PhD Research - Julie Robinson

Julie Robinson’s research centers on developing, implementing, and evaluating transdisciplinary approaches for effective environmental communication strategies. As a researcher interested in the socio-ecological dimensions of ocean sustainability, she is cross-trained in marine ecology and communication science. Her work focuses on integrating theory-based environmental literacy perspectives into mono- and dialogic communication models and identifying cross-cutting evaluation metrics matched for use at appropriate scales.

Her dissertation describes the results of the design and implementation of a theory-based evaluation model to measure students’ ocean literacy learning outcomes for DigitalOcean: "Sampling the Sea," a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Innovation grant-awarded project (UCSB researchers: Constance Penley, Lead PI; Ronald Rice, Co-PI; Steve Gaines, Co-PI; John Melack, Co-PI). Find out more about Sampling the Sea.

Prior to entering graduate school, Julie worked for more than a decade as an award-winning science filmmaker and media producer for major broadcast partners (National Geographic, PBS, the Discovery Channel, and Jean-Michel Cousteau). In addition to an interdisciplinary PhD in environmental science and communication, Julie holds over a half a dozen marine technical certifications and a certificate in filmmaking from the Maine Workshops.

Employment Upon Graduation: Project Director and Research Faculty, George Mason University - Center for Climate Change Communication



Rice, R. E., & Robinson, J. A. (in preparation). Transdisciplinary approaches for twenty-first century ocean communication strategies. R. E. Rice & C. K. Atkins (Eds.), Public communication campaigns (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Rice, R. E., Robinson, J. A., & Caron, B. (2011). Sampling the Sea: Using social media for an online ocean sustainability curriculum. In B. White, I. King, & P. Tsang (Eds.), Social media tools and platforms in learning environments: present and future. New York, NY: Springer.

Rice, R. E., & Robinson, J. A. (2010). DigitalOcean: Sampling the Sea final evaluation report. MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Grant Award, 2009.

Robinson, J. A. (2010). Handbook for Sampling the Sea researchers. MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Grant Award, 2009.

Cousteau, J. M. & Robinson, J. A. (2007). America’s underwater treasures. Santa Barbara, CA: Ocean Futures Society.

Robinson, J. A. & Thomson, D. A. (1992). Status of the Pulmo Coral Reefs in the lower Gulf of California. Environmental Conservation, 19, 261-264.

Research Fellowships

Graduate Research Assistant, Environmental Media Initiative Research Group (EMIRG) and DigitalOcean projects, Carsey-Wolf Center, UCSB (2008-2010)

Bren School (Fall 2007, Fall 2010)