Environmental Organizations at UC Berkeley

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  /  Communicating Sustainability DeCal

This is an archive of the Communicating Sustainability DeCal.

Communicating Sustainability

Why are Americans often disillusioned or uninterested in addressing pressing environmental issues? Are people turned off by the way scientists, politicians, or activists present information about environmental issues and sustainability? How is the environment depicted and constructed within the media? And how do we change these communication strategies for the better?

This class aims to encourage students to collaborate and critically assess the ways in which environmental issues are presented via various media outlets (including blogs/websites, advertisements, documentary films, political campaigns/speeches, non-profit outreach, the popular press, demonstrations, YouTube, radio, and print literature) in order to form their own conclusions about how environmental issues can best be presented.

This class relies upon guest speakers, class discussions, and the analysis of popular media representations of environmental issues. A final written or visual media project is required by students working by themselves or in small groups at the end of the semester.

6- 8 P.M, Wednesdays at 250 Dwinelle Hall

Schedule, Fall 2017: 

Week 1 (August 30th)

Course Introduction (go over syllabus, final project, event planning, course goals, basic introduction to environmental media, etc.)

Week 2 (September 6)

See common “green” advertisements

Small group discussion of selected examples

Introduction to the topic of “greenwashing”

Week 3 (September 13)

RSVP for “Resistance”

Guest lecture: (Kristy Drutman, Students of Color Environmental Collective)

Week 4 (September 20):

Movie: Merchants of Doubt

Week 5 (September 27):

Digital Organizing

Guest lecturers (Emily Jovais, and Daniel Hilsinger, People’s Climate Movement)

Week 6 (October 4):

Do not attend class. Instead:

8- 10 P.M: “Resistance: what does effective resistance look like and include today?” with Annie Leonard

Week 7 (October 11)

Festivals and Special Events

Guest lecture (Rachel Caplan, executive director and founder of San Francisco Green Film Festival)  

Week 8 (October 18)

Print Journalism

Due: discussion question

Guest lecture (Nathanael Johnson, Grist)

Week 9 (October 25)

Documentary Films

Guest lecture (Ryan White: documentary film director)

Week 10 (November 1)


Guest lecture (Brett Chamberlin: Community engagement project manager at Story of Stuff)

Week 11 (November 8)

Final Project Checkpoint #2

Due: discussion question

Guest lecture (Sonja Huang, Factory Farming Awareness Coalition) (Food empowerment project)

Week 12 (November 15)

World Café workshop on empowerment of conversation

Student presentations/discussion of favorite environmental literature and authors

Week 13 (November 29)

Final Projects completed

Presentation of final project