I will be teaching a new undergraduate course in climate change communication at DePaul University in the winter quarter. The course is part of the university minors in Environmental Communication and Climate Change Science and Policy.
If you are an instructor at another university, or a student interested in enrolling, please feel free to contact me with any questions. The syllabus is below.
JOUR 311 / CMNS 363: Climate Change Communication
DePaul University, College of Communication
Section 201 / 501, Class 2504 / 25225, Winter Quarter 2018
Room 314 Arts and Letters Hall, Lincoln Park Campus, Monday / Wednesday 2:40 to 4:10 p.m.
Instructor: Dr. Jill Hopke, Assistant Professor of Journalism
Contact: email@example.com (I strive to respond to emails within one business day, excluding weekends); 312-362-7641 (office)
Office location: 1123 Daley, 14 E. Jackson, Loop Campus
Office hours: Mondays 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. in my Loop office; directly following class in the LPC (and by email appointment)
Individuals make up their minds on climate change, energy development, and other science of pressing public policy importance through a complex set of factors: values, demographics, political ideology, and so on. Journalists, strategic communicators, scientists, and policy analysts need to be able to communicate effectively with diverse public audiences on climate and energy topics. This course is oriented from a science communication perspective and draws on social scientific research on communicating on climate change and energy issues. We will take a human perspective on climate issues and focuses on the social, political and cultural aspects of climate change. The course covers best practices for promoting and facilitating public dialogue on climate change policy and global energy systems. Topics covered include: climate change public opinion and knowledge, media portrayals of climate change and its societal effects, climate skepticism and denial, psychological factors that contribute to values and beliefs on climate science, journalism and covering climate issues, framing and developing narratives on climate impacts, and climate change in popular culture. Students will conduct original research to analyze and evaluate climate change communication. For the final project, students have the option of completing a major journalistic reporting project, designing an advocacy or marketing campaign, or conducting a research project.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
- Explain the function of communication in shaping attitudes, values, practices and policy on climate change and energy issues in the United States and internationally;
- Understand the role of worldviews, perceptions, and beliefs in shaping public opinion on climate change and energy development;
- Understand the roots of climate denialism in a U.S. political context and internationally;
- Identify and evaluate mechanisms for communicating on climate science and energy issues; and
- Identify and evaluate rhetoric and visual communication generated, and used by, those communicating about climate change and energy topics.