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Knight Center researchers publish study examining energy behaviors among Hispanics


Dr. Bruno Takahashi, Tony Van Witsen, Ran Duan

Knight Center research director, Bruno Takahashi, and Ph.D students Ran Duan and Anthony Van Witsen, have published a new study in the journal Social Science Quarterly. The study titled “Hispanics’ behavioral intentions towards energy conservation: The role of socio-demographic, informational, and attitudinal variables” uses survey data from the University of Texas at Austin to examine the factors that influence energy related behaviors among Hispanics in the US.

The results show that Hispanics in the West report higher levels of intention to save energy than those in any other regions of the country. On the other hand, there is no clear pattern indicating that intentions to save energy were linked to Hispanics’ ethnic groups such as Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, or Cubans. Other factors related to energy-related behavioral intentions include information dissemination, environmental concern, and environmental beliefs.

This study was designed as a challenge to the dominant view that Hispanics in the US are a homogeneous group when it comes to environmental beliefs and behaviors. The study is part of a line of research looking at information sources used by minorities – including the news media- that the Knight Center research team is pursuing.

Environmental journalism students honored with scholarships, awards

By Kate Habrel

Students affiliated with the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism have been honored at the MSU School of Journalism’s annual Student Awards Convocation.


Steven Maier

Thousands of dollars were awarded to these students who are studying environmental journalism in a changing world and have worked for the Knight Center or taken environmental journalism courses.

Undergraduate Steven Maier was a co-recipient of the Len Barnes AAA Michigan Fund Scholarship. It honors the late Len Barnes, a J-School graduate and editor of Michigan Living, and his career in travel and recreational journalism. It was established by the Auto Club Insurance Association. Master’s student Shruti Saripalli was another co-recipient of the award.

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Knight Center student wins Teddy Roosevelt Conservation and Environmental Leadership Fellowship

Kelly van Frankenhuyzen

Kelly van Frankenhuyzen

Kelly van Frankenhuyzen attended the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow in DeBeque, Colorado on the Glassen Memorial Foundation- Thoedore (Teddy) Roosevelt Conservation and Environmental Leadership Fellowship. vanFrankenhuyzen was awarded a fellowship for $2500 to further her professional development as a future leader in natural resources and conservation based organizations and agencies. van Frankenhuyzen will be graduating in May with a masters in  environmental journalism. This conference was a four day conference focused on hunting awareness and conservation education among academic programs and government agencies. vanFrankenhuyzen was able to learn the biological, social, cultural, economic and recreational aspects of hunting.

When science meets poetry

By Eric Freedman

Last summer, Knight Center Senior Associate Director Dave Poulson suggested that researchers
present their findings in haiku as a way to emphasize the importance of clear, concise writing
and avoidance of jargon.

I found that an intriguing idea, so I carried out a quick experiment with a class of about 20
doctoral and master’s students in MSU’s Environmental Science & Policy Program. Their
instructors, Professors Wei Zhang (Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences) and Adam Zwickle
(Criminal Justice) had invited me to lecture about science communication, and I seized the

In case you don’t remember what a haiku (俳句) is from your high school creative writing or
literature classes, it’s a short 3-line poem with a 5-7- 5 syllable structure and uses sensory
language to capture a feeling or image.

I gave the students this definition and four science-related examples from and
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