Certificate in Environmental Communications

Every environmental organization has a message and a story to tell, but it's easy for your message to get lost in the white noise of today's media and communication landscape. 

Nicholas School of the Environment’s Executive Education program is there to help, crafting courses specifically designed to help you understand behavior change, develop your message, and effectively position your message to reach the intended audiences. With experienced faculty and industry-leading professionals structuring the curriculum, our courses hone your social media, planning, writing, media, and strategy skills to provide a versatile communications toolset for voicing your organization's message. 

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    Certificate in Environmental Communications

    Environmental Communications Planning

    This course equips environmental professionals with the tools to write a successful and comprehensive Communications Plan from start to finish. Well-written, purposeful plans are the backbone of change or initiatives within an organization, structuring communication to stakeholders and/or the public. Register Here.

    Writing for Environmental Professionals

    Writing in environmental fields encompasses many genres, from policy memos to manuals, blog posts to interpretive signs. Make sure you have a powerful writing skillset to traverse the genres in your field or industry through this online course that helps you refine and reflect on your writing process. Register Here.


    Social Media for Environmental Communications

    Buzz-worthy social media campaigns don't just happen, they take careful planning and execution to reach your audience in the most efficient and impactful way. Learn from a global cohort of environmental professionals who utilize mainstream and emerging social media platforms for research, promotion, and networking. Register Here.

    Intermediate Environmental Social Marketing Strategy

    Take your social marketing skills to the next level through this online course that provides an intermediate-level focus on environmental social marketing strategies. Students focus in detail on how to plan and implement a social marketing strategy using research and a strategic, tactical approach in order to execute a successful campaign. Register Here.


    Environmental Communication for Behavior Change

    In order to address and create long-term solutions to environmental problems, human behavior needs to change. This online course provides environmental professionals with a practical introduction to the strategies, methods, and tools of environmental communication that effectively lead to changes in behavior. Register Here.

    Environmental Communications Certificate Electives at the Center for Documentary Studies

    Capture the power of video by developing your ability to apply concepts in documentary arts to environmental campaigns through the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Training students in video production, editing and the philosophical approaches to documentary, these courses help participants explore concepts in documentary arts and applying them to their own work. Register Here.


    Podcasting for Environmental Communications

    This online course will get you up and running with your own environmental podcast. Students will focus in detail on how to plan and implement a podcast on a subject of choice. Register here >>



    Want to be an environmental communications guru?

    Our Certificate in Environmental Communications equips working environmental professionals with the skillset they need to implement successful environmental campaigns with compelling, effective environmental messages. Whether an NGO director that wears many hats or a young environmental professional looking to brush up on communication skills, earning a Certificate in Environmental Communications ensures you have a well-rounded, actionable set of skills to take on the challenges of your organization while honing your own personal and professional talents. Register Here.

    Find out more about our certificate program.

    For information on future course schedules, please contact the Executive Ed office at execed@nicholas.duke.edu. If you are interested in scheduling a course specifically for your agency, organization or business, information is available on our Custom Courses page.


    The Nicholas School's Certificate in Environmental Communications equips working environmental professionals with the tools you need to implement a successful environmental campaign. This non-degree program is based on a series of online courses that can typically be completed within one calendar year.

    The Certificate program and its component courses do not carry Duke academic credit - They are non-credit professional development offerings.


    Our goal is to provide you with the resources to create an effective and manageable framework to develop a compelling environmental message for yourself or your organization. The required courses in this certificate program provide an understanding of the philosophy of environmental behavior change and help participants develop specific skills in marketing, writing, self-editing, social media, and planning.

    The certificate requires completion of four courses, each of which is divided into approximately six one-hour, web-based sessions held weekly. In addition, participants apply their skills to develop a succinct, tangible communications plan to tie everything together and earn the certificate.

    All of the courses are conducted in an engaging, synchronous online format that allows participants to maintain their full-time positions while learning tangible new skills and networking with classmates from all over the world without the time or expense of travel. Duke instructors lead each class and are available to advise participants on weekly projects and assignments.


    There is no formal application process before you can begin coursework toward the Environmental Communications Certificate, and there are no prerequisite course requirements. Simply begin taking the required courses and you will be well on your way!

    After you complete all four courses and a final communications plan or project, you can submit a Certificate Enrollment Form along with your course records to receive the official certificate.

    All courses fitting these requirements—including any you have taken in the past—can count toward the certificate. Courses can be taken in any sequence, though many students choose to begin with "Environmental Communication for Behavior Change".

    Courses Include:

    Environmental Communication for Behavior Change
    Environmental Communications Planning
    Electives including: Podcasting for Environmental Communications *(NEW), Writing for Environmental Professionals, Social Media for Environmental Communication, Center for Documentary Studies elective *

    * Up to one course from Center for Documentary Studies, if used in conjunction with an Environmental Communications project, may count toward the Certificate.

    There is no separate fee for the certificate. The charge for the certificate is included in the tuition for the individual required courses.