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Professor Earns National Research Award

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Michael Salvador and Tracylee Clarke spent several years studying the Nez Perce management of gray wolf introduction in north Idaho for their article titled “The Weyekin Principle: Toward an Embodied Critical Rhetoric,” which won them the 2011 Christine L. Oravec Research Award in Environmental Communication.

The award is given by the Environmental Communication Division of the National Communication Association to one published article each year that: “addresses significant scholarly questions about the relationship between communication and the environment; demonstrates intellectual rigor appropriate to its mode of inquiry; is forward-looking in its contributions to the field; has the potential to influence future research in the field; and is clear and compelling to its intended audiences,” reads a release.

Salvador is an associate professor in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University (WSU), and Clarke, a former graduate student of his, is now an assistant professor at California State University Channel Islands.

The WSU press release notes how the article breaks new ground “in the study of environmental communication by linking phenomenological inquiry with Native American cultural perspectives on the relationship between humans and nature. The term ‘weyekin’ comes from the Nez Perce language and expresses a particular connection between human experience and natural surroundings.”

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Salvador said he winning the award was “gratifying and humbling,” and hopes their work “contributes to improving the ability of people everywhere to communicate effectively in understanding and solving the critical environmental problems we face.”