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In the Fall of 2019, the IECA board authorized the launch of an “Educator Fellows” program (add hot link to https://theieca.org/resources/educator-fellows-program) to focus attention on the importance of environmental communication (EC) education within our professional organization and in wider communities and contexts.

Five IECA members were named as fellows for 2020-21:

  • Michaeleen Gallagher, Director of Education and Environmental Programs, Annenberg Foundation Trust @ Sunnylands
  • Jill Hopke, Assistant Professor, Journalism, DePaul University
  • Jason Ludden, Teaching Assistant Professor, English, University of Nevada - Reno
  • Maggie Siebert, Adjunct Faculty, Community Engaged Learning and Research, University of New Mexico
  • Kenneth C. C. Yang, Professor, Communication, University of Texas at El Paso
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EC Colleagues: I am part of the IECA Educator Fellows initiative, a group that has been tapped to enhance resources for EC educators at the K-12, college/university, and community levels. For more information about the Fellows, see https://theieca.org/resources/educator-fellows-program

I am reaching out with a specific request--help us update and grow the list of syllabi for EC-related undergraduate and graduate courses that is currently posted on the IECA web site under the "resources," "courses" tab. This area is available for members and non-members alike. See https://theieca.org/resources/courses

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IECA colleagues: I am sad to report that will not be able to attend COCE 2019 in Vancouver next week due to a family emergency at home. Congratulations in advance to the IECA board, conference committee chair Geo Takach, and Executive Director Mark Meisner for hosting what looks to be a marvelous conference. I will be participating remotely in my Wednesday session, chaired by Jill Hopke, on teaching innovation.

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Environmental Communication Educators: I teach an undergraduate course in Environmental Communication at the University of Cincinnati once or twice a year. The course usually enrolls 30-40 students, and is dual-listed as an elective in our Environmental Studies major.

I have a new goal for the course this year--help students to build their news feeds with sites and sources pertaining to climate change, other environmental concerns, and ways in which active citizens can address those concerns via communication, political mobilization, and more.

Each of us builds our own information environment, either consciously or consciously, by what we attend to, view, read, click, and buy. Social media platforms contain embedded algorithms that feed back to us what sponsors think we want to see. We create and reinforce our own internet filter bubbles every day.

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IECA members and list-servers: Hi again. New thread here. As you know, I am interested in building value for IECA as a professional organization, and also in growing the scope and impact of environmental communication as a global academic field as well as an ethical enterprise of practice.

Here is a new and important idea, something we should already be doing on our own as environmental scholars/educators/advocates practitioners and IECA members, but something we can do together to leverage our numbers and our diversity as a community.

Let's increase our social media activity to circulate the latest results of environmental communication research, relevant news from around the world, scientific breakthroughs in climate change and other areas, and a host of other topics. Let's expand the EC social media universe!!

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IECA colleagues: As you may know, since Fall 2015 I have required students taking my undergraduate Environmental Communication course to join IECA with a student membership plus on-line journal subscription (2017 cost: $76). I have built a number of assignments around this membership that I call "IECA excursions." See https://theieca.org/resources/courses/environmental-communication-ieca-excursion-assignments for a list of assignments. I have pitched the membership to students as on par or less expensive than a textbook in many of their classes, plus providing exposure to a professional organization in a possible career field for some of them.

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Friends--I am posting my annual call asking you to renew your IECA membership for 2018, or to join in 2018 if you have never been a member or have let your membership lapse in 2017. We need your voice, your participation, and your financial support to move this organization forward into the future.

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IECA members and colleagues:  I write on the morning after the U. S. Presidential election.  The American voters have elected Donald Trump to the highest office in our country.  As we all think about the many ramifications of that electoral decision, I want to pose this proposition to you--

IECA is needed, now more than ever.

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IECA colleagues and others who teach environmental communication:  I have now required students in my COMM/EVST 4067 (Environmental Communication) class at the University of Cincinnati to become members of IECA for a couple of semesters.  We leverage members-only content, including the membership list, the "EC list" newsletter, and the journal ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION, throughout the course.  This practice also teaches students what it means to join a professional association.  The students and I have gained significant value from this required class element at a very reasonable cost to students (currently $76 including journal subscription).

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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.

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