Public Science Courses, Fall, 2019

FW 595-006 Citizen Science

Wed 8:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Caren Cooper (
Students will learn the fundamentals of citizen science, the many ways that members of the public collaborate with scientists for making discoveries. Course activities involve readings, reflections, discussions, and group work. Each student will be involved in a semester-long project to design a citizen science project for actual implementation. The students will work in collaboration with the NCSU Library in adapting an existing citizen science project or tool for the spring Wolfpack Citizen Science Challenge (an annual campaign in which students participate in a featured citizen science project on campus). Alternatively, a graduate student developing a citizen science project as part of their thesis or dissertation can use the course activities as a guide to design their citizen science project with the assistance of other students. As a result, students will be able to (1) understand and critically evaluate the variety of approaches to citizen science, (2) work in interdisciplinary teams to design rigorous and ethical citizen science activities, and (3) develop leadership skills in citizen science.

EMS 594/794 Evaluation of Learning in Informal Contexts

Mondays 4:30-7:15pm
In-person (Section 002) or online (Section 602).
K.C. Busch (
In this Special Topics course, we will seek an answer to the question: How do we know if learning has occurred in informal contexts?  To answer this question, we will engage with strategies used to evaluate learning in informal contexts.  We will practice evaluation techniques with real case studies. The main focus of the coursework will involve collaborative projects working with community partners who offer informal learning programs.  Examples of possible community partners are the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, NC Museum of Art, NC Museum of History, NC Farmer’s Market, and NCSU Libraries.

COM/GES 508/798 Emerging Technologies and Society

1:30 PM – 4:15 PM
Jean Goodwin ( & Jason Delborne (
Short version:  We’re team teaching this course for the first time. We’re going to consider a bunch of cool issues about science in society, from both science communication and STS perspectives. It’ll be fun.
Official version: This course will address the challenge of designing meaningful engagement among experts, stakeholders, and broader publics in the development and governance of emerging technologies.

  • Social and cultural factors influence the emergence, adoption, and evolution of technologies, while technologies impact society and culture in anticipated–and unanticipated–ways. This course will help students develop a framework for understanding these two-way relationships between technologies and the societies they emerge within.
  • Intervening in the process in order to promote improved public deliberations about emerging technologies raises its own complexities. Experts are at once respected and distrusted; information must be provided, but two-way communication also enabled. This course will help students develop ethical perspectives and effective practices for promoting public engagement.

While we will focus on the case of agricultural biotechnology in particular, we invite graduate students in any technical, social science, or humanities discipline with an interest developing these interdisciplinary topics. We’ll explore historical and contemporary case studies, ethnographic accounts, and theoretical perspectives from science communication, science and technology studies (STS), environmental policy, and science ethics.

ENG 520/798 Science Writing for the Media

Tuesday/Thursday, 4:30-5:45pm
Cat Warren (
This three-credit hour graduate course is designed to do three things: teach you how to write a variety of science articles for a variety of mass media; teach you how to think critically about how the mass media covers science; and teach you how to think critically about science. There are no prerequisites for this course.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. understand the basics of science writing for the media
  2. distinguish a variety of scientific writing techniques across a diverse array of media
  3. analyze a variety of science coverage and understand its strengths and weaknesses.
  4. learn how to communicate scientific ideas to a general audience through a variety of media.

I welcome students from a variety of disciplines, including MFA students interested in creative nonfiction, doctoral students from CDRM, and master’s students from MSTC and the MA programs.

AEC 592 Taste: Exploring the Contribution of Foundational Studies in Ecology, Evolution and Biogeography to Our Understanding of the Flavor of Aesthetics of Food

T/Th 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
Rob Dunn (
The flavors of our foods (as well as their nutrition, appearance and other attributes) are strongly influenced by the evolution and constraints of human bodies, the idiosyncrasies of culture, and the the evolution, history, ecology and biogeography of the foods themselves. In as much, basic ecology and evolutionary biology have the potential to strongly inform how we think about food and its future and past. In this class we will read foundational papers in ecology and evolution alongside (paired with) recent papers about food flavor and aesthetics. In doing so, we will also seek to do two major kinds of projects. First, we will work on a collaborative paper on flavor (as it relates to ecology and evolution). Second, students will be responsible (in groups) for developing foods/food presentations to share before departmental seminars (and/or with the public) as a way to highlight the influence of ecology and evolution on flavor (As well as the extent to which an understanding of ecology and evolution heightens our potential appreciation for and ability to feature flavor). The course will feature guest lectures by neurobiologists focused on taste and olfaction, archaeologists of beer and bread, entomologists who study the ways in which the chemicals in food plants evolve and historians, and experts on seed dispersal by extinct megafauna.

FW 730 Ethics in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

W 3:00-4:50pm (2 credits)
Caren Cooper (
Students will explore historical and current thinking concerning the search for truth about natural systems, and the complex ethics scientists and practitioners who operate in the public sector must consider. Standards of professional and ethical behavior specific to Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences will be addressed. Faculty will introduce topics and guide discussions; students will give seminars and lead some discussions. Required for doctoral students in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.

EMS 594-001 Environmental Education

Tues 4:30-7:15
Gail Joenes (
This course is designed to provide disciplinary and interdisciplinary overviews of environmental education. Students will learn a range of research-supported practices in environmental education that are effective for youth and adults. Topics include a variety of methods for teaching and assessing environmental education. This class assists students in meeting requirements for environmental education certification.

COM 479/579 Climate Change Communication

MW 1:30 – 2:45
David Berube (
This course in applied communication offers an examination of a complex phenomenon, climate change, applying theory, practices, and protocols of care, consensus and crisis communication.

COM 436 Environmental Communication

T/Th 1:30-2:45
Bill Kinsella (
Critical analysis of environmental discourse in organizational, mass media, political, cultural, and international contexts. Investigates public participation in environmental advocacy and deliberation; environmental conflict management; rhetorical constructions of nature and human relationships with nature; environmental justice; environmental risk communication; and competing ecological paradigms. Must hold graduate standing.

COM 525/798, Group/Team Communication

Monday 1:30-4:15pm
Joann Keyton (
Comprehensive review of principles, theory, research, and practices involving group/team communication; associated with decision making, conflict management, relationship building, and evaluation of group/team effectiveness. Emphasis on guidelines for effective communication in groups and teams.

COM 546/798, Nonprofit Marketing and Public Relations

Monday 4:30-7:15pm
Melissa Johnson (
This three-credit graduate course is a survey of marketing and public relations principles and practices applicable to nonprofit organizations. The concepts in the class are useful for managing nonprofits in the United States or other nations, or for application in international nonprofit agencies. Students will apply the knowledge gained by writing a marketing and public relations plan for a nonprofit organization or by writing a research paper on a specific nonprofit communication topic. Students may choose to work on this project independently or with one co-author. Students also will lead and actively participate in seminar discussions. Graduate status required for all students. No prerequisites.

ENG 508/798, Usability studies for Technical Communication.

Tuesday 6:00-8:45pm
Doug Walls (
Usability studies for technical communication aims to examine usability testing of design and web sites. We will discuss the nature of design and usability and how they interact to make solutions easy or difficult to use for particular audiences. We will examine a variety of testing methods, including inquiry, qualitative, and quantitative testing methods. We will discuss the trade-offs among these various types of tests and will analyze which ones are most appropriate for various rhetorical and developmental situations. You will learn multiple methods for conducting tests when time and funding preclude lab-based testing.
You will conduct several tests and studies on real world websites. Essential parts of the testing process, including planning, getting test subjects, preparing test materials, conducting the test, analyzing the data you collect, and reporting on results and recommendations will all be part of the class. The texts you will read extensively will concern the theories and concepts behind usability testing, the pragmatic practices that inform it, and the place of usability in larger discussions of user experience.

PRT 550 Human Behavior and the Environment

Th 1:30-4:15 PM
Lincoln Larson (
This course helps students understand the variety of cognitive, social, affective, and environmental factors that influence human behavior in natural resource contexts, with an emphasis on nature-based recreation experiences and conservation behaviors. Students will explore behavioral models from different disciplines, examine pathways to promote behavior change, and assess implications for park management, environmental stewardship, and natural resource conservation.