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Communication plays an important role in the facilitation of sustainable management of natural resources and environmental issues. In the ECM program we learn how to understand communication processes, to create communicative strategies for environmental changes, organize collective action and mediate in environmental conflicts in a constructive way.
To work in practice with environmental change and sustainable development mean to work with people and communication. Communication is involved in all environmental issues: industries adaptation of environmental technology, governmental protection of wildlife, international governmental agreements etc. Companies, governmental agencies and environmental organisations are demanding people with professional skills in environmental communication. To facilitate sustainable development, society needs to know about e.g. plants, soils and water. But that is not enough. We also need to know about how to coordinate different resource users, how to motivate consumers to adapt environmental technology, and how to manage environmental conflicts.
When graduated from the ECM program there are good opportunities for being employed in private companies, consultancy offices, governmental institutions or non-governmental organisations. We can, based in our knowledge about the career of former students, identify four different categories of working tasks:
- Environmental officer: Your task is to monitor environmental consequences of other actors action and behaviour, to take decisions about permission and sanction and to explain your decision to the stakeholder, and to give advices.
- Environmental coordinator: Your task is to plan, organise and pursue communication in order to create environmental change. You investigate peoples motivation, you create information material and organise dialogue with stakeholders. You evaluate process and result of environmental communication.
- Facilitator of dialogue and conflict management: Your task is to organise dialogue between stakeholders with different views, needs and interests. You are able to help actors involved in conflict to improve their communication with each other.
- Researcher in environmental communication/sciences: Your task is to organise and pursue scientific studies of environmental communication. You organise investigations, write research reports and apply for research funds.
In the ECM program we learn to organise and carry out communication and conflict management in the environmental and natural resource management area. Environmental communication is a truly interdisciplinary field of studies, involving theories and methods from sociology, social psychology, political sciences, media and communication, and with a continues reference to environmental- and natural sciences.
In the ECM program we start with basic questions about humans, communication, society and nature: Why do environmental problems occur? What motivate humans to act environmentally destructive or friendly? To what extent can improved communication quality contribute to sustainable development and how can this high quality communication be reached?
In the next phase of the ECM program, we learn about methods for organising natural resource management in a constructive, collaborative, participative and democratic way, involving experts, politicians and local actors in a dialogue for learning and decision-making. We also learn about how to organise and pursue conflict management in natural resource issues and practice to play an active role as mediator in NRM conflicts. In this period we also learn about project management and how to coordinate competence and resources in a project. In the end of the first year we go deeper into communicative strategies, developing skills to plan and organise communication campaigns and interventions.
In the second year of the ECM program we focus on planning and carrying out investigations of environmental communication, both as a preparation for the master thesis and as a preparation for working life, were evaluations of environmental communication and investigations of situations in which to intervene is an important task. We learn how to formulate questions for the investigation, to organise the study, to do interviews and observations in a valid way and to analyse and draw conclusions from your study.
The last semester of the ECM program is dedicated to writing a master thesis, an independent work of relevance for environmental communication. The thesis can be carried out in combination with an internship in an environmental communication relevant organisation.
Degree of Master of Science (120 Credits) with a major in Environmental Science.
Scholarships are available for fee-paying students admitted to Master's programmes. The scholarships are granted by both SLU and the Swedish Institute (SI). Scholarships offered by SLU cover tuition fees only (not the cost of living). The number of scholarships awarded changes from year to year. Information about scholarships at SLU, including how to apply, is sent out to all applicants applying in time.