Depoe Environmental Communication Class--Final Exam Question

Stephen Depoe's picture

IECA members and friends:  I have been reading with interest the many and varied blog posts published by our intrepid IECA colleagues who traveled to Paris for the COP-21 meetings.  Their stories and insights, along with their active participation in various events and side-sessions, have galvanized me anew as to the value and importance of IECA as a stand-alone professional organization.  I plan to make a year-end contribution to IECA right alongside our family's annual gifts to Friends of Acadia and Churches Active in Northside, two other non-profit organizations I care deeply about.  I encourage you to do likewise.

Meanwhile--back at the Environmental Communication class, I wanted to end my tale with a copy of the final exam question I gave to the students based on Phaedra Pezzullo's four posts that she published during her time in Paris.  What a great way to wrap up the class--and to show my students, all of whom joined IECA during the semester, the value of participation and witness in environmental communication work.  Here is the question:

  1. Go to Phaedra Pezzullo’s IECA blog (at   Choose one of the four posts she published during her trip to Paris.   Posts included:  The art of climate communication (12/4/15), What is resilience (12/1/15), A state of emergency and latent exigence (11/29/15), and COP@21:  A reluctant climate change activist.  Answer the following items:
  • Summarize the main idea(s) of the post. (1 paragraph)
  • Link the main idea(s) of the post to one or more environmental communication concept we discussed in class.  Discuss the connection between the post and the concept.  Make sure to include a brief description of the concept here as well. (1 paragraph)
  • Provide your personal assessment of the post (agree/disagree, persuasive appeal, etc.). (1 paragraph)

Not a super-hard question--but it did make the students read through the posts and think about connections back to class concepts.  And it was especially cool that Phaedra is a co-author of the textbook we used in class, and the students had e-mailed with Phaedra and other IECA members earlier in the semester.

In all, linking my environmental communication class to IECA membership was a satisfying experience.  I plan to do it again when I teach the class next--in an on-line format this Summer.  I wonder what environmental issue will be hot (pun intended) during that time.  I encourage all of you who teach environmental communication class, especially when environmental education or environmental studies majors are mingled with your communication students or when it is a graduate-level class, to use mandatory IECA student membership as a resource in the class.  You won't regret it.  Cheers for now!!