Interdisciplinary team led by ComArtSci receives USDA grant to study retail purchase decisions

Posted on: November 14, 2016

vlcsnap-2016-11-11-13h26m20s268The answers behind purchase decisions may lie in the eye of the beholder according to a recently funded interdisciplinary study involving the Michigan State University departments of Advertising and Public Relations and Horticulture.

Beginning early 2017, Professor of Retailing Patricia Huddleston will join Professor of Horticulture Marketing Bridget Behe in leading a student research team that will use eye-tracking technology to investigate how people make product choices—in this case, plants. The two-year project recently received a Federal State Marketing and Improvement Program grant for $136,000 through the United States Departmehuddleston-pat-09132016-3032-2nt of Agriculture.

"I've always been interested in what happens at the moment of truth," Huddleston says. "It's fascinating to looked at what consumers do when they are actually picking a product off a shelf or a rack. The context here are plants, but you can apply this research to any type of product."

Huddleston explains that much of the success of retailing depends on getting things right—or the science of finding the right mix of product assortment, pricing and merchandising that attracts and entices consumers. The recently funded study, she says, will look at how merchandise—specifically selections of herbs or flowering annuals—ispresented at the point of purchase, and how information in displays affects consumer behavior.

The study will be conducted on campus the first year, then migrate to retail settings in mid-Michigan in 2018. Huddleston and Behe will construct displays that vary in product volume and complexity, and then enlist subjects to pick a particular plant for purchase. Participants will wear second-generation Tobii eye-tracking glasses during their retail experience, which enables researchers to gather and analyze data about what shoppers look at, for how long, and in what sequence before making their purchase decision. Participants will also complete a questionnaire to further assess cues and previous product involvement that may influence their decision.behe-bridget

Huddleston says it's exciting to capture physical evidence through the eye-tracking technology, and to translate the results for retailers. Both she and Behe
also say the research charts new territory since previous research involving visual gaze path analysis has typically examined highly-packaged products in boxes and bottles—and not minimally packaged products like plants, apparel, furniture and art.

"This project will push us a bit more in our learning because we will capture, manage and relate visual data in a more realistic retail setting," says Behe. "And what better products to explore the shopping process than plants? Besides, if we all planted more plants, the world would be a better place."


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Advertising professor works to eradicate bullying from schools and universities

Posted on: November 7, 2016

Bullying is a chronic issue for school administrators and instructors. With social media acting as an additional digital environment for students,alhabash-saleem-20150925-6588 the name-calling and destructive criticism has become even harder to contain.

Saleem Alhabash, Assistant professor in the MSU Department of Advertising + Public Relations, was invited to speak about his research studying cyberbullying and why people don’t report or take action against bullies online as a panelist for Defeat The Label, a social
movement that promotes inclusivity and acceptance in schools around the world. The group hosted its first community conversation about bullying in Novi, Mich. in October.

MSU’s partnership with Defeat The Label was orchestrated by an East Lansing local and longtime university employee Kevin Epling. Epling began advocating against bullying more than a decade ago after his middle school aged son committed suicide as a result of being bullied by fellow students.

“I’ve been doing some work on cyberbullying and Kevin tried to connect us with Defeat The Label,” said Alhabash. “We organized this community conversation that gathered school administrators from different parts of the state, school educators, students and parents and other people to try to talk about what can we do to promote non-bullying in our schools.”

Alhabash’s research focuses heavily on college students, emphasizing how bullying does not end when a student graduates high school and joins a college campus. He explained that 20 percent of Michigan State University college students report being bullied – in person and online – and 70 percent say they have seen someone else being bullied. He said it can be seen in greek life, dorms and in the classroom.

“It is still happening but no one is talking about it because there’s a big stigma that bullying is something for young people and we don’t want to chat about it,” said Alhabash. “The work that I’m trying to do now is trying to shift the discussion from the stigmatized bullying and cyberbullying and specifically talk about aggression and digital aggression.”

Alhabash recommends that system and software designers implement more strict policies to curb the prevalence of online bullying. More simply, he said, people can take action by reporting harmful content and speech as well as keeping a record of it.

“When you see something mean happening online record it. Take a screenshot,” said Alhabash. “Grab it any way because past experiences have shown that some of these aggressive behaviors online can turn into really bad things such as a person committing suicide or someone telling someone to commit suicide.”

At the panel, Alhabash said educators responded well to what he had to say, but they questioned how to promote kindness in the classroom when the current political climate of the presidential election is based on bullying.

“It’ll be interesting to see after this election campaign how the rates of bullying and cyberbullying go up,” said Alhabash.

By Savannah Swix

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Love of art and cartooning led to storied career for new director of MSU Media Sandbox

Posted on: April 18, 2016

gude-karl-2016-6344Although descended from a long line of engineers and an ambassador, Karl Gude drew his greatest influence from a 19th century Norwegian artist.

"Hans Gude was my great great grandfather," says Gude. "He was a famous landscape painter during the Romantic period. Me, I became a cartoonist and illustrator. Close enough."

While creating art is among Gude's talents, the newly appointed director of the MSU Media Sandbox in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences is considered a master of visual storytelling in journalism. In 2006, Gude joined the MSU faculty to spearhead the first information graphics program through the School of Journalism. Since then, he has led study abroad programs in Spain and has taught courses in creative thinking and problem solving, a topic he is passionate about and guiding principle of the Media Sandbox: an integrated media arts program of cinematic arts, game development, graphic design, web design, visual storytelling, 3D art and animation.

Before coming to MSU, Gude served as Director of Information Graphics at Newsweek magazine, the Associated Press and the National Sports Daily.



Gude and his staffs covered major news events, including seven presidential elections, wars, sporting events, natural disasters, science, medical and technical advancements and the attack on the World Trade Center.

 "This emotional story was unfolding down the street in our hometown," Gude says. "At Newsweek, we worked on the graphics through our shock and grief."

train big drawing girl299Gude has consulted with corporations, PR and news organizations, academic and scientific institutions and government agencies to create infographics. He also writes and draws a column for the Huffington Post, has given TEDx talks in Detroit and Lansing, and has spoken twice at the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference. His drawings and cartoons have been widely published, including in the New York Times. He also has more than 5.3 millions views to his YouTube page where he demonstrates ways to use visualization software and more.

"I always thought I would be hired as an artist somewhere," Gude says. "I feel really lucky to have stumbled on a career in journalism, and to come in early in the growing field of infographics."

Pathway to the sandbox

Gude traces his path to journalism and into the Media Sandbox back to his early teens—the days when his father sent him to his room for causing trouble. Once there, he would pick up a pencil and paper and draw, triggering a calming effect he says gave him a sense direction for what he wanted to do in life.

After high school, Gude moved to South America to live with his maternal grandparents and teach English. When he turned 20, he came back to the U.S. and took an art course at a community college. He wound up doing carpentry, working in hardware stores and eventually moving to Vermont to work on a dairy farm. All the while, he kept drawing. After tending to cows and delivering calves for two years, he sold his truck and moved to New York City. It was 1979, he was 23, and he had $5,000 to try and make it as an artist and illustrator for comics and children's books.

"What else does a young man want to do other than that?" he laughs. "I told myself if my money ran out, I would move back to the farm. But I was driven by desperation and hunger and the fact that I had decided New York City was the coolest place on the planet."

Gude succeeded. He worked as a messenger delivering packages to make extra money, and colored in comic book covers for a publishing house. While there, a colleague told him about a journalism job. She gave him a slip of paper with a phone number and told him to call.

"I called, got an interview, and eventually this place called United Press International called me back," he says. "They hired me to help explain the news of the day by visualizing and drawing things—what they now call infographics."Karl-drawing-table-at-UPI-1979

Guide realizes his career is part happenstance and part ambition fueled by the drive to overcome the objections of those who devalued creative professions, like his father and some teachers. That realization, he says, is among the lessons he wants to convey to students, particularly those pursuing creative and innovative paths through MSU's Media Sandbox.

"It's important for students to know that all their skills and intelligences are valued," Gude says. "I don't want students to lose their uniqueness, to have it squeezed out of them. I want to do everything to help them find their individual voices, to understand what they are good at, and to forget those negative messages they may have received."

Gude lives in East Lansing with his wife, Dorsey Gude, who he met while working at the Associated Press and who works in development at MSU. His two 20-something sons have explored both science and the arts, with the older pursing environmental sustainability and the younger classical guitar and writing.

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MSU instructor and veteran photojournalist inducted into renowned NATAS Silver Circle

Posted on: March 3, 2016


Bob Gould, MSU broadcaster in residence in the College of Communication Arts and
Sciences, hadn't intended to build a career in broadcast news. While a self-proclaimed "news junkie" as a kid, the MSU alum says he actually had his sights set on working in a production house, editing and shooting video.


But something changed after he graduated from MSU in 1990 with his bachelor's in telecommunications. He discovered he really did love news after shooting and editing stories for daily newscasts for WILX-TV in Lansing and later for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich. It was a path that led to a 17-year career as a revered photojournalist, earning more than 40 awards for his work from the National Press Photographers Association, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, and the Michigan Associated Press, and a combination of 10 regional EMMY nominations and awards. It was also a path that led to leadership, causing him to seek out roles with the NPA, the Michigan TV News Photographer's Association, and the organization that will honor him for his devotion to the industry.

In late February, the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science will induct Gould into the Silver Circle—an honor reserved for individuals who have devoted a quarter of a century to the television industry, and who have made a significant contribution to the Michigan broadcast community.

Humbled by the news, Gould continues to find himself in disbelief.

"When I look at the list of people who have been inducted over the years, I have to pinch myself," Gould says. "These are people you look up to and watch on TV, and people who have reached the pinnacle of their career. I'm just the person shooting video and telling stories."

Gould left working in the field in 2007 to pursue his dream job teaching TV reporting, multimedia and media law/ethics courses at MSU. Part of his work includes executive producing the multi-award-winning, "Focal Point," a 30-minute student-produced newscast that has garnered nearly 60 awards. He also helps ensure the future of broadcast education as vice president of the Michigan Chapter of NATAS, as committee chair for the Broadcast Education Association, and as a member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation board.

"I had so many wonderful experiences in the field, shooting and putting together stories that mattered to people," he says. "Now I get a chance to mentor students. That's pretty cool thing."

Lucinda Davenport, professor and director in the MSU School of Journalism, says that the knowledge Gould brings to the classroom helps students know what is expected of them to succeed and be leaders in the industry.

 "Our students can aspire toward the things that Bob reflects, and feel confident stepping out his classroom and into the newsroom," Davenport says. "We're very proud of Bob, and it's nice to see the rest of the world sees his successes."

Gould will be among five honorees inducted into the Michigan Chapter NATAS Silver Circle this year. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich.

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J-School Pulitzer winners gather in Washington

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FreedmanPulitzerPic (1)

Three Pulitzer Prize-winners from the J-School took part in recent events in Washington, D.C., commemorating the centennial of the prestigious awards in journalism, literature and music.

M.L. Elrick, ‘90, won a 2009 Pulitzer for Detroit Free Press coverage of then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s corruption scandal.

The Pulitzer judges cited Elrick and Free Press colleague James Schaefer for “their uncovering of a pattern of lies by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick that included denial of a sexual relationship with his female chief of staff, prompting an investigation of perjury that eventually led to jail terms for the two officials.”

Elrick is now a reporter at Fox 2 News (WJBK TV) in Detroit and a member of the of the MSU College of Communication Arts & Sciences alumni board.

As reporters in the Detroit News Lansing Bureau, James Mitzelfeld, ‘84, and J-School Professor Eric Freedman won their 1994 Pulitzer for coverage of a corruption scandal in the Michigan legislature.

Judges cited their “dogged reporting that disclosed flagrant spending abuses at Michigan's House Fiscal Agency.”

Mitzelfeld is now senior counsel in the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, At MSU, he was editor-in-chief of the State News and a Capital News Service correspondent.

At the time of their prize-winning reporting, Freedman was a J-School adjunct faculty member. He joined MSU full-time in 1996 and is now Knight Chair, director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and director of Capital News Service.

In October, the J-School will be involved in another Pulitzer Centennial event, this time in Lansing.

A partnership of the Michigan Humanities Council, Michigan Interscholastic Press Association and the J-School will create a high school-level competition for journalism students to work with Michigan Pulitzer winners at the MIPA fall conference.

Schools will hold competitions and choose a student piece for professional journalists to judge. The winners will earn a travel scholarship to attend the conference and will work in small classroom settings with the journalists.

It’s part of a national Pulitzer Campfires initiative by the Pulitzer Prize Board and Federation of State Humanities Councils, with funding from the Mellon Foundation, Carnegie Corp. and Ford Foundation.

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Faculty Members Named Sustainability Fellows

Posted on: August 3, 2015

Sustainability banner

Two College of Communication Arts and Sciences faculty members have been named 2015 MSU Sustainability Fellows for their environmental sustainability-themed online survey of MSU undergraduate students.

John Besley, Associate Professor and Ellis N. Brandt Chair in Public Relations in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations, and Bruno Takahashi, Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Journalism and Department of Communication and Research Director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, worked on the initial sustainability survey along with Adam Zwickle, Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science and Policy Program and the School of Criminal Justice in the College of Social Science.

The survey includes questions gauging environmental sustainability and scientific knowledge, norms and practices surrounding sustainability related behaviors, and attitudes toward environmental responsibility. The plan is to make the survey an annual project.

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Bruno Takahashi

“The Sustainability Office, specially Ann Erhardt (Director of MSU Sustainability), has recognized the importance of evidence-based communication. In that sense, we are hoping the results of the survey will help inform the communication initiatives at MSU,” Takahashi said. “From a research perspective, there are very few empirical studies examining educational settings that attempt to understand the factors that explain the engagement in sustainability behaviors by students. We are trying to push the envelope in the study of environmentalism, behaviors, and well being among students.”

Data from the initial survey was collected at the end of the spring 2015 semester. Students were randomly selected to participate with more than 2,800 completed surveys received.

The research team plans to produce a report for the Sustainability Office with some recommendations and are working on two academic studies, one on the relationship between values and environmental behaviors, and another one examining differences in environmental behaviors based on cohorts (freshman, sophomore, etc.).

“The assumption for the second one is that students' attitudes, knowledge about science and the environment, perception of social norms, among other factors change as they move forward with their degrees, and that this affects behaviors,” Takahashi said.

Plans are already underway for a 2016 survey as well as identifying areas for targeted campaigns.


John Besley

“We want to make the survey an annual thing so that we can use it to track the impact of the college experience on students’ views and behavior,” Besley said.

MSU Sustainability’s fellowship program uses the MSU campus as a laboratory to address issues related to greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, waste reduction, water conservation, sustainable transportation, education, engagement, social responsibility and more.

The program funds research projects that focus on aspects of environmental responsibility and sustainability specific to MSU.

"The work is driven by real challenges faced by the university," Erhardt said. “The fellowship program connects researchers with campus decision-makers in order to effectively plan for the future sustainability of MSU's campus."

For more information on these and other sustainability efforts, see the MSU Sustainability website.

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Knight Center Faculty, Students Present Research at International Conference

Posted on: June 26, 2015


Faculty and doctoral students affiliated with the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism played an active role as presenters and panelists at the International Environmental Communication Association’s 2015 Conference on Communication and the Environment.

The theme of the June 11-14 gathering at the University of Colorado in Boulder was “Bridging Divides: Spaces of Scholarship and Practice in Environmental Communications.”
As part of an effort to increase the organization’s engagement with environmental journalism teachers and researchers, Knight Center Research Director Bruno Takahashi organized and moderated a panel called “Bridging Environmental Journalism and Practice, Research and Education: Current State and Mapping Future Directions.”

In addition to Knight Center Director Eric Freedman and Senior Associate Director Dave Poulson, the panel included several University of Colorado-Boulder environmental journalism professors, the president of Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting and a Colorado freelancer.

Takahashi also presented a research paper, “Natural Resource Management in Times of Crisis: Social Dynamics of Scarce vs. Abundant Resources.”

At the same session, MSU Journalism Associate Professor Manuel Chavez, who is a member of the Knight Center affiliated faculty, and a colleague from Florida International University presented their paper, “Drought Crisis in the U.S. Southwest: Regulatory Frameworks, Uses, Impacts and Vulnerabilities of Disadvantaged Populations.”

Media and Information Studies doctoral student Kanni Huang presented another study that she did with Poulson, “Bridging Local and Global — Exploring the Use of Social Media in Climate Change Reporting among Local News Outlets.”

Another panel included Poulson and Freedman’s presentation about Great Lakes Echo, the Knight Center’s award-winning regional environmental news service.

In addition, two MSU Department of Communication doctoral students Shannon Cruz, who is a member of the Knight Center’s research collaborative, and Brian Manata, presented a study called “Environmental Concern: A Comprehensive Assessment of Extant Measures.”

It was an assessment of the validity of five different scales of environmental concern.

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Studying Facebook’s Algorithmic Curation

Posted on: June 24, 2015


Are Facebook users aware they don’t see everything in their newsfeed that their friends post, and if they are aware, what do they think about that?

These questions are at the heart of a research study by Emilee Rader, AT&T Scholar and Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Information.

“A lot of websites use recommender systems or personalization. When you log on to Amazon it suggests books for you to buy. That’s the same kind of technology that Facebook uses in its newsfeed, except Facebook doesn’t give you a choice. They don’t say here’s the list of possible newsfeed posts that you could be reading,” Rader said.

Instead, Facebook selects what will show in a newsfeed based on a complicated formula where each possible post that could be shown is ranked with the top ones appearing in the newsfeed.

“What Facebook is trying to do is guess which posts you are more likely to want to see,” Rader said. “One of the things we were wondering is whether people notice this is happening or are they totally unaware? We wanted to understand how users are reacting to this. What they think about it? Do they even notice it?”

What Rader found is that some people were not aware this was happening.

“There were a few people who were pretty sure this was happening, but most people were in the maybe to no range at the time we did the study (April 2014),” Rader said. “However, I think there is more public awareness now that there is a filtering algorithm.”

Rader, whose research is supported by a $502,093 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, wrote a paper on this study, titled “Understanding User Beliefs About Algorithmic Curation in the Facebook News Feed,” co-authored by Ph.D. student Rebecca Gray.

Rader and Gray presented the paper at the CHI (Computer-Human Interaction) conference April 18-23 in Seoul, Korea, the most prestigious conference focused on Human-Computer Interaction, which attracts the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in this field to share groundbreaking research and innovations related to how humans interact with digital technologies.

“What the paper was about was a study where we did a big survey that had an open-ended question on it where we asked people if they think they see everything that their friends posts and why they think so,” Rader said. “It turned out that there were some people who were like ‘why wouldn’t I be seeing everything?’ But most people had actually noticed that there was something going on.”

Some people in the survey even had tried to influence what appears in their newsfeed by their own actions in interacting with Facebook.

“People were noticing that the actions they did were having a cause and effect relationship to what they were seeing and were trying to do things to achieve certain goals in their newsfeed,” Rader said. “For example, there were some people who had created a routine of going and visiting particular people’s profile pages just to make sure they would start showing up in their newsfeed. It’s sort of like search engine optimization, the things that people do to get their stuff ranked higher.”

One goal of the research is to better understand the interaction between people and algorithms in an effort to design better systems.

“In a system like Facebook, essentially what you see in your news feed is the result of a combination of your own behavior and then what the algorithm is doing,” Rader said. “There are more and more systems that are coming up that are like this. And so I feel like it’s important to be able to understand and characterize what these interactions look like.”

Facebook is not the only system that uses algorithms to decide what you see.

“Everywhere you interact with a recommender system, there is an algorithm that is choosing what to show you and what not to show you,” Rader said.

The argument for the use of algorithms is if everything was allowed to go through, the experience would not be user friendly and no one would ever use these systems.

“I believe that to be true, but I also think that it’s not perfect either, which is why it’s worth studying,” Rader said.

Rader has written a second paper about this research, which is currently under review. That paper is about people’s reactions when they found out that there were things they were not seeing in their Facebook newsfeed.

Rader helps lead the Behavior, Information and Technology Lab (BITLab) within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences where she conducts her research.

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Studying Social Media and Its Effect on Disaster Communication

Posted on: June 15, 2015


When Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines in 2013, thousands of people were killed, in part because they didn’t know it was coming or didn’t know how to protect themselves.

Could an increased use of social media, particularly on the part of the nation’s government, have made a difference?

While that question remains open, it is clear that social media should play a larger role in emergency preparedness, says Bruno Takahashi, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Communication, who studies the issue.

Using the Philippines’ typhoon as a case study, Takahashi and his fellow researchers looked into the matter and determined that more tweets and Facebook messaging might have made a difference.

“We need to think of social media not as an afterthought,” he said. “It needs to be integrated into emergency-preparedness plans.”

As Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded on Earth, made landfall, many individuals and some journalists were using Twitter to spread information. However, the government was not.

bruno-takahashi“All of the coordination of relief and what to do to seek shelter came after the storm hit,” Takahashi said. “Maybe that is something governments should do ahead of time – be more proactive.”

For this study, which was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, Takahashi and his team analyzed more than 1,000 tweets that were sent around the time of the typhoon.

“We have to think about social media not just as this place online where people go to have fun or share mindless thoughts,” he said. “It’s apparent that social media can be a really powerful tool, not only for preparedness, but also as a coping mechanism.”

Just as radio was years ago, social media helps people connect with others, lets them know there are others out there sharing the same problems.

“It lets people know they are somehow connected to others,” Takahashi said. “People use social media to share their feelings, as well as help them try to make sense of the tragedy.”

One way in which Tacloban City, which took the brunt of the storm, used social media afterwards is officials set up a center where people could log onto Facebook. They were given three minutes to send a message, letting friends and loved ones know they were all right.

How effective can social media, particularly Twitter, be at spreading news? Takahashi said that social media messages can spread faster than natural disasters, including earthquakes like the one in Nepal last month.

“There was an instance in which people who had not felt an earthquake got a tweet about it, then felt it seconds later,” he said.

Other members of Takahashi’s research were Edson Tandoc, Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and Christine Carmichael, a doctoral candidate in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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Poulson Recognized for Decades of Great Lakes Environmental Journalism

Posted on: June 10, 2015


David Poulson with droneThe International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) has recognized David Poulson, Senior Associate Director of MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, for a career-long dedication to inform and educate the public and policymakers on Great Lakes issues.

The IAGLR board of directors recognized him with the John R. (Jack) Vallentyne award given for contributing substantially to education and outreach in the Great Lakes community for at least 20 years and with an impact beyond the awardee’s local community. The award recognizes people who bridge the gap between the science community and the public. Recipients can be engaged with any great lake in the world, including the North American Great Lakes and the African Great Lakes.

“I always figured that environmental science is far too important, far too interesting and way too much fun to leave only to scientists, researchers and policymakers,” Poulson said. “I’m honored to receive this award and also pleased that the association recognizes journalism as critical to engaging the public with the environmental challenges of the world.”

Poulson, a 1982 graduate of MSU’s School of Journalism, also is editor of Great Lakes Echo, the Knight Center’s award-winning regional online environmental news service. In the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Poulson teaches environmental journalism, using tools as diverse as drones, satellite imagery, geographic information systems, experiential learning and nontraditional reporting techniques. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Poulson received the award at the IAGLR’s recent 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research at the University of Vermont. Christine Manninen, Communications Director for the Great Lakes Commission and a graduate of the Knight Center’s master’s program, presented it.

“Dave is well respected by his colleagues and his contributions are highly valued by those in the Great Lakes science and policy communities,” Manninen said.

John Gannon, a retired research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, nominated Poulson for the award.

“IAGLR members and Great Lakes researchers at large benefit from Dave’s contributions and leadership in promoting the highest values of fairness and accuracy in reporting on Great Lakes research, outreach and education,” Gannon said in his nomination. “His contributions illustrate the true spirit and intent of the IAGLR Vallentyne Award.”

Poulson has created three online Great Lakes environmental news services. The first one, the Great Lakes Environmental Wire, was launched in 1995. The second, Great Lakes Wiki, received national recognition in 2007 with a Knight-Batten Journalism Award for innovations in journalism. The current one, Great Lakes Echo, was recognized in 2011 with a Great Laker Award for excellence in environmental reporting from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. Great Lakes Echo is a resource and research site for nontraditional environmental reporting, a teaching tool and a significant contributor of original Great Lakes reporting online and in publications throughout the basin.

“I’m a great admirer of Dave Poulson, his work with students and professionals, and his forward-thinking approach to environmental journalism,” Lester Graham, formerly the senior editor of The Environment Report/Great Lakes Radio Consortium and now an investigative reporter with Michigan Radio, wrote in supporting the nomination. “He has taught and trained students to become the new journalistic voice for science and the environment, which will benefit the public for decades to come.”

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