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and the Natural World

second edition

Judith Hendry
University of New Mexico

Communication and the Natural World
 introduces students to the complex issues and arguments that pervade current discourse about the environment. The book explores the ways our communication profoundly affects how we perceive and interact with the natural world. And it shows, clearly and vividly, how cultural, philosophical, commercial, mass-mediated, and popular discourse shape social as well as environmental policy.

Thoroughly updated to reflect current theoretical perspectives, recent events and controversies, and evolving issues and concerns, the second edition also has a heightened emphasis on digital citizen activism, environmental justice, and the challenges arising from the erosion of trust in science and media.


  • Major environmental concepts, issues, and events are explained clearly and engagingly.

  • Contemporary and historical perspectives, movements, issues, and controversies are explained and illustrated.

  • Environmental rhetoric in everyday life, from popular culture and green marketing to media coverage and political discourse, is explored and illustrated, showing its impact on private and public decisions.

  • Citizen activism and public policy explored in their social, political, legal, and practical frameworks.


  • Emerging theoretical concepts, such as the Anthropocene and the Sixth Mass Extinction, reflect current and evolving concerns.

  • Current controversies, such as competing rhetorics about climate change, illustrate how rhetorical strategies shape discourse and public policy.

  • Recent events, including the Paris Climate Accords, new environmental policies, and increasingly severe natural disasters, illustrate effects on students’ own lives.

  • Environmental news reporting coverage expanded to explore emerging digital technologies, alternative news sources, the erosion of trust in media, and ways to assess information sources.

  • Environmental justice issues updated and integrated to show the disproportionate effects of global warming, biopiracy, and other problems (especially chapters 1 and 13)


  • Many examples and comments from recent events, current issues, citizen activism show extent and pervasiveness of environmental concerns in students’ own lives.

  • Connections boxes, diagrams, and photos illustrate concerns and point to additional perspectives (updated and expanded).

  • Discussion questions and suggested readings at the end of each chapter encourage students’ further exploration.

  • Selected Bibliography of classic, scholarly, and popular works guides students’ research.

  • Timeline of environmental milestones highlights significant legislation and major events.

from the back cover

"I am very impressed with this textbook. It is a very good introduction to the field. It covers all the main topics of environmental communication scholarship and does a nice job of giving a variety of examples from different environmental issues."
Danielle Endres
University of Utah

"The author weaves together challenging environmental concepts nicely throughout and builds on them with clarity and sophistication that the reader will recognize and appreciate."
Julie “Madrone” Kalil Schutten
Northern Arizona University

"Hendry’s writing style is academic and yet reader friendly. My students can grasp concepts, discuss readings, and incorporate what they have read into their own writing."
Allison Bailey
University of North Georgia

"I reviewed a number of textbooks on environmental communication. This one was the most effective for introducing students to a 'big picture' perspective while also providing specific cases and examples to highlight and illustrate complex evolutions, development, and events that inform inquiry into this area of study."
Peter Goggin
Arizona State University

"The new edition’s attention to digital student activism, social media, and the climate justice movement is impressive."
Terence Check
College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

"The text makes an important contribution to the fast-growing field of Environmental Communication. I look forward to using the second edition."
Emily Plec
Western Oregon University

additional comments

"Hendry’s is an intelligent book. I like that it encourages humans to identify more with nature (so that it doesn’t take an anthropocentric approach that assumes humans are superior or distinct from nature and the animal kingdom)."
Carrie Packwood Freeman
Georgia State University

"It is comprehensive and detailed, encompasses many media forms, contextualizes environmental communication, defines terms. The many examples are contemporary, interesting, and provide useful information to get students thinking not only about what constitutes environmental communication but also how to critique that information."
Debra Merskin
University of Oregon

"The Hendry text met our teaching purposes very well, providing historical background, communication theory, case studies and examples in a way that our students can understand without being overwhelmed."
Deborah Lanni
Jamestown Community College

"The timeline is a great feature because it represents major milestones for environmentalism and allows students to see how the movement has developed."
Samantha Senda-Cook
Creighton University

"This is by far the best text I have used for the courses I teach, and I have reviewed many texts over the past few years."
Peter Goggin
Arizona State University

"I love this book and will use it the next time I teach the class. I am especially excited about the updates in the book."
Julie “Madrone” Kalil Schutten
Northern Arizona University

"It has updated, clarified and expanded key areas, so it is an even better text than the first edition. I especially appreciate the new material about the influence of digital media, post-truth society, and digital citizen activism."
Deborah Lanni, Jamestown Community College

"The second edition continues all of the good work from the first edition plus adds updates to reflect current events or what has happened in regards to environmental policy within the last few years."
Allison Bailey
University of North Georgia


“Judith Hendry’s Communication and the Natural World is an outstanding contribution to a growing body of educational texts in the area. Hendry’s book is unique in a number of respects, including its focus on building blocks of rhetorical theory, philosophy, and ideology as bases for understanding environmental discourse; and its effort to provide an overview of vital environmental issues facing the world in the 21st Century. A well-written gem!”
Stephen Depoe
University of Cincinnati

Communication and the Natural World is an exciting addition to the field of environmental communicationIt synthesizes an impressive amount of material, and I expect it will be widely used in the field.”
Daniel J. Philippon
University of Minnesota

“Dr. Hendry does an outstanding job of organizing and categorizing a wide range of scholarship on environmental communication. I believe this text will make a substantial contribution to the teaching of environmental communication.”
Emily Plec
Western Oregon University

“This textbook provides an excellent overview of the environmental problems confronting the planet, the strategies and tactics that communicators use to raise public awareness and influence action on these issues, and the ways that media help to shape attitudes about the natural world.”
Terence Check
College of Saint Benedict, Saint John’s University

“I find this to be a well-written and comprehensive text on environmental communication. The author has organized and presented the material well. It is written in an appropriate manner for students, defining terms well and using examples effectively.”
Jeffrey Kassing
Arizona State University West

“I think the manuscript does a fine job within the framework adopted, and I think that framework is appropriate.”
William J. Kinsella
North Carolina State University

“This book is a good introduction to environmental problems (Chapter 2), environmental philosophies (Chapters 3 and 4) and to the importance of communication in framing our understanding of the environment.”
Stacey K. Sowards
University of Texas at El Paso

“The writing style of the book is very clear and comprehensible. The chapter sequence is eloquent and useful.”
Anne Marie Todd
San Jose State University

“Clear explanations of rhetorical concepts”
Steve Schwarze
University of Montana

“The voice in this book is exactly right. Hendry explains concepts clearly and concisely without ‘dumbing them down.’ She raises interesting issues and explains them clearly. She managed to present interesting problematics without clearly resolving them but also not without weighing in on the issues herself.”
Jonathan Gray
Southern Illinois University

“Hendry provides a comprehensive look at this burgeoning field of study. Her writing and analysis are insightful and accessible to my students.”
Jim Hasenauer
California State University, Northridge

Communication and the Natural World will be useful to many of us who teach environmental rhetoric.”
Jennifer Peeples
Utah State University

“It is nicely written, relevant, and perfect for introducing students to environmental communication.”
Jessica Thompson
Colorado State University


Judith Hendry is professor emeritus in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico, where she taught courses in environmental communication and rhetoric. She received her B.A. from South Dakota State University, her M.A. from California State University, Los Angeles, and her Ph.D. from the University of Denver.

Her work in environmental communication has been published in journals such as Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Multicultural Perspectives, and Speaker and Gavel. She has contributed chapters to several books, including Environmental Communication Yearbook and Public Participation in Environmental Decision-Making.



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