Sign up, meet up, step up!! A modest proposal for boosting IECA membership

Stephen Depoe's picture

IECA members:  Fall 2014 means election season for new board members and leaders, as well as membership renewal time.  I want to thank all of you who agree to run for elective office as board members or Vice-Chair of the organization.  Bravo.  It's your time to lead.

Members--please exercise your right to vote.  Consider the candidates carefully, and vote wisely--and thank all of the candidates along the way for their willingness to serve.

I want to say a word about the IECA "plus one" membership campaign that Executive Director Mark Meisner has launched.  Great idea, good show.  All of us knows someone--a student, a fellow teacher, a community member or government official, a consultant--who shares our interests in and passion for environmental communication.  Ask that someone to consider joining IECA.  We have a low-cost, high-value range of membership options to choose from.  If we all pitch in and renew our own memberships "plus one" for 2015, we can double the size of this organization in a short period of time.

Here's an idea I am going to try--I am teaching a graduate seminar in Advanced Rhetorical Theory (with an environmental communication theme) in Spring Semester 2015.  For the required "textbook" in the course, I am going to have my students join the IECA as student members.  The cost--$60--is lower than a lot of textbooks out there.  And the students will benefit from the membership throughout the calendar year.  I plan to use the IECA membership assets--on-line access to our journal, the "EC list," job postings, and more--in my course to help us talk about material rhetoric, public sphere, voice, visual communication, and other theoretical concepts that resonate within the environmental communication literature and community.  The membership will also be a way for me to talk about the importance of joining professional organizations with a group of MA-level students.  Very valuable.

So, Mark--I am bringing my membership renewal "plus" about 12 student memberships to the party in 2015.

I encourage you to try this approach yourself--not because it adds members, but because IECA has a lot of assets that can be leveraged in the classroom.  When you get ready to teach an undergraduate or graduate course in environmental communication, environmental studies, science communication, natural resource management, or other related topics, add a 2015 student membership to IECA to your list of requirements.  Try it--and if you think it brings value to your course, do it again next time you teach the course.

Folks, this is your organization.  We need to work together to help IECA grow to its fullest potential, to become the flagship international organization for environmental communication students, scholars, practitioners, activists, and policy makers.  We've made progress over the past two years--thanks to great leadership and your member support.  Now it's time to raise our game and go "plus one" and more.  Let's go!!