BEMIDJI – Students in Bemidji State will be able to specialize in environmental communication starting in fall 2022.
Offered as a new interdisciplinary degree program—with major, minor, and certificate options—from BSU’s integrated media and environmental science departments, the program is the first of its kind within the college and university system. Minnesota State Universities.
Students will be offered courses in science, mass communication, interpersonal communication, political science, and social and cultural understanding. The range of courses aims to develop an in-depth understanding of environmental issues and to teach students how to interpret and communicate scientific research to various audiences.
“The new degree in environmental communication will teach students how to most effectively communicate complex and evolving environmental topics to people with different worldviews,” environmental studies professor Carl Isaacson said in a statement.
Anna Carlson, professor of environmental studies, said students will interact with diverse cultures and populations to better understand how values can impact how people perceive environmental issues.
“Today, we find ourselves in increasingly polarized conversations with people from different backgrounds, perspectives and opinions,” Carlson said in the statement. “Students who complete the degree will be well prepared to enter the workforce and the wider world with tangible skills to build a sustainable future for all.”
Isaacson emphasized the need for professional communicators who can explain environmental issues impartially and factually.
The program also aims to prepare students for careers in many fields that can benefit local communities and statewide.
“This program introduces students to both scientific knowledge and communication skills regarding environmental issues,” integrated media professor Ashik Shafi said in the statement. “Because Minnesota has a strong tradition of environmentalism, such skills and knowledge would be useful in a variety of industries and nonprofit sectors.”
More information can be found at www.bemidjistate.edu.