Public Science Courses, Spring 2022

Creative Media Production for Scientists

M 3-3:50 & W 3-4:50; Hybrid
Dr. Adrian Smith (
This course is a practical introduction to science communication through digital media, with a focus on online video. Students will survey and discuss research-based best practices for online science media and will produce their own media pieces. Graduate students from all scientific disciplines as well as research-active upper-level undergraduates are welcome to register. No previous video production experience is necessary. Email instructor for more info.

Adaptation to Climate Change

MEA 518
MW 4:30 to 5:45 PM OR asynchronous
Dr. Robert Mera (
Description: investigates the technological, economic, communication, scientific and legal challenges inherent to adaptation to climate change. This course provides practical hands-on experience for professionals in developing adaptation strategies in climate sensitive sectors. Content draws heavily on case studies in international development, infrastructure, health, energy, and transportation sectors.
Pitch: This course is highly interactive and includes guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds, including areas like economics, landscape design, communication, public health, and the nonprofit sector. Students from any background are welcome to join us. We usually have a cohort of students from the sciences, communication, education, among others.

Environmental Behavior Change

ES495/NR595 (Online)
Dr. Eli Typhina
Students conduct original research and utilize behavior change theories to develop prototypes that can alter human behavior in relation to environmental issues. Original research includes review of articles, interviewing stakeholders, and analysis of competing innovations. Students learn about and apply behavior change theories from marketing, psychology, computer science, and design to researching and innovating for the human dynamics of environmental issues. The semester ends with student pitches that include a persuasive opener, review of research findings, their prototype, and financial considerations.

Seminar in Organizational Conflict Management

(Part of the Professional Communication and Managerial Skills Certificate program)
COM 527/798
Dr. Jessica Jameson
Examination of conflict antecedents, interventions, outcomes through multiple texts, journal articles. Emphasis on workplace conflict, organizational outcomes, dispute system design. Evaluation through participation in class discussion, independent papers, research project, presentation.

Seminar in Crisis Communication

COM 566/798
Thursdays 9:35-12:20pm, in-person
Dr. Alice Cheng,
Compelling pitch for the course: COM 566 follows the crisis communication management process through the stages of pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis. The course uses a case approach throughout. Digital media and social media will receive special attention because of their role in crises. Crisis communication on COVID-19 will be discussed. Guest speakers on crisis management will be invited as well. Students will apply communication theories and recommended strategies/tactics to organizational cases involving crisis communication. Students will research, write, and present crisis communication case studies or crisis plans.

Science Communication & Public Engagement

COM 289
T/Th 10:15-11:30
Dr. Andrew Binder (
Communicating complex science is hard enough. It gets even harder when you throw in controversial issues, distrustful audiences, and new media. In this course you’ll learn how to understand and adapt to audiences effectively, how to take appropriate roles in public debates, how to make good use of different media, and how to involve the public in scientific research. Whether you’re a future scientist, engineer, natural resource manager, communication professional or just ordinary citizen, you’ll take away a better understanding of how everyone can work together to make good decisions informed by sound science. Note: this course is the required entry course for the undergraduate minor in Science Communication.