Waterlines: Confluence and Hope through Environmental Communication. The 15th biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE). June 17-21, 2019, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Pre-Conference Events

COCE participants are invited to attend the following pre-conference events at UBC on June 17. Pre-registration is required. You can register for these as part of your regular conference registration.

  1. Graduate Student Pre-Conference - ALL DAY
  2. Refuge: Creative Lab for Reimagining Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery - MORNING
  3. A Communication Tactical Plan In Less Than 3 Hours - MORNING
  4. Vancouver: a "City of Reconciliation" and one of the world’s greenest cities - AFTERNOON

Please take careful note of the times for these pre-conference events. The Graduate Student Pre=Conference runs all day, so you can't register for it and another workshop. The other workshops are half days, either morning or afternoon. Please do not register for two workshops scheduled for the same time slot.

1. Graduate Student Pre-Conference

Download a PDF of this program.

June 17, 2019, 9:30AM-4PM, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Cost: US$45 - includes lunch and refreshment break
The International Environmental Communication Association (IECA) invites any and all interested students to participate in the 2019 Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) Graduate Student Pre-Conference to be held June 17, 2019 from 9:30AM-4PM at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The Pre-Conference will consist of three workshops on publishing, grant writing and job searching as well as the opportunity to discuss work-in-progress papers with professors during a paper workshopping session. Students interested in the paper workshopping session should send ONE work-in-progress paper for prior faculty review as a Word or PDF document to hanna.morris@theieca.org by May 15, 2019. Also note that pre-registration is required and can be done through the online conference registration process that will open January 15, 2019 here: https://theieca.org/conference/coce-2019-vancouver/registration  
Planning committee members: Hanna E. Morris, Laura Anne Seroka, Meaghan McKasy, Julia Choolwe Munsaka
Pre-Conference Agenda

9:30AM—Opening Remarks (Hanna E. Morris)

10AM—11AM—Publishing as a Graduate Student
Moderated by: Julia Munsaka
Panelists: Matt Nisbet, Alison Anderson
Workshop description: Getting published is tough. Competition is high and there is no single formula for getting published. Join the discussion with past and present journal editorial board members to learn tips and ask advice on the publishing process.

11AM—coffee break

11:15AM—12:30PM— Navigating the Academic and Non-Academic Environmental Communication Job Market  
Moderated by: Laura Seroka
Panelists: Clive Desire-Tesar, Susan Tumuhairwe, Kajsa Dalrymple, Denise DeLorme
Workshop description: You’ve nearly got the degree! Now you need to land a job. Join us to discuss the ins and outs of marketing yourself through resumes, cover letters, job calls and interviews for academic and non-academic positions.

12:30PM—1:30PM—Lunch and mingling (with the IECA Board)
1:30PM—3PM—Paper Workshopping/Office Hours with Faculty
Workshop description: Students have the opportunity to submit work-in-progress papers for faculty suggestions and feedback. Limited appointments will be available pending paper submissions. Please submit ONE work-in-progress paper for prior review by May 15, 2019 to hanna.morris@theieca.org
Faculty Reviewers: Anabela Carvalho, Jennifer Good, Kajsa Dalrymple, Laura Rickard

3PM—4PM— Applying for Academic Research Grants
Moderated by: Meaghan McKasy
Panelists: Geo Takach, Danielle Endres, Bridie McGreavy, Andrea Feldpausch-Parker
Workshop description: Funding is a critical part of academic life. This workshop will bring together experts from multiple methods and areas of research to discuss their experiences in applying for grants from organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Come hear their advice and ask questions about your own applications.

4PM—Closing Remarks (Hanna E. Morris)

2. Refuge: Creative Lab for Reimagining Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery

June 17, 2019, 9:30AM-12:30PM, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Cost: US$10 - to help cover room rental


  • Dr Jen Rae, Deakin University, Director/Creative Lead of Fair Share Fare, Lead Artist of REFUGE (Melbourne)
  • Maree Grenfell, Resilient Melbourne Networks and Learning Manager, City of Melbourne, Project partner of REFUGE


How can we plan and cope with extreme events, such as those induced by climate change, while acknowledging the socio-economic inequalities of how these impacts will be experienced. What is the role of art in this exchange and community art centres in disaster preparedness, response and recovery? And, what can we learn from creative methodologies around communicating climate risk and preparedness?

Several studies (Moser and Dilling, 2004, Leiserowitz, 2006, Lorenzoni et al., 2007, Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, 2009, O’Neill and Nicholson-Cole, 2009, Rae, 2015) have proven that effective public engagement with complex information (such as climate change and disaster preparedness) results through a combination of cognition, affect and behavior working synergistically. In order for citizens to fully connect and comprehend disaster risk and preparedness in a meaningful way within the context of the long emergency of climate change, “it must be actively communicated with appropriate language, metaphor, and analogy; combined with narrative storytelling; made vivid through visual imagery and experiential scenarios; balanced with [trustworthy] information; and delivered through trusted messengers in group settings (Centre for Research on Environmental Decisions, 2009).

This experiential workshop will present the ‘Creative Lab’ as a methodology offering participants insights into the processes, questions and practices utilised in Arts House’s REFUGE project in Melbourne, Australia as a case study. REFUGE a 5-year transdisciplinary project (partnered by Resilient Melbourne, one of the 100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation), explores the role of artists and cultural institutions in a time of climate catastrophe through multifaceted, context-specific disaster rehearsals. It aims to deeply engage communities around disasters by activating the imagination and building relationships. Together we reimagine our needs, the ways we care for each other, the ways we design emergency relief in the event of a disaster. In 2016, it was a localized flood scenario; 2017, a heatwave; and in 2018, a pandemic.

This workshop will include some fundamentals of urban resilience exploring concepts, thinking frameworks and its emerging global practice. The facilitated workshop will delve into some of the challenges, hard questions and ethics of engaging diverse communities around disasters and urban resilience. It will present some of the effective ways artists, organizations and communities are mobilizing and knowledge-sharing using REFUGE as a case study; and, what may be some of the potential legacies of a durational collaborative learning experience. There will be interactive and immersive activities for participants to imagine how the lessons from Refuge might be applied in various contexts.

3. A Communication Tactical Plan In Less Than 3 Hours

June 17, 2019, 1:00-4:00PM, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Cost: US$10 - to help cover room rental


  • Lawrence Kirk, Australian Centre for the Public Awareness Of Science, The Australian National University


One of the barriers to the implementation of a Communication Strategy is having a practical and aligned tactical plan.

The selection of communication tactics is typically left to a group of stakeholders who have not been provided with a solid strategic framework to guide this selection.

Since 2006 a process has been developed to allow a Communication Tactical plan to be developed in less than 3 hours.

Based on a strategic approach developed by the former Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC) in South Eastern Australia, this process has been used successfully by land and water based agencies.

Common workshop approaches can end up with a long list of communication tactics that are assigned to individual stakeholders, the end result being duplication and unclear expectations.

This workshop technique involves creation of a large grid in a room and participants select from a base list of typical communication tactics suitable for that audience. Prior to the commencement of the workshop the communication partners, desired relationship and proposed success measures have been developed and circulated.

With this strategic context, participants then select tactics that are suitable for that audience, will enhance the desired relationship and contribute to the desired success measure. Candidates then have to decide on one of three communication outcomes that implementing that tactic will deliver.

The workshop technique then looks at common risks that could impact on the delivery of those tactics.

The end result is a set of prioritised communication tactics, allocated by communication partner and desired outcome and with a basic risk analysis; all in less than 3 hours.

4. Vancouver: a "City of Reconciliation" and one of the world’s greenest cities - SOLD OUT

A workshop on what Vancouver can offer a rapidly urbanizing planet

June 17, 2019, 1:00PM-4:00PM, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Cost: free - SOLD OUT

Note: This workshop is being held outside. This is a rain or shine event and workshop participants should dress to be outside for 3 hours. Participants may wish to bring a small, portable camp chair or waterproof cushion to sit on.


  • Elin Kelsey, University of Victoria
  • Jennifer Good, Brock University


Cities are crucial and powerful players in shaping people, places and other species. For the past decade, Vancouver has advanced a number of bold policies and activities - Gathering of Canoes, Walk for Reconciliation, Drum is Calling Festival – to reflect the human, cultural, and biodiversity of this major Canadian city, while leading Canada in its commitment to authentic reconciliation with indigenous people. Vancouver’s city action plan includes initiatives related to climate and renewables, green buildings and transportation, zero waste and local food as well as access to nature, and clean water and air. Through building a strong local economy, vibrant and inclusive neighborhoods Vancouver has become internationally recognized as a city that is striving to consider the needs of generations to come.

The workshop will commence with a welcome from an elder or spokesperson from the Musqueam First Nation and the sharing of a story about the coastal land on which Vancouver has been established. The workshop will then segue to a discussion with change-makers – including an elder/knowledge keeper from one of the Tri-Nations and two Vancouver city officials. Participants will be invited to ask candid questions and discuss the ways in which this major city transformation occurred. The discussion will celebrate the opportunity to explore the possibilities for urban greening and reconciliation with change-makers who have been actively involved in bringing these emerging Vancouver policies and practices to life

Following the panel conversation, we will convene a Pro Action Café to build on Vancouver’s example and discuss how we can grow green, reconciled, cities elsewhere in Canada and around the world. Pro Action Café is a methodology for creative and inspirational conversation where participants are invited to share their questions and get input (deeper questions - knowledge – experience) from others.

We recognize that the co-creation of the kinds of cities in which we wish to live depends on open-hearted, open-minded bridge-building between people, and across other species. One of our workshop conveners, Lillian Howard describes cedar weaving as a form of regalia making that takes the form of a prayer from the Earth. Workshop participants are invited to participate in cedar weaving with cedar that has been sustainably harvested by First Nations. We hope that making cedar woven bracelets will serve as a healing exercise – and a personal pledge to commit to creating green, reconciliation cities wherever we return to after the conference.

In the spirit of intergenerational learning, Conference participants are welcome to invite their family members of any age to accompany them in the workshop. Please note: Because we are working with cedar that is sustainably collected, we ask that you pre-register for the workshop, and that you understand our need to restrict our numbers.