Community Ecology and Capacity: Keys to Progressing the Environmental Communication of Wicked Problems


Wicked problems are multi-factorial in nature and possess no clear resolution due to numerous community stakeholder involvement. We demonstrate childhood lead poisoning as a wicked problem and illustrate how understanding a community's ecology can build community capacity to affect local environmental management by (1) forming an academic–community partnership and (2) developing a place-specific strategy grounded in the cultural–experiential model of risk. We propose that practitioners need to consider a community's ecology and social context of risk as it pertains to wicked problems. These factors will determine how a diverse community interprets and responds to environmental communication and capacity-building efforts.

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Applied Environmental Education & Communication


Taylor & Francis

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