Bret Shaw is a faculty member and Environmental Communication Specialist in the Department of Life Sciences Communication. Among other duties, he focuses on Extension/outreach activities related to facilitating campaign development by institutions in Wisconsin dealing with such natural resource management issues as water quality, land use and environmental conservation and assessing the impact of these social marketing campaigns.
Bret received his Ph.D. in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his teaching experience related to strategic communication. After completing his graduate work, he worked for three years as a market research manager at America Online where he was responsible for shaping strategy and marketing communications for the market-leading AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service.
Since 2003, Bret has worked as a scientist at the Center for Health Enhancement Support Studies at the UW-Madison on various national initiatives funded by the National Institutes of Health and private philanthropic organizations. His recent research has focused on how people with chronic health conditions benefit from online support and tailored information systems. He has published in a diverse range of peer-reviewed journals including Health Education Research, Health Communication, the Journal of Health Communication, CIN: Computers, Informatics and Nursing, American Behavioral Scientist, Information Technology and Behaviour and the International Journal of Medical Informatics. Bret has received national and international media attention for the studies he has published.
Bret has previously worked on strategic communication campaigns for non-profit organizations, and plans to explore intersections between his current research and the environment. Some of these ideas include using quantitative and qualitative methods to understand people’s attitudes and behaviors as they relate to environmental issues, examining interrelationships between the environment and health, deploying traditional and new media strategies to build awareness about the environment and empowering opinion leaders to advance environmentally conscious principles in their communities.
Bret Shaw is also co-editor of “Environmental Communication and Social Marketing,” a newsletter that provides a forum for communication between professionals in the social and natural sciences who share a common interest in promoting behaviors that positively affect the environment.