🌿Wild Ones #46: Environmental Communication Digest

Environmental keyword: 'vector' + TRAC:COVID pandemic communication dashboard + Language and climate justice + more!

“Partial eclipse of the moon from the Trouvelot astronomical drawings” (1881-1882) by E. L. Trouvelot (1827-1895). Original from The New York Public Library. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel. Watch the total lunar eclipse we just had today (May 26) in Hawai‘i.

Hi everyone, welcome back to Wild Ones, a weekly digest by me, Gavin Lamb, about news, ideas, research, and tips in environmental communication. If you’re new, welcome! You can read more about why I started Wild Ones here. Sign up here to get these digests in your inbox:

🌱Environmental Keyword


“Being a vector calls attention to reasons humans may resist relationality…To understand being a human as being a vector shows that we are simultaneously vulnerable to, and accountable for, community’s contagions: a potentially transformative revelation.”

Darcie DeAngelo, in Environmental Humanities ‘Living Lexicon’ (May 1, 2021).

In a recent entry for the Environmental HumanitiesLiving Lexicon’ series, medical anthropologist Darcie DeAngelo shares her perspective on the environmental keyword ‘vector.’ It’s a short, fascinating piece that you can read here.

But I’ll just share a couple of interesting excerpts from DeAngelo’s article that stuck with me:

  • “Virologists define vector as an organism that carries disease without being infected, but it becomes possible to imagine extending this concept to humans when asymptomatic and seemingly uninfected humans can carry deadly viruses…During the COVID-19 pandemic, humans became vectors…Being a vector shows that a person can radically alter another and that these changes—like infection—can spread rapidly, and rapidly beyond control.”

  • “To accept our entanglements is to confront traces we leave behind and vulnerabilities in our own pores and membranes. Being a vector confronts us with the fact that we are thoroughly relational and that relationality is a condition, not a choice.”

👀 What I’m watching

🎧 What I’m listening to

🔍 Tools I’m exploring

  • TRAC:COVID Trust and Communication: a Coronavirus Online Visual Dashboard:
    “The TRAC:COVID project investigates online conversation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic using aggregated data sampled from Twitter (so individual tweets are not shown). The dashboard combines Corpus Linguistic tools (the linguistic and computational study of textual data) with data visualisations to allow the interpretation of a large number of tweets. Frequent patterns of word and hashtag use, word and hashtag combinations, change over time and the proliferation of web links can be viewed in the dashboard.”

📰 News and Events

📚 Research

  • Towards narrative political ecologies. By Leila M. Harris, in Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.

    “…All told, a focus on story and storytelling, offers a number of relevant and rich openings to understand and engage complex, unequal, and dynamic socio-natures. While these elements have been present in nature-society work from some traditions and lines of inquiry, the time is ripe to broaden and deepen these engagements to more fully imagine, and respond to, key nature-society challenges.”

💡 Ideas

💬 Quotes I’m thinking about

  • “In traditional communities all over the world, this ethic of communal reciprocity, in my experience, is what separates acts of selfishness from the work of leadership. The role of the artist, in part, is to develop the conversations, the stories, the drawings, the films, the music—the expressions of awe and wonder and mystery—that remind us, especially in our worst times, of what is still possible, of what we haven't yet imagined. And it is by looking to one another, by attending to the responsibilities of maintaining good relations in whatever we do, that communities turn a gathering darkness into light.”

    Barry Lopez, A Way Out of Our Predicament (in an interview).

✏️Writings from my desk

Thanks so much as always for your interest in my work, and if you found this digest useful, please consider sharing with others who might find it interesting too😊 I'd also love to hear from you. Leave a comment to let me know what you think about this digest, what areas of environmental communication you’re involved in/most interest you, or anything you’d like to see more of in Wild Ones:)


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