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Robert Thomas

Professor and Director, Center for Environmental Communication


  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Music and Media
  • Environment
  • Mass Communication


Robert A. (Bob) Thomas is Professor of Environmental Communication and the Director of the Center for Environmental Communication at Loyola. He holds the Loyola Distinguished Scholar Chair in Environmental Communication, and served three years as the interim director of the School of Mass Communication. He is adjunct professor in Biological Sciences and is a member of the Environment Program faculty.  Thomas was the founding director of the Louisiana Nature Center, where he served as the liaison for the community in information pertaining to science education, environmental issues, and natural history.  Among his awards are the Dux Academicus at Loyola, and the National Wetlands Award in Communication & Education.

The Center for Environmental Communication is funded by his endowed chair from funds originally donated by Freeport-McMoRan and the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Dr. Thomas is the past president of the Association of Nature Center Administrators and has served on the Accreditation Commission of the American Association of Museums, and as chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Thomas received his doctorate in evolutionary biology from Texas A&M University, was a post-doctoral fellow in biochemistry at L.S.U. Medical Center, and has held adjunct professorships at the University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and Louisiana State University.

Classes Taught

  • Environmental Communication

  • Covering the Environmental Beat

  • Tropical Ecology

  • Ecology of the Mississippi River Delta

  • Herpetology

  • Media & the Environment

  • Environmental Policy

  • Environmental Audit of Loyola University

Institute for Environmental Communication

  • Hosted each fall since 1999

Areas of Expertise

  • Environmental Communication and Journalism

  • Science/Environmental Education

  • Environmental Issues Intervention

  • Tropical & Local Natural History

  • Reptiles & Amphibians (especially snakes and frogs)

  • BP Oil Spill

  • Communication and Politics

  • Consensus Building

  • Environmental Policy

  • Stakeholder Communication

  • Urban Environmental Issues