2013 Meeting Minutes
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ICA Environmental Communication Interest Group
Business Meeting Minutes
20 June 2013
Room Palace C, Hilton Metropole London, London, England

Convened at 5:00 PM

Attendance: 24 (including officers)
Heather Akin, Michael Cacciatore, Hao Cao, Joe Champ, Terence Check, Randall Cuthbert, Michael Dahlstrom, Kajsa Dalrymple, Bernhard Goodwin, Jay Hmielowski, Laura Loy, Mark Meisner, Charlotte Ryan, Neil Stenhouse, Collin Syfert, Bruno Takahashi, Edson Tandoc, Jagadish Thaker, Ben Triana, Janel, Schuh, Merav Katz-Kimchi, and Richard Doherty.

Approval of the 2012 Minutes

Minutes  from the 2012 business meeting in Phoenix, AZ, were posted on the ECIG website for comment. The minutes posted online on the website received no corrections. J. Hmielowski made a motion to approve, which was seconded, and the minutes were approved unanimously.


Reception: The ICA-ECIG reception is being co-sponsored with Visual Communication Division to maximize our budget. It will be held at inSpiral Lounge (directions provided) immediately after the business meeting, 6:30–8:00 p.m. Chair suggested sharing a taxi; there is also a bus that goes right by (30 min ride).]


Old Business

Status of Action Items: Elections held, Merav Katz-Kimchi and Janel Schuh elected. Bylaws approved. Wiki laid to rest, but current webpage on ICA okay. Still need to work on beefing up Wikipedia “environmental communication” page. Kept name of ECIG (ee-sig).
Annual Report: Membership grew to 170 members total, with 72 members from 30 non-US countries (48%), 89 of them from the U.S. (57%); 37 are from Europe and none from South America. Plan to become more international. Need to get up to 200 to apply for division status (if at that level for 2-3 years). Question raised regarding what the target number is for international members. Michael Haley indicated ICA will provide current stats on international membership across different divisions and interest groups.

Conference Report: The interest group received 69 paper submissions and accepted 26. Finding good reviewers proved tricky so officers will work on reviewing guidelines. Accepted papers were arranged into 1 poster session, 1 extended session, and 6 paper sessions (for a total of 8 sessions plus the business meeting). We received 7 panel submissions and accepted none of them. Chair explained that the panel submissions were narrow in focus and very limited in international presence, so it was better to accept more papers (both international and not) and create additional paper sessions. Members asked about ratio of international to non-international papers, and chair explained that in the end about ½ of the papers were international. Members asked about how people are classified as “international” (e.g., is a Chinese scholar at an American institution considered international?). Michael Haley explained that ICA recently established an internationalization committee to determine association-wide policies regarding international members, especially as related to submissions. This year there was a pre-conference designed to help ESL scholars get articles ready for English publication and will be hiring staff person to help ESL authors with English-language submissions. Michael Haley indicated ICA will provide current stats on international acceptance rates at ICA journals and, as available, different divisions and interest groups.


New Business

Officers: Vice-chair will handle conference planning and Chair to focus on other initiatives, such as trying to figure out where to position ourselves vis-à-vis NCA’s Environmental Communication Division and International Environmental Communication Association.

Recruiting Members: Trying to recruit more international members (as are all divisions and interest groups). Member suggested that it is difficult for international members (especially students) to afford conference attendance and visas. Michael Haley noted that conference structure being discussed mid-year to see if issues of going outside US can be surmounted (need place for big conference, need extensive coordination from host country, etc.). Member suggested having members reach out to international groups to solicit participation; it would be personal, but official, if we can use membership base to initiate contact.  To recruit members more generally, Vice-Chair is going to Health Communication Division and Global Communication and Social Change Division business meetings to promote interest group. Members’ suggestions included not scheduling simultaneous business meetings (or at least rotating them so that same ones are not at same time every year), and just talking about interest group with current members in other divisions; many ICA members may not even know that ECIG exists. Another member suggestion is having more co-sponsored sessions to increase exposure to ECIG.

Website/Listserv: Secretary will look for way to incorporate forums/discussion boards on ECIG webpage rather than revive listserv as way for members to communicate with other ECIG members. Currently members can email Secretary (at schuh@stanford.edu) with information to relay to other members, by including in ICA Newsletter and/or via ECIG webpage.

Seattle 2014: Michael Haley, ICA Executive Director, visited the meeting to give a preview of the next conference at the Sheraton Seattle, from May 22-26, 2014. Paper submissions will be accepted between 9/1 and 11/4. Peter Vorderer is the chair. Focus is on “the good life.” This year there will be a 2nd submission set: interdisciplinary research development sessions for 1-1½ hours for small rooms that cannot accommodate traditional sessions. ICA will make decisions for next year’s conference based upon things tried this year and last (e.g., 100 extra sessions  by starting earlier and having a full day on Friday; extended sessions, first used in Phoenix). Without extra sessions, overall ICA acceptance rate would have been closer to 25% rather than 35%. It is important for members to provide feedback via evaluation survey so ICA can determine the format for next year.

Call for Papers, Seattle 2014: Interested members should suggest pre-conference for next year. Member suggested it may be good way to bring more members into ECIG. ECIG will also be accepting proposals for extended sessions, although ICA is still waiting to see how these were evaluated in London. Extended sessions could be a way to include non-traditional submissions (e.g., video, strict academic). Member suggested that non-academics could be brought in (as was done this year with speaker from WWF) and IECA might be able to sponsor another session (like this year). Another member mentioned that in Eco-Health Conference in Montreal in mid-August 2014, there will be “Down to the Ground” sessions where academics visit local groups doing work related to health, environment, and society. Michael X noted that AEJMC Science Communication group does offsite field trips at AEJMC. Chair indicated that something similar might be appropriate for an extended session.
Int’l Environmental Communication Association: Mark Meisner, Executive Director, attended the meeting on behalf of IECA. He explained that IECA just had a conference in Sweden, where they streamed half of the sessions live. A half dozen presenters did so remotely. In Sweden, 100 people registered to watch online (but that did come at a cost). Meisner would like to see ECIG sponsor a panel at next COCE to build the collaboration; IECA and ECIG/ICA should support and not duplicate each other. Next conference is in Boulder, CO, in June 2015.

Greening ICA: Member asked about how ICA can be convinced to go green and cited the water bottles provided by the hotel as a problem. The chair speculated that the water bottles distributed throughout conference were not ICA’s idea, but rather a decision made by Hilton that could not be negotiated. The chair will look into the matter and will report on it in the newsletter.  ICA has and continues to work on being more green.



    Conference Papers: This year’s awards were based on the paper reviews and the Chair’s close reading of potential awardees. Most of our budget was put towards student travel awards.  The following Top Student Paper award was presented: Hao Cao, U of Texas, USA, and Lisa B. Brooten, Southern Illinois U, Carbondale, “Rhetorical Framing During Xiamen Environmental Movement in China: Boundary-Spanning Contention and Schism of Civil Society.” The following Top Faculty Papers awards were presented: Edson C. Tandoc, Jr., U of Missouri, and Bruno Takahashi, Michigan State U, “The Changing Nature of Environmental Discourse: An Exploratory Comparison of Environmental Journalists and Bloggers” and Samantha Scholte, Eleftheria Vasileiadou, and Arthur Petersen of VU University Amsterdam, “Opening up the societal debate on climate engineering: How newspaper frames are changing.”

Student Travel Awards and Registration Fee Waivers: Travel awards, which were $75 each with matching funds from ICA for a total of $150 each, went to:  Hao Cao, University of Texas-Austin; Benjamin Triana, University of Kentucky; Aparna Moitra, University of Delhi; and  Collin Syfert, University of Rhode Island.  Registration fee waivers went to Hao Cao, University of Texas-Austin; Aparna Moitra, University of Delhi; and Libby Lester, University of Tasmania.

Meeting adjourned at 6:10 PM.

Recorded by Janel S. Schuh.