Tuesday, April 27, 2010

UCSB's Environmental Media Initiative

Environmental media has really taken off as a "hot topic" in the last few years and environmental media centers are springing up at campuses across the country. As an institution uniquely suited to this interdisciplinary field--with a tradition of excellence in both environmental science and media/communications studies--UCSB has instituted an Environmental Media Initiative (EMI).

The EMI is part of UCSB's Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media and brings together environmental scientists with film, media and communications scholars to collaborate on teaching, research and public programming. Some of their programs include:
  • Blue Horizons: a 9-week academic summer program focused on using media to communicate vital stories of the global ocean.
  • Green Screen: an environmental media production program that brings together students in the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences to engage environmental issues in Santa Barbara through artistic production.
  • Digital Ocean: a virtual commons that connects people and provides them with resources to advance ocean sustainability and protect earth's ocean ecosystems.

Dr. Ron Rice recently provided the Bren community with an overview of the EMI program and made the following suggestions for ways that Bren students can engage with the EMI:

  • Take environmental media courses or apply to Blue Horizons
  • Investigate interdisciplinary funding opportunities through the EMI for graduate students: either full funding or quarter-time hourly work on EMI projects (talk to Bren Ph.D. student Julie Robinson)
  • Find a way to do a dual project with Bren/EMI as part of your classes or internships or on your own
  • For Bren MESM students, think about different ways to distribute your group project results, in addition to your paper report. Collaborate with EMI colleagues on short films, online media or other ideas.
  • Contingent upon funding, EMI hopes to complete a biannual survey on environmental knowledge and attitudes. This project could be a good opportunity for Bren students to get involved.

For more information, visit the EMI website or talk to Bren folks who are involved with EMI, like Steve Gaines, John Melack, or Ph.D. student Julie Robinson.

--Audrey Tresham

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