Environmental Communication

Tema Milstein's picture
University of New Mexico
Department or unit: 
Communication & Journalism
Degree type(s): 
Degree(s) offered: 
Program description: 

Starting Spring 2014 at University of New Mexico

We are excited to announce our new concentration for Communication majors—Environmental Communication. This timely, rich, and relevant field of study is based on the premise that the ways we communicate about the natural world influence or even determine humans' relationship to the natural world and how we subsequently view and treat it. Students of environmental communication examine such things as the messages about the natural world sent to us through advertising, news reporting, pop culture, and culture at large, as well as current issues in environmental justice, nature and childhood, and different cultural relations with nature in the U.S. and abroad. The concentration engages students in understanding and questioning environmental ideologies, the place of power in shaping ecological relations, and ways of communicating transformation. Students gain tools to consider how they might envision and enact sustainable and restorative ways forward. Below are the course requirements and options for this concentration:

Students must take either starred (*) course and any two elective courses in the concentration sequence. The other starred course may be taken as one of the additional two elective courses.

Core classes:   

C&J *313 - Ecocultural Communication

or C&J *339 - Rhetoric and the Environment

Concentration electives:

  1. C&J 314 - Intercultural Communication
  2. C&J 317 - International Conflict & Community Building
  3. C&J 318 - Language, Thought & Behavior
  4. C&J 327 - Persuasive Communication
  5. C&J 450 - Health Communication
  6. C&J 467 - Mass Communication: International Perspectives

Note: C&J's Lobo Gardens research-service-learning course, which focuses a communication lens on global and local food issues and engages students in growing food on and off campus, will soon be added to the concentration electives list.

UNM Catalogue entry:

Environmental Communication -   The study of communication as it relates to human perceptions of, and actions toward, nature. Examines ways communication not only reflects but also helps construct particular human relations with/in the environment; how cultural, social, political, and economic contexts and interests help shape environmental communication; and how students might envision and enact sustainable and restorative ways forward.