Michelle Presley Presents on the West Coast

Michelle Presley, a student pursuing a master’s in Public Interest Media and Communication, presented at the 2020 Western States Communication Association convention in Denver, Colorado.

Her presentation was based on a paper she wrote with her co-author, Susan Macak, titled “The Downstream Effects of Wyoming’s Data Trespass Laws.” “The paper is a legal analysis of the recent data trespass laws that were passed, challenged, and partially repealed in the state of Wyoming,” Michelle explains. “Our research analyzes the laws through a First Amendment theory lens to understand how the laws infringed on the public’s right to free speech and petition. Additionally, we explored how the data trespass laws highlighted issues surrounding public land access in the state of Wyoming.”

“Presenting at this year’s WSCA convention was an invaluable experience,” she continues. “I was able to meet some amazing people both within the environmental communication interest group and across the communication field. Presenting also helped me practice articulating my research and explaining the value of our work. Also, as someone whose research interests are centered around peoples’ interactions with public lands, the western states are the perfect place to be as this is where a lot of conversations about public lands happen substantively. I think most importantly, I was exposed to a ton of new and brilliant ideas that have expanded the way I think about my own work.”

Though the conference was on the West Coast, Michelle felt inspired to be able to represent the East Coast. Public land issues exist across the whole country and Michelle is excited to bring a new perspective back to Tallahassee.

Michelle would like to thank Dr. Jennifer Proffitt for providing feedback on the paper and helping her prepare for the conference. “I’m genuinely so grateful for all of the support I’ve received from Dr. Proffitt and the rest of the faculty in CCI,” she says. Finally, she would like to thank her co-author, Susan.