Communicating concepts of sustainability and resilience to the community at large is a challenge, especially considering the flood of misinformation in the mainstream media. The coronavirus pandemic has made this abundantly clear, as disinformation often displaces truth.
Effective communication needs to make scientific concepts, technical data, and ethical & moral issues clear and engaging to the public.
While it is difficult to spell out in the specific activities & topics months in advance, it is safe to say that interns will likely work on print, online, and in-person communications, including reports, posters, presentations, web pages, and/or news releases — and this may at times include controversial issues.
One challenging ‘umbrella’ topic is the extent to which media & communication reinforce the unsustainable practices that are causing so many of our problems, instead of helping move to a more sustainable future. Examples of likely focus areas for this year include the following:
- Community planning & governance that often seems to benefit developers at the expense of the community
- ‘Emergency management’ plans that only consider acute crises, excluding the slow emergencies (such as climate change) and
- Education (Pre-K–12 and higher ed) that has failed to make young people ‘sustainability literate’
- Justice systems that exacerbate problems of inequality and injustice
- ‘Business as usual’ approaches that perpetuate problems.
Specific activities depend in part on what is happening in the community during the internship
Note: This internship is usually also available with a graphic design focus for qualified students.
Questions? — Send an email to internship coordinator Peter Crownfield
Updated May 2020