SoGES fellows promote sustainability on radio show

CSU is home to many sustainable research projects and studies. A group of graduate students involved in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability wanted to promote this research more, so they launched The Sustainability Hour, which runs Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m on campus radio KCSU FM.

When asked why he decided to lead this effort, Adam Dillon, who is enrolled in CSU’s Graduate Degree Program in Ecology said, “We need to find better ways of sharing these findings, and radio is an incredibly effective medium for this.”   studio2

Dillon, who was a Sustainability Leadership Fellow through SoGES last year, is determined to create better ways to engage the public about environmental research. He collaborated with Patricia Salerno and Travis Gallo, who also took part in the fellowship program, to develop a radio show that would openly communicate to the public what research is being done to help improve the environment.

“Scientists spend a lot of time writing, so the last thing they want to do is spend even more time jotting down their findings for the public,” Dillon said. “It’s much easier to get someone to sit down and talk about their findings and create that visual space for listeners.”

When tuning into the show, listeners learn about wildlife conservation, environmental justice, engineering design, alternatives to fossil fuels and more. The topics are discussed by students, faculty, staff and people working in the industry from around the globe.

studio4When the radio show started in January, Dillon and the team did not realize how successful and effective the medium would be. They have received what he described as “great feedback” from the community. With the weekly time slot, the producers introduce a variety of topics, which allows listeners to understand how multiple disciplines contribute to environmental research.

SoGES uses Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word about environmental research, but Dillon said that radio allows for a unique avenue to the public sphere that is easy accessible for the community.

“I love radio,” he said. “It is one of the most successful ways we can get research out into the world.”

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability has an archive of the radio program on its website.

SoGES aims to connect CSU’s community of scholars and practitioners interested in applying interdisciplinary perspectives to large-scale environmental, economic and social questions not easily addressed through traditional approaches. The school has created three fellowship programs that students, faculty and global scholars can participate in, including resident fellows, sustainability leadership fellows and visiting fellows. Each fellowship is designed to aid in research, communication and collaboration. The Sustainability Leadership Fellow program is designed for graduate and early postdoctoral students who are interested in communicating science to media and the public.