This project draws not just on multiple modules in this class [Media, Culture, and the Environment], but also the podcast journal entry assignments. For all four podcast assignments, I listened to four separate episodes of “Mothers of Invention,” a climate podcast that features women across the world in the effort to fight climate change. One episode in particular featured young women with the intersection of age, gender, and race/ethnicity. This episode struck me because these women were around my age (if not younger), yet they were making great strides in their own communities to combat climate change. This podcast focuses heavily on environmental and climate justice. As someone who has individually tried to combat climate change through environmental education, reducing plastic use, and focusing on reusables, this podcast encouraged me to start thinking about how I could go beyond to make an impact.
I started to consider my strengths like video production and how I may apply it towards a social and scientific issue. I had never made a podcast before, but “Mothers of Invention” inspired me to try. Since a podcast around the idea of environmental and climate justice already exists, I decided to focus on another area that I felt like I could talk more about.
Next, I considered who I may want to talk to and why. Initially, I planned on interviewing multiple Florida State students to ask about the university’s and community’s role in environmental protection. However, I wanted this project to be an opportunity to have a conversation and connect with someone who has expertise in this area. My classmate, Kellie Keyes, remarked in class about how science students struggle to communicate ideas helped me to solidify my idea. This class has taught me to consider how the news covers climate change, misinformation, and how to communicate climate change visually. While this is helpful as someone who’s job is to communicate different ideas to different audiences, I wondered if environmental science students were being taught the same thing. I reached out to Kellie and she connected me to her daughter Laurel, a senior here at Florida State majoring in Environmental Science. Since Laurel and I are both very active in our respective fields, I thought this was a unique opportunity to gain insight on what environmental scientists go through.
My interview questions guided my research and helped demonstrate proficiency in applying concepts from this class. The questions were as follows:
1) Why did you choose to go into Environmental Science?
2) Why FSU’s program in particular?
3) What kind of topics do you cover in your classes?
4) How do environmental scientists and students strike a balance between urgency but also taking care of their mental wellbeing?
5) What do you think about the current relationship between communication and environmental science?
6) How are students now using communication skills to talk about environmental science issues and information?
7) What environmental social media campaign/infographic sticks out to you? Is it effective or ineffective?
8) How do you think these campaigns can improve?
9) How do you think these campaigns are working?
10) What is your best advice to those in communications looking to work with environmental scientists?
The first couple of questions helped demonstrate Laurel’s credibility as well as helped me as a host to learn more about her. These questions also helped Laurel adjust to my line of question and get used to speaking while recording. When asking the later questions surrounding actual content about climate change, I kept in mind the 7 principles of climate visuals. I wanted to gain insight on how an environmental science student would analyze media and if anything mentioned would fit into one of the seven categories. When answering question seven, Laurel mentioned how Greenpeace USA’s Instagram had some inconsistency, with some of the posts being serious and others being humorous. She intuitively talked about the seventh principle: understanding your audience. While the environmental science major does not focus on mass communication techniques, effective and ineffective images are easy to identify so long as one approaches media with a critical eye.
Finally, I used Adobe Audition and Premiere Pro to edit and export my final file and uploaded it to my “Communications and…” Soundcloud account. I used Canva to design the logo and matching banner to give the account a polished yet eye-catching look. The podcast was recorded over Zoom due to my lack of access to equipment and meeting availability.