Climate Justice Storytelling

Climate Justice Storytelling text overlaying the earth


Academic Team:
Alex Cohen (
First-Year Experience Seminar Instructor
Lucy Gragg (
FIG Assistant

9 credits
UGST 109 First Year Experience Seminar – 1 Credit 
CRN: 16242: W: 4:00PM-5:20PM, ALL 140  
JCOM 201 Making Sense of Media – 4 Credits 
CRN: 16747: TR: 2:00PM- 3:50PM, LIL 282  
ENVS 203 Intro to Environmental Studies: Humanities- 4 Credits 
CRN: 11967: TR: 12:00PM-1:20PM, PAC 123, +LAB CRN: 11973: F: 1:00PM-1:50PM, COL 142 
About the FIG:

"Climate Justice Storytelling" is a dynamic FIG seminar that explores the intersection between climate change and social justice through the lens of storytelling. 

In addition to interactive discussions and hands-on projects, students will have the opportunity to attend local film festivals focusing on environmental and social justice issues. This immersive experience will deepen their understanding of climate narratives and exposes them to diverse perspectives and real-world examples of effective storytelling for advocacy and change. Students will spend time throughout the term developing their own climate story and how their life is being impacted by climate change.    

Students will gain critical skills in communication and advocacy and develop a heightened awareness of pressing global issues, empowering them to make meaningful contributions to their communities from the outset of their academic careers. 

JCOM 201 Making Sense of Media- CoreEd or major satisfying course

Nearly every facet of human life today—work, play, study, relationships, and more—involves media. This course examines how this came to be, why it matters that media are so thoroughly infused in our lives individually and collectively, and how we can become more thoughtful and engaged media consumers and creators. Making sense of media means grappling with the social, cultural, economic, interpersonal, and political implications of this current moment: one in which people have increasingly expansive and near-instantaneous access to an abundance of information—social media, entertainment, games, news, and more—in a way that is unprecedented in the history of communication technologies. Media consumption has been transformed, but so has media production: People can create and disseminate their own content, receive and share files, and closely monitor the activities of friends and others. At the same time, networked communication platforms have forged new relationships between institutions and individuals and between social movements, states, and corporations. Over the course of the term, we will explore some key transformations in media over the past century, paying close attention to the interplay of meaning and power and the way media contributes to both shaping our identities and facilitating self-expression. We will also explore the rise and development of media professions, and examine some of the central tensions in the media world today: How can we tell whom or what to trust via media? What does verification look like in a world of fakes and misinformation? And how can we avoid being fooled by the use of numbers, data, and visualizations? In all, this course will equip students with a foundation in media literacy for the 21st century.

ENVS 203 Introduction to Environmental Studies: Humanities - CoreEd or major satisfying course

This course is a survey of the contribution of humanities disciplines (e.g., literature, intellectual history, religious studies, and philosophy) to understanding the relationship between human beings and the natural environment. Theoretical perspectives covered in the course include the intellectual history of Western cultural attitudes and perceptions of nature, the role of religion in shaping environmental values, Native American perspectives on the environment, and the suggestions of contemporary radical ecology movements deep ecology, social ecology, and ecofeminism for revitalizing human relationships with the environment. The last segment of the course examines humanities perspectives on several current environmental issues: wilderness preservation, the Pacific Northwest salmon crisis, population and resource use, and global climate collapse. The course emphasizes the skills of textual and cultural interpretation, value reasoning, and critical inquiry as these are demonstrated in the engagement of the humanities with environmental concerns. This course fulfills the Arts and Letters Group Requirement and is a core course requirement for Environmental Studies and Environmental Science majors. (The course must be taken for a grade in order to satisfy ENVS/ESCI major requirements.)

Meet Your Instructor and FIG Assistant!