This program consists of six graduate-level courses that can be completed at a pace that fits your career and life. Each course is an eight-week accelerated program of study focused specifically on key areas of knowledge for successful communications within conservation management and science. This encompasses fundamental communications concepts, media literacy and relations, messaging and communications product development and implementation, digital and social media engagement, strategic communications planning, crisis communications, social marketing and political and leadership communications.

Communications for Conservation Courses

Communications theory and conservation social science are explained. Roles for communicators in conservation organizations are examined. Students are introduced to behavior change theory and conservation psychology. Audience analysis and diversity are emphasized for achieving goals in conservation communications.

Conservation media literacy and media activities and practices are examined and analyzed. Students learn techniques and practices for developing written and visual media and gaining earned media attention. New directions and strategies in conservation communications are analyzed.

Fundamentals of digital and social media, and strategic online communications are explained and examined. New and emerging digital media platforms for conservation outreach and engagement are discussed and evaluated. Conservation organizations and practitioners’ use of social media, podcasting and video are analyzed.

Strategic communications planning and messaging for conservation are examined and evaluated, including case studies of specific plans and strategies. Students develop strategic content and materials and evaluation programs using research and best practices.

Examining and developing appropriate conservation communication strategies for conservation/environmental crisis response and recovery. Media, personal and other communications during near- and long-term planning scenarios are examined. Conservation management organizations’ and practitioners’ use of different messages and media platforms are also analyzed.

Social marketing and conservation marketing principles and projects are explained and evaluated. Students learn political and leadership communications techniques and tactics, including public speaking skills, governmental outreach and testimony and collaborative communications planning.

This graduate certificate is a total of 12 credits, with a total of 6 courses (2 credits each). Students can choose to follow the suggested curriculum order, or can take the graduate certificate on a part-time basis, to best suit their employment situation. You are encouraged to take NR 569: Conservation Communication Fundamentals first or concurrently with other courses, as it provides an introduction and builds a foundation for subsequent content.