Professional Course

Storytelling with Data using Socio-environmental Report Cards

edX, Online
5 weeks
149 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
5 weeks
149 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

Storytelling with Data using Socio-environmental Report Cards

Imagine if you had the tools that would galvanize volunteers to protect their local river, inspire politicians to fund restoration activities, or stimulate engineers to devise ways to reduce pollution. Socio-environmental report cards synthesize data from scientists and volunteers and convert it into an image-rich format that is easily accessible to a wide stakeholder audience.

Report card grades also tap into a powerful human motivator: peer pressure. Civic leaders and community members can compare their grades with their neighbors, and we have learned that these comparisons lead to a desire for better environmental outcomes in their own backyard.

For nearly two decades, our team has worked with local river protection groups to develop comprehensive assessments of iconic ecosystems like the Chesapeake Bay (United States of America) and the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). These socio-environmental report cards have been used to catalyze improvements in ecosystem health, motive cooperative problem-solving, guide restoration efforts, and stimulate relevant research.

We can no longer be content to just study environmental or natural resource-related problems. The challenges and negative environmental impacts of climate change and other myriad environmental management issues are upon us. We need to use science to inspire real change. We’ll show you how.

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

Start anytime

  • Self-paced Online
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?



Training content

  • What are Report Cards?
  • Why Report Cards?
  • Report Card Application
  • From Qualitative to Quantitative
  • Distilling Data
  • Incorporating New Indicators
  • Evaluation of Report Card Impacts
  • Report Card Process
  • Enabling Conditions
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Project Planning 1
  • Project Planning 2
  • Workshop Planning
  • Facilitation and Engagement
  • Identifying Values and Threats
  • Identifying Indicators
  • Indicator Qualities
  • Defining Thresholds
  • Calculating Scores and Grades
  • Gaining Stakeholder Consensus
  • Communication strategies
  • Communicating Results
  • Designing Report Cards
  • Stakeholder-led Approach
  • Optimizing Collaborations
  • Systems Modelling
  • Overcoming Barriers
  • Creating and Maintaining Momentum
  • Dynamic Problem solving
  • Examples of Great Champions
  • Adaptive Governance
  • Theory of Change

Course delivery details

This course is offered through University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, a partner institute of EdX.

5-8 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$149
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • How to compare and contrast different environmental approaches and socio-environmental report cards.
  • How to critique the different approaches used in environmental assessments and socio-environmental report cards.
  • How to create image-rich socio-environmental report cards that are accessible to a wide and diverse audience.
  • How to create a reporting framework for a case study to generate a socio-environmental report cards.

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141 Portland Street
02139 Cambridge Massachusetts


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