Many additional resources can be found on the NEST homepage. Please refer to the homepage for all relevant resources, materials, and information about NEST projects.
Sustainability science is the foundation of NEST. In 1987, the United Nations' Brundtland Commission delivered a substantial report called Our Common Future in which they laid out challenges and goals related to sustainable development. Since that report, the conversation on sustainability has grown and expanded beyond the concept of development alone.
A 2001 article in Science described a scientific field that was emerging from sustainability. Within two years, the field started to take shape, something researchers William Clark and Nancy Dickson wrote about in a 2003 article that stated "sustainability science focuses on the dynamic interactions between nature and society."
These interactions are complex, but they provide a wide range of opportunities for continuing research about the environment. Much work within sustainability science has been done since then, and the term itself has often been written about as sustainability scientists continue to think about their place in social-ecological systems.
Environmental communication is a sub-field of ecological studies. This area of inquiry studies how humans participate and communicate in environmental systems. In an introduction to the topic, Mark Meisner of the International Environmental Communication Association explains, "as with other forms of communication, environmental communication is both an activity/phenomenon and a field of study that, not surprisingly, studies the activity/phenomenon."
The academic journal Environmental Communication has served as a home for environmental communication scholars since 2007 to share original research perspectives about the field. These take many forms, and are as varied as the ways people communicate in and about the environment.
This website is an example of environmental communication, as are advertisements supporting or opposing various energy solutions (Cozen, 2010; Baum, 2012; Li, 2013). Even conversation among individuals who share information with each other about the environment and their place in it is a form of environmental communication (Carbaugh & Cerulli, 2013). As Robert Cox writes in the first chapter of his environmental communication textbook, "our understanding of nature and our actions toward the environment depend not only on science but on public debate, media, the Internet, and even ordinary conversations".
Transmedia storytelling is the way this website was thought about and put together. The phrase was first widely discussed in a 2003 column for MIT Technology Review when media scholar Henry Jenkins used it to discuss a trend in entertainment narratives where stories were being told through a range of media working together.
Jenkins has written often about the topic (2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012), usually within the context of entertainment. But in the meantime, writers and producers have begun to explore other uses for transmedia, including for non-fictional purposes such as education (Jenkins, 2010; Hall & Hall, 2010; Gilardi & Reid, 2011) and political participation (Cheong & Gong, 2010; Ashuri, 2012; Jansson, 2013; Hayles, Jagoda, & LeMieux, 2014).
At its heart, transmedia describes rich media environments in which the "reader" has a role in creating the experience and can choose how to make their way through the story. A key element of this process is engagement between the user and the media elements, something that hopefully leads to increased public participation as well. You can read more about this website's transmedia strategy on the "About this Website" page.