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University System of Maryland

Strategic Communication for Sustainability Leaders

University System of Maryland via edX


Effective science communicators are in short supply during a time of unprecedented environmental challenges. As policy-makers, businesses, and communities seek solutions, the need for science communication skills will only grow. In this course, you will not only learn how to identify the tools of science communication, but will be able critique, refine, and develop them.

Any leader understands that data is the underpinning of competent decision-making. Complex systems require that data be presented in a clear and accessible format. You will learn to construct easy-to-interpret data visualizations that will enable you to build consensus and facilitate decisions across a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

Data tells us a story. Articulating and messaging this data-driven narrative to communicate the latest research is a key skill for any manager. You will learn to use proven techniques to develop such narratives so that you can effectively communicate complex data-sets to any audience.

Cogent science communication requires the effective integration of a captivating and accessible narrative with appealing multimedia data visualizations. These two new skills are the foundation for telling a larger story. Compelling “stories” are a proven approach to explain complex problems, involve the target audience, and motivate diverse stakeholders to work toward change.

Taught by

William “Bill” Dennison and Richard Arnold

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4.7 rating, based on 9 reviews

Start your review of Strategic Communication for Sustainability Leaders

  • Anonymous
    I had the pleasure of being part of the beta test group for this course and really enjoyed learning about an aspect of science that I was less familiar with. While I have a background in science, my professional trajectory led me to move over to the...
  • Anonymous
    The course on Strategic Communication for Sustainability Leaders was a perfect match for young science communicator, who needs to disseminate scientific information to stakeholders and the public. The course is well balanced, contains listening, reading and activities such as discussions with other peers and students. You will learn how to work with storytelling, data visualization a the integration of visuals with narratives. You will learn and practice on different scientific communication products such as presentations etc.

  • Anonymous
    I finished the beta test of the course, and I think that overall it is a good science communication course. The course introduces a lot of foundational communication concepts and provides multiple tips on improving communication through common mediums used within science communication. Also, it contains a lot of examples of science communication products, helping the course taker engage with the lessons. I learned a lot about what science communication is, and some best practices for it.
  • Anonymous
    I found this course very useful outside the world of science communication. I think the content is applicable to business and the social sciences as well. As with all online course it was lacking a hands-on component that would really help reinforce the ideas learned through practice. Additionally, you got what you put in; you could breeze through the content or take your time.
  • Anonymous
    I was a part of the pilot for this course. It is such a well-rounded training in applying principles and best practices. The experience of Dr. Bill Dennison is invaluable, and the activities allow you to try you hand at effectively communicating science. If you want to take you science communication to the next level, this is the course for you!
  • Anonymous
    I recommend this class. It's a great overview for those unfamiliar with how to communicate science concepts in an effective, engaging manner, which so few seem able to do! If you follow the suggestions as outlined in the course, you will be a much stronger, compelling speaker/writer in your science field.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course. It opened my eyes for various communication areas that are very important for sustainability activities. The course lets you find your focused interests and lets you explore further. I enjoyed the activities for each module.
  • Anonymous
    Well presented and structured course, In the beginning, I wasn't sure was course I was looking for, but 1 week in and I upgraded to verified learner.

    Lots of great resources and information I believe will help my work in the future.

  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course and was very impressed with the quality of the content available for an online course. The videos were clear and the explanations were straightforward. The workload was much lighter than I expected too.

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