Presented by Associate Professor Tema Milstein, University of New Mexico for #PolarWeek Fall 2016 Scholars of environmental communication argue that “What we say is what we see” - communication shapes environmental perceptions, and perceptions shape environmental actions. This argument has broad implications at a time when our planet responds to a range of human actions, from the tremendously destructive and extractive to the potentially restorative and transformative. It has particular significance for those who study – and communicate about - the polar regions. This talk will introduce an overview of the trans-disciplinary field of environmental communication, and introduce several core concepts and frameworks. A/Prof Milstein will use the lens of ecotourism and illustrative examples from her own work, including research on whale and dolphin tourism in North America and New Zealand, to explore an ecocultural way of understanding our current situation. Tema Milstein worked as a journalist, editor, and current events talk show host before entering academia. She now examines the ways communication functions as a cultural force. Tema’s award-winning ethnographic and qualitative research includes examinations of cultural environmental meaning systems, ecotourism and endangered wildlife, climate crisis activism, culture jamming, and ecopedagogy. You can read her research at unm.academia.edu/TemaMilstein/ and join the conversation in her Ecocultural Communication Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/428111227269773/.