler, Social and Environmental Risk Institute

Corporate communication, public relations, and citizen participation - MT. LOOKOUT

"Intersecting parallels: Integrating the bodies of literature in public participation and public relations," Leah Simone and Katherine A. McComas, University of Marlyand

"A content analysis of corporate environmental philosophy statements," Anne Zaphiris, State University of New York at Buffalo

"Are consumers who purchase goods carrying the Marine Stewardship Council's logo really buying sustainably harvested fish products? A potential consumer's critical analysis of a new ecolabelling initiative in the fisheries sector," Christine LeBlanc, York University (CA)

"Multiple stakeholder model of the corporation in society: An assessment of two chemical manufacturing companies' community advisory councils' reaction to participation," Ann D. Jabro, Washington State University, Tri-Cities

2:50-3:00pm - BREAK

3:00-6:00pm - CONFERENCE PANEL

Between art and advocacy: Citizen participation through cultural activism - MT. LOOKOUT

Moderator: John Delicath, University of Cincinnati

Participants will include:

Tammy Cromer-Campbell, photographer, "Fruit of the Orchard" exhibit

Andrea Torrice, producer of "Rising Waters," PBS documentary on global warming

Pavithra Narayanan, producer of "Free trade and India: A closer look at Bhopal" documentary film

Participants will show portions of their work to stimulate discussion. This session will run from 3:00-6:00pm, with a break.

3:00-4:20-pm - CONFERENCE PANEL

Public access to communication research - MT. ECHO

"Transferring key terms to the public sphere: The prospects for enrichment vs. corruption," Tarla Rai Peterson, Texas A&M University, and Markus Peterson, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

"From narrative to mytheme: The role of narrative in environmental public policy testimony," Helen M. Correll, Metropolitan State University

"With a wholesome discretion: Public participation in a democratic culture," Craig Waddell, Michigan Technological University

4:20-4:30pm - BREAK

4:30-5:50pm - CONFERENCE PANEL

Bridging from academic research to public activism: A roundtable discussion - MT. ECHO

Moderator: Dennis Jaehne

Participants will include:

Connie Bullis, University of Utah

Robert Cox, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Judith Hendry, University of New Mexico

Tracy Marafiote, University of Utah

Marianne Neuwirth, University of Utah

Tarla Rai Peterson, Texas A&M University

Emily Plec, University of Utah

Audience participation in the roundtable is encouraged.


6:00-7:30pm - DINNER

7:30-9:00pm - CONFERENCE PANEL

Growing the field: Teaching and graduate student development in environmental communication - MT. ECHO

Moderator: Susan Sattell, Northwestern University

Resource paper:

"The literature of environmental communication," Andrew Pleasant, James Shanahan, Brad Cohen, Jennifer Good, Cornell University

This roundtable, designed especially for students attending the conference, will address new directions in the field of environmental communication and the opportunities that are becoming available for those who are entering it. Participants will discuss how the field is changing, with the purpose of identifying issues, topics, and theoretical approaches that students can explore in an attempt to make significant contributions.


MONDAY, July 30

9:00-10:20am - CONFERENCE PANELS

An internet dialogue on EPA's draft public involvement policy - MT. ECHO

Panelists will include:

Terry Amsler, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Domestic (US) Conflict Resolution Program

Thomas Beierle, Resources for the Future, Center for Risk Management

Patricia Bonner, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation

Robert Carlitz, Information Renaissance


Rhetorical analyses of environmental communication controversies - MT. LOOKOUT

"Landscape as text, text as landscape: Experiences of nature and text in Congressional testimony," Alan Razee, California Polytechnic State University

"Priestly and bardic voices in the prairie wind," Mark Meister, North Dakota State University, and Ben Larson, Dakota Resource Counci

"Argument schemes and corporate apologia: Public hearings on the Exxon Valdez oil spill," Terence Check, St. John's University

10:20-10:30am - BREAK

10:30-11:50am - CONFERENCE PANELS

Making waves about New York's waters - MT. ECHO

"Citizen opposition to the Croton water treatment plant," Mirele B. Goldsmith, City University of New York

"Personal remarks," Fay Muir, Norwood Community Action

"Fighting the muck," Ted Wisniewski, City University of New York


From Sweden to Australia to New Jersey: Case Studies in Environmental Advocacy and Education - MT. LOOKOUT

"Biodiversity and the public: Analyzing eight Swedish projects communicating about biodiversity," Magnus Ljung and Helena Nordstrom, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

"Learning from 'the rule of thumb': A proposed methodology for developing an operational theory of communicative action for citizen participation in catchment management," Clayton White, Griffith University (AU)

"Powerful voices: Learning to speak out for the environment," James Whelan, Griffith University (AU)

"Harbor Watershed education/urban youth fishing program: An environmental education case study for environmental communicators," Kerry Kirk Pflugh and Lynette Lurig, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Eleanor Bohenek, Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory

11:50am-1:00pm - LUNCH - BISTRO


Advances in public participation: New governmental initiatives - MT. ECHO

"Regaining public trust," Tony Faast, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Viviane Simon-Brown, Oregon State University

"Evaluation of stakeholder involvement in Project XL," Michael Elliott, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Eric Marsh, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

"Environmental justice and public participation through electronic access," Melinda Downing, Department of Energy, John Rosenthall, Howard University Urban Environment Institute, Beverly Howard, National Urban Internet, and Michelle Hudson, Science Applications International Corporation

Other approaches toward environmental communication: Psychological, information, and organizational theories - MT. LOOKOUT

"Application of psychological theory in communication efforts for local land conservation," Jill Robbins, Salem Psychological Associates

"Using diffusion of innovations theory to explore internet use by forest landowners in Indiana," Amy L. Shaeffer, Ball State University

"Environmental rhetoric, theory, and values: Implications for organizational research," Alex Heintzman, University of Colorado


Exploring alternative environmental rhetorics - MT. STORM

"More than words alone: Traditional communication practices of the Anishanaabe Ogitichiida," M. Rene Johnson, Michigan Technological University

"Rethinking the critiques of 'whiteness' in Thoreau's construction of nature: Exploring liberatory connections between Walden and black (eco)feminism," Lincoln J. Houde, University of Utah

"Constitutive rhetoric in the animal protection movement: The identities of welfare and rights," Jason Edward Black, Wake Forest University

"A critique of the anti-essentialism/anti-ecofeminism backlash: Exploring the radical eco-discursive politics in Susan Griffin's Woman and nature," Lincoln J. Houde, University of Utah

2:20-2:30pm - BREAK


6:00-9:00pm - PICNIC DINNER


For more information about the 2001 Conference on Communication and Environment, contact one of the following individuals:

Steve Depoe, Conference Co-Planner
Director, Center for Environmental Communication Studies
University of Cincinnati
(513) 556-4449

John Delicath, Conference Co-Planner
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication
University of Cincinnati
(513) 556-4442