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Bemidji State to offer environmental communication program

Bemidji State students will be able to major in environmental communication starting fall 2022.

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BEMIDJI — Bemidji State students will be able to major 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 Minnesota State system of colleges and universities.

Students will be offered coursework 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 teach students to interpret and communicate scientific research to diverse audiences.

“The new environmental communications degree 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 release.

Environmental studies professor Anna Carlson said students will engage with various cultures and populations to better understand how values may impact the way people view environmental issues.

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“Today, we find ourselves in increasingly polarized conversations with people of different backgrounds, perspectives and opinions,” Carlson said in the release. “Students completing the degree will be well prepared to enter the workforce and broader world with tangible skills to build a sustainable future for all.”

Isaacson highlighted a need for professional communicators who can explain environmental issues in a non-biased, fact-based way.

The program also aims to prepare students for careers in numerous fields that can benefit local and statewide communities.

“This program introduces students to both scientific knowledge and communicative skills regarding environmental issues,” integrated media professor Ashik Shafi said in the release. “As Minnesota has a strong tradition of environmentalism, such skills and knowledge would be useful in a variety of industries and non-profit sectors.”

More information can be found at www.bemidjistate.edu .

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