Teaching

My teaching intends to help students become better equipped to read, write, think critically and creatively, act ethically, work independently and collaboratively, and help solve social and environmental problems. My research, teaching, and service are interconnected, and I use models such as service learning and community-based projects to help students learn practical skills in ways that that also address pressing social-environmental problems and community needs.

I teach courses on communication theory and method, including environmental communication, communication research methods, rhetorical ethnography, and interdisciplinary courses such as topics in sustainability science and communicating conservation.

Here are current and recent courses with syllabus links and additional resources.

Undergraduate

Graduate

EC CooP

The Environmental Communication Community of Practice (EC CooP) is a learning community composed of faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and community partners who share interests in environmental communication and interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability. We host workshops and discussions focused on civic engagement and community organizing; making meaningful career connections through online presence, networking opportunities, and relationship development; writing and peer support; grant proposal development; oral and poster presentations for academic conferences; and coordinating research and fieldwork activities. We do engaged research and service projects, such as video recording, and in future we intend to create facilitated dialogues on issues that matter. We also maintain an archive of environmental communication civic and career resources and a listserve where we regularly post relevant announcements and share content. Please contact me if you’d like to join our group and/or listserve.

Here are some photos from adventures in engaged learning:

img_7740
Visiting the Great Works dam removal site to feel rhetorics of river restoration and collect aquatic insects to learn about river health.
Sean Smith describes the Great Works dam removal site
Learning about Penobscot River hydrology with Professor Sean Smith.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Visiting the Penobscot Nation’s Water Resources Program to learn about water monitoring and their cultural scientific approach.
img_5521
Reflecting on changing meanings and relationships with water and place.
Group at Leonards Mills
Visiting Leonard’s Mills to explore environmental communication related to Maine’s logging history.
Documenting Juniper Ridge
Documenting perspectives of the Juniper Ridge landfill.
DSC_0031
An early morning walk and nature journaling on campus trails.
IMG_2590
Developing sensory awareness through journaling.
Abby and Hannah purple glove high five
Learning about campus food waste by digging into compost.
img_7723
A field trip with the Penobscot Nation’s Water Resources Program.
DSC_0054
Graduate students visit the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve to learn about watershed-based collaborations and enjoy the ocean.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Getting a sense of river restoration at the former Great Works dam site.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Professor Sean Smith shows students tidal flow data in a lesson on river ecology and hydrology.
img_5271
Using biological metaphor to trace associations in complex cases of social and environmental justice.
IMG_4424
Learning about research ethics through a case study of Gang Leader for a Day.
IMG_4423
Concept mapping communication research methods.