Why subscribe to Wild Ones?

Welcome to Wild Ones by me, Gavin Lamb, Ph.D.

Wild Ones is a weekly digest of thought-provoking research, creative and inspiring ideas, and practical tools from ecolinguistics and environmental communication.

  • Every Thursday and Sunday, I share educational, inspiring, and creative ideas in ecowriting, ecolinguistics, and environmental communication: it might be new research updates, thought-igniting theories, helpful tools, or inspiring quotes from compelling writers, activists, and researchers. I gather all these communication resources here for you to consider in your own life and work as an advocate for a more healthy, just, and sustainable world.

  • Every Thursday I share my fieldnotes in eco-writing and environmental communication, with ideas, tips and tools I’m exploring at the moment.

  • Every Sunday I send a Wild Ones digest to your inbox of environmental keywords, ideas, tools, tips, events, news, research, quotes, interviews, and occasional pieces of my own in ecowriting, ecolinguistics, and environmental communication.

In addition to the weekly digest, from time to time I’ll also run essays on important topics and debates in environmental communication, interviews with compelling people doing work in fields related to environmental communication, reviews of books on ecolinguistics and environmental communication, and even high-stakes items like tips on the best sustainable surf wax:)

Whether you’re a journalist, community activist, science communicator, academic researcher, outdoors enthusiast, animal advocate, urban gardener, soul surfer, or just someone wondering how to promote happier, healthier, and more sustainable relationships between yourself, other people, and the natural world, then I believe Wild Ones has something of value for you.

About Gavin Lamb, Ph.D.

Hi there! I have a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hawai‘i, and I’m based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Much of my Ph.D. training is in sociolinguistics, a sub-branch of linguistics. Most people I’ve talked to think that linguists’ main job is to learn languages, and although that’s not really our focus, we often end up learning new languages anyway as a consequence of the work we do. In reality, our work as language scientists is focused on studying how language works: why people speak the way they do, and how different ways of speaking are influenced by cognition and culture.

Sociolinguists, in particular, focus on how the tools of language and communication enable us to do ‘social stuff.’ Think of this ‘social stuff’ as all the ways we speak, the clothes we wear, the stuff we acquire, the communities we build, the activities we engage in, and the goals we strive to achieve through spoken, written, and visual communication. 

Since my work is focused on environmental communication, I bring my background in sociolinguistics to bear on the question of how people use communication to get ‘environmental stuff’ done.

If there’s one takeaway from all of my research and writing, it’s this: how well we are able to address the environmental challenges of our time – from climate change to mass extinction – depends on how well we communicate with each other about our hopes and goals for improving human relationships with the natural world.

With this in mind, my current research explores three basic questions:

  1. What stories do we tell about our relationship to the natural world?

  2. How and why do we tell these stories?

  3. How do these stories help or hinder our ability to address the environmental challenges of our time?

Most of my research investigates these questions in the contexts of wildlife conservation and ecotourism. Here, I focus on how different forms of communication (spoken, written, online, visual) influence how people interact with threatened wildlife and places around the world. (This research interest of mine first started during my Ph.D. when I investigated sea turtle conservation and ecotourism in Hawai‘i). But my research interests today have spilled over into a whole bunch of other areas too, areas that inform the topics I’ll be covering here on Wild Ones.

  • environmental education

  • renewable energies

  • sustainable tourism

  • animal and wildlife activism

  • regenerative food systems

  • climate change communication

  • social media and environmental activism

  • The importance of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a global framework for environmental policy, business and activism.

  • and more recently, ecotherapy: the study of how we can restore our physical and mental well-being through reconnecting with the more-than-human world.

You can also learn more about my academic research here, read my Medium blog here, or find me on Twitter here