Dr. James T. Spartz
Assistant Professor of Environmental Communications/ Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities
James teaches several core courses in the Environmental Writing and Media Studies major. His research interests include understanding the role of place in environmental communication, new and traditional media effects on public opinion formation around sustainability issues, perceptions of land use change, and discourses of transition in the Anthropocene.
As a graduate of the Mass Communication Ph.D. program of the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Department of Life Sciences Communication, James has experience in communications research, theory, and practice. His dissertation project focused on public perceptions of bioenergy in a mixed-use landscape, including framing effects, trusted sources of information, and place attachment and information-seeking.
Having taught introductory communications and science writing courses while a graduate student at UW-Madison, James also served as a Public Affairs Specialist for several years at the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory, the national R&D lab of the U.S. Forest Service. In that role, he worked as a science writer, press liaison, and social media pro. He holds an M.A. from the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. Prior to graduate school, James worked as a baker in an organic whole-grains bakery cooperative, a hardware store sales associate, and performing songwriter.