Communicating Global Change: Using Digital Media For Environmental Education

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This dissertation investigates experiments in innovative digital media narrative production processes and distribution mechanisms within the overarching context of environmental education. Three studies have been written and presented as three separate chapters. The first chapter, "Producing Real-World Problem-Based Environmental Education Videos," outlines experiments in developing a production process using digital video to tell stories that put the narrative power in the hands of communities confronting environmental challenges. It describes a methodology for video production that is a hybrid of traditional and participatory models of production. The second article, "Bridging Learners with Practitioners Through Web-Mediated Authentic and Service Learning: The Case of ConservationBridge," experiments with using the web as a mechanism to exchange knowledge between students and practitioners working to protect critical environmental resources. Applying an authentic learning model within a web environment, ConservationBridge provides multimedia case studies to students and connects them directly to practitioner through practitioner led real-world problem statements. Tested and evaluated in 12 classes at Cornell University (N=159, 100% response rate), results indicated that the system was capable of increasing student motivation, understanding, and sense of self-efficacy while providing valuable information for practitioners. The third article, "Communicating Local Climate Risks Through Downscaled Climate Projections," represents experiments with coupling new web-based mapping technology with novel climate projection downscaling methods. A map-based visualization was produced and housed at ClimateData.US. The goal of the system was to reduce the proximity of perceived climate risks by showing local-scale projected impacts. Results of tests at Texas Tech's College of Media and Communication with undergraduate students (N=46) indicated that the site was successful in altering beliefs and attitudes about climate change.

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Environment; Communication; Education


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Lassoie,James Philip

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Dickinson,Janis Lou
Williams,Linda Brooks

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Natural Resources

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Ph. D., Natural Resources

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Doctor of Philosophy

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dissertation or thesis

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