Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk

Caroline Gottschalk Druschke

Associate Professor, Writing & Rhetoric

Assistant Professor/ Faculty & Staff/ Writing & Rhetoric

  • Telephone: (401) 874-5836
  • Email:
  • Office: Coastal Institute 109; Hours: Tuesdays 2-3 PM or by appointment

Dr. Caroline Gottschalk Druschke holds a joint appointment in the Department of Writing & Rhetoric and the Department of Natural Resources Science at the University of Rhode Island, where she uses her background in rhetoric and communication to study the human dimensions of natural resources management. She arrived at University of Rhode Island in 2011, after earning a Ph.D. in English Studies from University of Illinois at Chicago, where she trained in the NSF-IGERT Landscape, Ecological and Anthropogenic Processes Program and earned a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. Dr. Druschke takes a mixed-methods, place-based approach to ongoing research into watershed-based conservation outreach, the impact of climate change on commercial fishing policy, and public participation in freshwater restoration efforts. She has presented internationally on her work, published in communication and conservation journals, and received research fellowships from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and AAUW. She works to incorporate her research interests into her pedagogy, teaching community-based writing courses with Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, first year writing courses related to coastal issues, graduate seminars in environmental communication and mixed methodologies, and a watershed restoration course through the university’s Grand Challenges initiative.


Recent publications:

Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk and Silvia Secchi. “The impact of gender on agricultural conservation knowledge and attitudes in an Iowa watershed.” Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 69.2 (2014): 95-106.

Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk. “With Whom Do We Speak? Building Transdisciplinary Collaborations in Rhetoric of Science.” Poroi 10.1 (2014): Article 10. Available at:

Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk. “Watershed as Common-Place: Communicating for Conservation at the Watershed Scale.” Special Issue: The Symbolic Transformation of Space. Ed. James G. Cantrill and Jessica L. Thompson. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture 7.1 (2013): 80-96.

Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk and Carrie E. Seltzer. “Failures of Engagement: Lessons Learned from a Citizen Science Pilot Study.” Applied Environmental Education and Communication 11.3-4 (2012): 178-188.

Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk, Evan Dunphy, Linda Green, Elizabeth Herron, and Molly Hunt. “What is a Watershed?” University of Rhode Island Watershed Watch. 2012. <>.


Selected honors:

Research Fellow, US Environmental Protection Agency’s Atlantic Ecology Division, 2013-present.

Senior Fellow, Coastal Institute, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, Rhode Island, 2012-present.

Rhode Island Campus Compact Engaged Scholars Statewide Faculty Fellow, Rhode Island Campus Compact, 2012-2013.

American Dissertation Fellowship, AAUW, 2010-2011.

Dean’s Scholar Award, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2010-2011.

Chancellor’s Supplemental Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2010.

National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (NSF-IGERT), Landscape, Ecological and Anthropogenic Processes Program (LEAP), University of Illinois at Chicago, 2008-2010.

Frederick Stern Award for Excellence in Teaching, Department of English, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2008.


Selected courses taught:

Grand Challenges 103, Grand Challenges in the Natural Sciences <>

Writing & Rhetoric 304, Writing for Community Service

Writing & Rhetoric 645, Seminar in Environmental Communication

Writing & Rhetoric 647, Research Methodologies in Rhetorical Studies


Selected presentations:

“The Materiality of Theory: Practical Roles for Rhetoric in Environmental Policy and Practice,” Rhetoric Society of America Conference, San Antonio, Texas, May 2014.

“Human Dimensions of Coastal Restoration,” Coastal Restoration Mini-Workshop, Universitas Gadjah Mada and Institut Pertanian, Yogyakarta and Bogor, Indonesia, May 2014.

“Accountability to Public Stakeholders in Watershed-Based Restoration.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Indianapolis, Indiana, March 21, 2014.

“A Rhetorical Approach to Natural Resources Management: Three Cases in Watershed-Based Conservation and Climate Change Communication.” Colloquium. Department of English, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, February 17, 2014.

“Working for Water: A Place for Rhetoric in Watershed-Based Conservation.” Colloquium. Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, October 21, 2013.

“Supporting Managers, Hearing the Public: A Decision Support Approach for Evaluating Ecosystem Services and Social Benefits from Urban Wetland and Stream-Buffer Restoration.” Poster presentation. Community Involvement Training Conference, United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 1, Boston, MA, July 30, 2013.

“Public or Expert? Finding Legitimacy in Deliberations About Commercial Fishing Policy in Rhode Island, U.S.A.” Conference on Communication and Environment, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, June 2013.

“Watershed-Based Conservation: A Case Study in Transdisciplinarity.” Plenary Address. URI Graduate Student Conference, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, April 13, 2013.

“Citizen scientists: self-reported attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge before and after participation.” Poster presentation. 96th Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas, August 7-12, 2011.

“Evaluating a Watershed-Based Conservation Initiative.” Poster presentation. National Science Foundation 2010 IGERT Project Meeting, Washington, D.C., May 24, 2010.