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Environmental studies professor speaks to local PBS station about eco-anxiety

By Grey Curcio '24
Published October 10, 2022
Categories: Academics, Environmental Studies, Research
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Professor seated outside as a student raises their hand

Assistant Professor Joanna Huxster teaches a class outside the Sheen Center. Photo: Angelique Herring ’19

Eckerd College Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Joanna Huxster, Ph.D., hosted several visitors in her Environmental Communication class in late September. A WEDU PBS film crew was on campus to film Huxster teaching her class and to gather footage for the station’s new special on climate change.

This three-part local special will feature stories on heatstroke in sports, fishing, climate change and climate change’s overall impact on young people in the Tampa Bay area. Huxster will serve as a panelist in the final segment, lending her knowledge and expertise in environmental studies. She is passionate about climate change communication, especially with young people. Many of her students, she says, feel a lot of anger surrounding the topic. “That is increased anger about … this problem that young people have been stuck with when it’s not their fault,” she explains.

Huxster is a frequent commentator and contributor in her field. She spoke last year to the Tampa Bay Times for its article about climate anxiety in young people.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Joanna Huxster, Ph.D.

“Your own carbon footprint is very small,” she said at the time. “What’s most important about your actions is how they affect the actions of the people around you.”

In her classes, Huxster encourages students to express their anger, worries and fears. “I spend time in my classes addressing it because I think that’s not happening, for the most part. There aren’t really that many outlets in people’s lives to talk about their anxiety around this.”

The special, “Public Square: Climate Change,” is set to air Thursday, Nov. 10. Check your local listings for times