Recent Projects

Employing methodologies from across the humanities, natural sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences–including stakeholder interviews and surveys, participant observation, snorkel surveys, electrofishing, structural assessments, and media analyses–our funded research takes an expansive systems approach to understanding aquatic ecosystems.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • What is a Healthy Stream? Interdisciplinary Approaches to Stream Ecology and Management. 2018-2019. Funding from UW-Madison’s Global Health Institute supports this year-long inquiry into the most pressing challenges and shared visions for “stream health” in the Driftless region, while identifying the promising avenues in biological research, community organizing, and more for working towards healthy streams.
  • Environmental Justice in Multispecies World: Ethics, Science, and Power. 2018-2020. Hosting a series of thematic workshops thanks to funding from the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, a Borghesi-Mellon Workshop Grant, and the Center for Culture, History, and Environment.
  • Riparian Forests as a Stream Restoration Tool in the Kickapoo Watershed – Differing Perspectives, Scientific Gaps, and Prospects for a Sustainable Future. 2018-2020. Integrating biophysical, social, and spatial approaches to buffer management in the Kickapoo Valley. Funded through the Kickapoo Valley Reforestation Fund in the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences.
  • Extending Postcritical Rhetorical Theory and Public Engagement Through Integrated Water Resources Management. 2018-2020. Linking water sciences–limnology, hydrology, geomorphology, ecology–with rhetorical theory through coursework and collaborative research. Funded through a New Directions Fellowship from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • Rhetoric-in-Action: Community-University Partnerships to Address Wisconsin’s Engagement Challenges. 2018-2019. Strengthening university-community ties between UW-Madison and local organizations through immersive seminars, colloquia, and workshops. Funded through the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment.
  • Collaborating for Brook Trout Conservation to Extend Ecological Models of Rhetoric. 2018-2019. Conducting social and biological fieldwork that explores the prioritization of brook trout reserves throughout Wisconsin. Funded through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education’s Fall Research Competition.
  • Dam Controversies in Wisconsin. 2017-2018. Conducting original research related to controversial dam decision-making in Wisconsin, including a focus on environmental justice, tribal rights, and dam impacts on recreational fish. Supported through the Undergraduate Research Scholars program.
National Science Foundation
  • NRT-IGE: Science Writing and Rhetorical Training: A New Model for Developing Graduate Science Writers. 2015-2018. Training graduate students and faculty to improve their communication skills across genres and audiences.
  • RII Track-2 FEC: Strengthening the scientific basis for decision-making about dams: Multi-scale, coupled-systems research on ecological, social, and economic trade-offs. 2015-2019. Tri-state collaboration addresses a range of future approaches to dams, including maintaining existing hydropower dams, expanding hydropower capacity, and removing aging dams to restore fisheries or reduce safety risks. By examining economic, environmental, and social trade-offs, the project helps individuals and communities make better decisions about dams.
National Park Service
  • Science Communication Outreach for the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network. 2016-2018. Creating engagement materials for a variety of public and policy audiences about NPS science.
  • Post Hurricane Sandy – Science Communication Outreach about Coastal Storms. 2015-2016. Adopted a social ecological systems approach to understand and then communicate about resilience research in the coastal parks.
  • Acquisition, Coordination, Compilation, Data Management and Change Analysis of LiDAR and Other Geospatial Data Collected Pre- and Post-Hurricane Sandy. 2014-2016. Conducted original communication research at Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Parks. Created communication materials related to the impact of Hurricane Sandy on Fire Island National Seashore, Assateague Island National Seashore, and Gateway National Recreation Area.
  • Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles at Colonial National Historical Park and Continued Monitoring of Eastern Box Turtles at Fire Island National Seashore and Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. 2014-2016. Created communication materials to highlight inventory and monitoring efforts at Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Parks.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Identifying Barriers to and Opportunities for Restoration Adoption in an Urbanizing Watershed in Providence, RI. 2013-2016. Conducted qualitative interviews with restoration managers throughout the state about project prioritization and public engagement. Created  a management tool for prioritizing wetland restoration projects based on ecological and social benefits.
NSF-EPSCoR Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows
  • Public perceptions of dam removal and migratory fish passage in an era of climate change. 2016. Worked on textual and discourse analyses of news media, environmental impact statements, and semi-structured interviews; focusing on major arguments that public stakeholders offer related to dam removal, and how impacts of dam removal on downstream estuaries may shift due to climate change.
  • Science Communication Outreach about Coastal Storm Impacts in National Parks. 2015. Created digital and print science communication materials for coastal National Parks.
  • Coastal Restoration Case Studies from the Ocean State. 2015. Built a series of case studies that highlights restoration successes throughout the state for inclusion in policy documents.
  • Communicating about Climate Change in Commercial Fishing. 2012. Conducted qualitative interviews with marine scientists, fishermen, and community activists about the impact of climate change on commercial fishing and public support of fish passage.
Selected free reprints

Druschke, C.G., N. Reynolds, J. Morton-Aiken, I.E. Lofgren, N.E. Karraker, and S.R. McWilliams. (2018). “Better science through rhetoric: a new model and pilot program for training graduate student science writers,” Technical Communication Quarterly. 

Druschke, C. G., Lundberg, E., Drapier, L., & Hychka, K. C. (2017). “Centring Fish Agency in Coastal Dam Removal and River Restoration,” Water Alternatives. 

Hychka, K.H. & C.G. Druschke. (2017). “Adaptive Management of Urban Ecosystem Restoration: Learning From Restoration Managers in Rhode Island, USA,” Society & Natural Resources.

McGreavy, B., C.G. Druschke, L. Sprain, J.L. Thompson, and L.A. Lindenfeld. (2016). “Environmental communication pedagogy for sustainability: Developing core capacities to engage with complex problems,” Applied Environmental Education & Communication. 

Druschke, C., & Hychka, K. (2015). “Manager perspectives on communication and public engagement in ecological restoration project success,” Ecology and Society.

Druschke, C.G. (2013). “Watershed as Common-Place: Communicating for Conservation at the Watershed Scale.” Environmental Communication.

Druschke, C.G. & C.E. Seltzer. (2012). “Failures of engagement: Lessons learned from a citizen science pilot study.” Applied Environmental Education & Communication.