Strategic
Environmental
Commnication

BrenComm@bren.ucsb.edu

Bren Communication

Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
2400 Bren Hall, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106-5131

Capstone.

 

build your professional portfolio through applied client work.

The best way to learn communication skills is to apply them in a real-world context.

Applied client work is the foundation of the Communication program. Students can gain hands-on experiences through the communication capstone, fellowships, or through part-time positions in strategic environmental communication with local organizations such as LoaCom, NCEAS, and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper.

Communication Capstones

The communication capstone project (ESM 449) represents a culmination of the applied skills that students in the Communication academic focus learn. The experience helps students build skills and their portfolio while working for an external client over ten weeks in spring quarter. Students may also elect to develop their own communication products or expand upon their Master's Group Projects.

Past communication capstones have taken on a diversity of topics and tactics, such as branding and messaging strategy, short films, audience research, educational curricula, outreach strategies, infographics, and museum interactives. 

Capstone Project Requirements

Students and potential clients are encouraged to propose communication capstone projects. Successful projects should focus on a clear goal, such as raising awareness, promoting engagement, creating educational opportunities, or compelling individuals to engage in pro-environmental behavior. They must also incorporate at least two of the following:

  • Strategy

  • Narrative / Story development

  • Audience research

  • Development of a communication skill or tool

Spring 2019 capstone projects will run 10 weeks from April 1 - June 7, 2019.

If you have any questions about a potential capstone project, please contact communication program director, Lisa Leombruni.

Past Capstone Clients

California Academy of Sciences

Surfrider Foundation

Honda Marine Science Foundation

WaterNow Alliance

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

Ocean Health Index, NCEAS

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

University of California Office of the President

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Salty Girl Seafood

PAST Capstone Projects

Current students can access the full archive of capstone projects here

See the full Comm Capstone video archive

build your professional portfolio through applied client work.

The best way to learn communication skills is to apply them in a real-world context.

Applied client work is the foundation of the Communication program. Students can gain hands-on experiences through the communication capstone, fellowships, or through part-time positions in strategic environmental communication with local organizations such as LoaCom, NCEAS, and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper.

Communication Capstones

The communication capstone project (ESM 449) represents a culmination of the applied skills that students in the Communication academic focus learn. The experience helps students build skills and their portfolio while working for an external client over ten weeks in spring quarter. Students may also elect to develop their own communication products or expand upon their Master's Group Projects.

Past communication capstones have taken on a diversity of topics and tactics, such as branding and messaging strategy, short films, audience research, educational curricula, outreach strategies, infographics, and museum interactives. 

Capstone Project Requirements

Students and potential clients are encouraged to propose communication capstone projects. Successful projects should focus on a clear goal, such as raising awareness, promoting engagement, creating educational opportunities, or compelling individuals to engage in pro-environmental behavior. They must also incorporate at least two of the following:

  • Strategy

  • Narrative / Story development

  • Audience research

  • Development of a communication skill or tool

Spring 2019 capstone projects will run 10 weeks from April 1 - June 7, 2019.

If you have any questions about a potential capstone project, please contact communication program director, Lisa Leombruni.

Past Capstone Clients

California Academy of Sciences

Surfrider Foundation

Honda Marine Science Foundation

WaterNow Alliance

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

Ocean Health Index, NCEAS

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

University of California Office of the President

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Salty Girl Seafood

PAST Capstone Projects

Current students can access the full archive of capstone projects here

See the full Comm Capstone video archive

Rage Sustainably

2019

Danny Elkin, Giovanna Davila, Eric Tarantino, Kynan Witters-Hicks

Social Media Strategy & Campaign

Client: IV Adopt a Block

2019

Breaking Bear-iers

2019

Caitlin Swalec, Cheyenne Coxon, Lauren Krohmer

Communication Plan and Strategy

Client: California Grizzly Research Network

A communication strategy and collection of communication materials to help the California Grizzly Research Network craft a consistent message about their research on grizzly bear reintroduction in California.

Why Should I Care About...?

2019

Taylor Heisley-Cook, Bri Winkler

YouTube Series | Personal Interest Capstone

A 10-part YouTube series that teaches middle schoolers to be mindful consumers by exploring the environmental impacts of daily items, covering climate change, plastic pollution, & land use.

Power Play

2019

Valeria Tamayo, Danny Ettelson, Hanna Buechi

Science Education Game

Client: California Academy of Sciences

An interactive puzzle game for the California Academy of Sciences that makes the electricity grid fun, helps players understand where their electricity comes from, and empowers them to support a greener grid. 

Living Rivers

Eric Holmes, Marina Lindsay

Documentary Film | Group Project Capstone

Client: The Nature Conservancy

A short film for The Nature Conservancy exploring

the impact of climate change on Eastern Sierra

rivers, featuring local residents and managers. It

offers solutions to adapt to increased river volatility. 

Parks Over Pollution

2019

Meghan Cook, Casey Moorhead

Press Kit and Communication Strategy

Client: National Parks Conservation Association

Press kit materials and strategy for the National

Parks Conservation Association to raise awareness

on the impacts of fracking on California National

Parks and to encourage community engagement. 

A campaign to reduce litter in Isla Vista by targeting party culture to change wasteful behavior through strategic messaging & coalition building. Created in collaboration with IV Adopt-A-Block.

The Salty Generations

2018

Shelby Oliver, Shaun Wolfe

Short Documentary | Group Project Capstone

Bernard Friedman has been pioneering shellfish farming in the California for 15 years, while Tessa Emmer, Avery Resor, and Catherine O’Hare are in the earliest stages of testing out their seaweed farm. In “The Salty Generations,” we look at the unique challenges of each generation of farmers and their motivation to provide sustainable food for their communities despite these challenges.

Short Documentary | Personal Interest Capstone

We often remember the direct impacts of natural disasters, such as the loss of life and property—but what about the untold stories? We take a closer look at vulnerable populations, often minority or low income communities, whose livelihoods are significantly impacted by the secondary effects of a disaster, such as the loss of a job, exposure to toxins, or lack of access or post-disaster support. This short documentary explores these stories.

After the Fire | After the Rain

2018

Sarah Salem, Alex McCutcheon, Gokce Sencan, Alex Jamis

This project was made possible by a generous gift from the Robert L. Boughton Jr. Endowed Environmental Communication Fellowship
Whale-safe Shipping through Coalition Building

2018

Madi Harris, Chester Lindley, Rowena Eng, Lauren Menzer, Erika Petroy

Client: Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS)

The CINMS Vessel Speed Reduction program has successfully slowed ships the Santa Barbara Channel through financial incentives. Yet can non-financial incentives be successful? This project explored the potential for non-financial incentives through interviews with supply chain planners and sustainability managers. Companies generally supported a business partnership to promote ocean-friendly shipping; outreach materials were created to help build a coalition.

Teaching Sustainability through Museum Interactives

2018

Cheryl Bube, Christin Palmstrom

Science Education Game

Client: California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences has launched PlanetVision, a science-based outreach plan that inspires people to put environmental solutions into action. We designed three interactive museum activities for PlanetVision to encourage visitors to learn more about sustainability. We pilot-tested and assessed the interactives' impact through survey feedback and provided suggestions for Cal Academy to implement and scale-up the activities for other settings.

This project was made possible by a generous gift from the Honda marine science foundation
Shelling Out Solutions

2017

Desmond Ho, Erin O'Reilly, Emily Read, Erik Martinez

Short Documentary | Group Project Capstone

Client: Honda Marine Science Foundation

The native California Olympia oyster used to carpet the seafloor from Baja to British Columbia. Yet pollution, overharvesting, and habitat destruction have destroyed oyster populations. Join a team of Master’s students from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara as they explore ways to restore habitat to bring these creatures back to our waterways.

Teaching Complex Environmental Science in High School

2017

Bella Marill, Cora Kammeyer

High School Curriculum | Personal Interest Capstone

As sustainability and climate challenges continue, it is important that high school students not only understand science concepts but also apply these concepts to creatively address the problems their generation will face. We created an environmental education curriculum for AP high school students in Santa Barbara that highlights problem solving and critical thinking related to real world environmental problems. The objective was to have students understand the interdisciplinary nature of problem solving: social, economic, environmental.

Strategic Communication for Carbon Neutrality

2016

Ilan MacAdam-Somer, Brian Jones, Heather Martin

Client: University of California Office of the President, TomKat Foundation

University of California Office of the President (UCOP) announced the Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) in 2013, committing all ten UC campuses to carbon neutrality by 2025. To help understand how the UC might achieve carbon neutrality from a human-centric perspective, this project conducted audience research and pilot-tested campaign concepts with UC students to improve the ability of UCOP to engage and connect with with the UC student body regarding carbon neutrality.