Document Type


Date of Original Version



Drawing on recent scholarship in environmental communication and rhetoric, this essay examines the role of visual circulation in digital environmental discourse. We argue that while environmental image circulation is often viewed as an ambivalent, or even performative, practice for environmental citizenship, it is also an important space for cultivating participatory culture online. Adapting a version of Laurie Gries' “Iconographic Tracking” method, we offer three case studies that demonstrate how the digital circulation of environmental memes and iconic images offers important tactics for engaging digital publics that can be deployed by public communication practitioners. Subsequently, we argue for a more nuanced view of image circulation as both a performative and a participatory strategy for environmental communication.

Publication Title

Frontiers in Communication




Madison Jones is affiliated with the Department of Writing and Rhetoric.

Julian Garrison, Abbey Greene and Hannah MacDonald are affiliated with the Department of Natural Resources Science.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.