Maddie Duhon


My name is Maddie Duhon and I am a Mass Comm public relations senior. This summer I worked in the Office of Communications for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. I learned a lot about how the Earth’s biodiveristy is diminishing because of human impact. I’d like to learn more about our coastline because it is close to home. Hopefully this class will teach me ways to inspire others to care about saving our coast.

Turning science into stories is something that really interests me. Crisis and risk communication is something I’d like to learn more about and I think that addressing the issues our coast faces is an interesting start.

One aspect of this course I am looking forward to most is reporting in the field / tours to environmental hotspots because being outside is always better than in!




Michelle Watson

Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee

Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee

Hello! I am a print journalism junior in the Manship school of Mass Communication. I am interested in coastal environmental communication because before I decided to be a journalist, I always wanted to be a marine biologist. Ever since I was a little girl in elementary school, I can remember checking out all of the books about dolphins out of the school library and getting excited when they had new books. At age 7, when everyone else said they wanted to be a police officer, or a firefighter, I wanted to be a marine biologist. (Go figure!) I still have a love for marine biology but have had a growing love for writing as well. I have kept a running journal since the 3rd grade. When I heard about this class coming to Manship, I just knew I had to take it.

I always try to make a conscious effort to recycle as well. While it may not seem like a big deal at first, it can certainly help make the world a better place. Typically, I do not like outdoors (I’m from up north!), but I have come to appreciate nature more and more on a day to day basis.

Kaci Jones


Golden Meadows, Louisiana


HI! My name is Kaci Jones and I am a Junior within the School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Science. I am majoring in Environmental Management Systems with a concentration in Resource Conservation. I am currently the Secretary of the LSU sector of the Air and Waste Management Association, this is a nonprofit organization that promotes global environmental responsibility and that works with organizations to increase the effectiveness on making critical decisions that benefit society. I also volunteer with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and we do a wide variety of things from measuring the growth of trees to actually sitting in marshy mud planting seed, this is where the pictures are from!

This is my first ever Mass Comm class, so I’m not really sure what to expect, but I’m really excited to see the environmental world from a social/political aspect!



Volunteers on the Golden Meadows Project

Savanna Ronco

My name is Savanna Ronco. I will (hopefully!) be graduating this December from the LSU Manship School with a concentration in print journalism. Most of my background in journalism comes from writing within the Manship School. I’ve also done an internship and some freelance entertainment writing for DIG Magazine. That opportunity taught me a great deal about how to research, interview and write about the professional entertainment world. Though I thoroughly loved getting paid to interview music artists, playwrights, actors, etc., I also love the idea of being able to write about a wide variety of topics.

I’ve been interested in learning about the environment since my 7th grade science teacher introduced our class to a service-learning project called Wetland Watchers. Because our middle school was very close to the Bonnet Carre Spillway, we used to take multiple field trips to that area in order to test waters, clean up litter, identify soil and plants, etc. I am excited to learn how to effectively communicate about environmental issues over the course of this semester.

This is a recent photo of me (July 2014) at Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park in Denver, Colorado.

This is a recent photo of me (July 2014) at Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park in Denver, Colorado.

Gordon Brillon

My name is Gordon Brillon. I’m a fourth-year Mass Communication senior (with a minor in Environmental Science) from Lincoln, Rhode Island. I’m taking this class because it’s pretty much a perfect fit between my two courses of study. But I’m interested in this topic because I  wanted to be a scientist long before I wanted to be a journalist. My interest in environmental science was piqued in high school, when we learned about ecology and the interconnected webs of animal populations — how an increase in prey population led to a surplus of food for predators and a swell in predator population, which in turn caused a decrease in prey population and the whole system eventually becomes a bunch of sine waves. This remarkable natural rhythm and symmetry jibed with what I had experienced of the beauty of natural systems, and I found myself hooked.

Since then, I’ve rediscovered a love for nature and its serenity that drives me to learn as much about it as I can and make others want to protect it as much as I do.



Gordon backpacking in West Virginia

We are your teachers

Zeynep Altinay aka ‘Z’


I am a Ph.D. candidate at Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. My research  integrates many aspects of science, technology, and society.  I hold MS in Environmental Science from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and MA in Journalism. I have professional media experience in environmental reporting (print, broadcast and on-line platforms). I have taught  undergraduate courses in visual communication, multimedia design (come see me if you have interest in data visualization or simply improving your multimedia skills!), public relations, and science writing.

Paige Brown Jarreau aka ‘From The Lab Bench’

edit 7I am a final year Ph.D. student in the Manship School, studying at the intersection of science journalism, new media, science and environmental communication. I have a long history in ‘hard’ science, with a B.S. and M.S. in Biological Engineering from LSU. But now, I study how science becomes news in a variety of formats, and how science media can shape our perceptions of scientific and environmental problems. I’ve been blogging about science ever since I decided to make the transition from a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering to one in science communication, at my blog From The Lab Bench. PLEASE interact with me outside of class, via Twitter (@FromTheLabBench) or e-mail. I hope to inspire in you a love for science and the environment, but more importantly a spirit of critical thinking when it comes to science research and science news.


Welcome to Science Comm at LSU

A section of beach in coastal Louisiana. Photo by Paige Brown.

A section of beach in coastal Louisiana. Photo by Paige Brown.

Welcome to SciCommLSU. This is a class blog for Mass Comm 4971, Fall 2014, at Louisiana State University. This class is about coastal environmental communication, informed by the best practices of environmental psychologists, environmental communicators and environmental journalists worldwide.

Follow along as MC 4971 students blog what they learn about environmental communication.

Follow us on Twitter @SciCommLSU.