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Thomas to address conference of environmental educators

April 8, 2011

Robert A. (Bob) Thomas, Ph.D., director of the Center for Environmental Communication and Loyola chair of environmental communication at Loyola University New Orleans, will address the American Education Research Association's Environmental Education Group next week highlighting the reasons that environmental educators and researchers are failing to effectively communicate with the American public.

Thomas says that environmental educators need to realize that if they want to be heard and understood by the American public, they first have to speak their language.

“Educators tend to stay in their own silos. We like to think that everybody is like us and value the same things we do. They don’t,” Thomas said. “The majority of Americans tend to be more conservative and are a little more skeptical of people who are what they consider to be bleeding heart environmentalists. Until we recognize who our audience is, we are not going to ever have an excellent communication strategy that convinces them otherwise.”

Thomas will also highlight the link between the success of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region and that of the economic stability of the United States, as well as the need for Jesuit values, such as critical thinking skills and social justice, in effective environmental communication.

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