2019 MSWC Keynote Address: Thinking with rivers: communication for conservation and sustainability

Thinking with rivers: communication for conservation and sustainability

Bridie McGreavyThis year’s Maine Sustainability and Water Conference keynote address will be given by Bridie McGreavy, Assistant Professor of Environmental Communication in the Department of Communication and Journalism and Faculty Fellow in the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine.

Finding effective, creative, and inclusive ways to communicate conservation and sustainability are much needed in today’s world. In this talk, Bridie McGreavy shares how thinking with rivers provides one means for such communication. McGreavy draws from her research and experiences in and beyond Maine, as well insights from communication studies, environmental communication, and sustainability science, to describe specific approaches for communicating conservation, sustainability, and justice efforts. From the Saco to the Penobscot to the St. Croix, thinking with rivers helps identify communication approaches to connecting across differences in perspective, finding common ground, and enriching our imaginations for what communication is and how it matters for this place we call home.


McGreavy studies how communication shapes sustainability and justice efforts in coastal shellfishing communities, river restoration and freshwater conservation initiatives, and diverse collaborations to address complex problems. McGreavy currently serves as President of the National Communication Association’s Environmental Communication Division, an interest group of the largest professional organization focused on communication in the United States. In Maine, she helps lead numerous efforts to strengthen shellfish co-management, including through her role as Vice Chair of the Maine Shellfish Advisory Council which focuses on connecting shellfish industry interests with state management and policy-making. More recently, she has been working with representatives from the Department of Natural Resources in the Penobscot Nation to help students learn about the important relationships between the tribe and the Penobscot River. McGreavy has Maine roots and grew up in the Saco River watershed, a river that taught her how to swim and so much more.