ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY ANDTECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
Course DescriptionThis course introduces you to the rhetorical principles and writing practices necessary for producingeffective, professional documents in a technical setting. This semester you will have the opportunity toapply these principles to a speciﬁc exigence (ecological disaster) and a speciﬁc community site(NOAA@Nauticus). The content you will write, design, and produce this semester resides at theintersection of effective technical communication principles and practices and theories of critical riskcommunication. Your work will be aligned with the mission of NOAA@Nauticus, which is devoted to theenhancement of environmental and scientiﬁc literacy. Throughout the course, students will:• Apply key principles to local contexts.•Engage in both textual and visual techniques for communicating technical information.•Become familiar with critical risk theories.•Write to multiple audiences for various purposes.•Identify and explore problems in public and organizational contexts.Required ResourcesMarkel, M. (2012).
(10th ed). Boston: Bedford/St.Martin’s.Sadar, A.J., & Shull, M. D. (2000).
Environmental risk communication: Practices and principles for
. New York: Lewis Publishers.Deliverables
Smart Buoy Gateway Kiosk
Students will conduct their HCI on location at NOAA@Nauticus with the newly-developed
Buoy Gateway Kiosk
—an interactive station that educates and reports on oceanic activity.
Students will develop and implement test materials and write a formal recommendation report
(one page). Project will be completed in groups.
Instructional Document Design:
exhibit at NOAA@Nauticus includes multimedia and other information
to inform the public of what to do in case of disaster. Your task is to take this information, in
addition to your own primary and secondary research, and create an instruction document
appropriately communicating the level of risk to a different audience/public.
Report Analysis: Visualizing Disaster Reports
Ofﬁcial reports mandated by corporations, the government, or NPOs after a disaster are highly
rhetorical documents that communicate important ideas about causality, fault, and stakeholder
impact. Your task in this project is to identify and analyze three visual representations by different
stakeholders of some component of an ecological disaster of your choice.
Bi-Weekly Podcast Responses
Students will be responsible for podcasting (7 podcasts total) on any given topic of their choice,
with the only conditions being that the subject matter must pertain to risk, be current, and
connect to the theories and ideas covered this semester. Students will use Audacity audio
editing software and upload their work to a class-wide SoundCloud account.
Department of English • University of South Florida • firstname.lastname@example.org • danielrichards.net • 863-738-0667