Derek G. Ross
Technical and Professional Communication, Auburn University Department of English

About Me

I'm an associate professor in Auburn University's Master of Technical and Professional Communication Program in the Department of English, and the Editor of Communication Design Quarterly.

My research interests include perceptions of environmental rhetoric, ethics, and document design. My edited collection, Topic-Driven Environmental Rhetoric (2017), is available from Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, and Amazon.

You can see me in an interview talking about my work with Aldo Leopold's land ethic at the 2015 International Professional Communication Conference here. More recently, I was featured in our Discover Auburn lecture series, where I gave a talk titled Earth First!: Communications and Radical Environmentalism.

Discover Auburn Lecture Series:”Earth First! Communications and Radical Environmentalism” from Auburn Libraries on Vimeo.

Contact Me

Office Hours: Wednesday 1:00 - 2:45, and by appointment. I often work in my office: if the door is open, you are welcome to stop in.

My office is a safe space for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, regardless of race, color, creed, class, religion, political affiliation, or gender or sexual  identity.

Email: derek (dot) ross (at)

Pronouns: he/him/his

During the semester, I respond to email during business hours: between 8:00 and 5:00 M - F, excluding university holidays. I try to respond within 24 hours.

Phone:  334-844-9073

Office: 8072 Haley Center

Mail: 9030 Haley Center, Auburn University, AL 36849-5203

Cover for Topic-Driven Environmental Rhetoric Book

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

My classrooms, office, and lab are safe spaces for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors. I support people of all colors, ethnicities, and gender and sexual identifications. I support people of all nations and immigrants of any status. I support people of all faiths and none, people of all ages, and people of all abilities. In keeping with Auburn University policy, I will not accept the disparagement, harassment, or exclusion of others based on differences, perceived or otherwise, in any of my spaces.

I recognize the value of visible and audible diversity. While many of us are diverse in our backgrounds and beliefs, this diversity is often invisible. I recognize that visible and audible diversity is a valuable, important factor in establishing a vibrant, shared, and safe community. I celebrate people of all colors, abilities, identifications, and backgrounds, recognizing that differently-abled bodies are just as important to our world as differently-colored bodies, and that we identify as much by sound as by sight.

I celebrate traditional and non-traditional modes of dress, and recognize the importance of an individual’s right to express their faith or sense of being through the way they dress, the jewelry they choose to wear, and the way they choose to decorate their skin. I recognize that self-expression is a rhetorical choice, and here, in a department where language and action intersect to shape our teaching and research practices, I celebrate physical diversity—inherent or chosen—as an obvious and apparent marker of the richness of our shared community.

I celebrate difference, recognizing that the respectful exchange of ideas in the spirit of academic inquiry supports and bolsters our shared human connections.

Selected Publications (Book and Chapters)

Ross, D. G. (Ed.). (2017). Topic-driven environmental rhetoric. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Honorable Mention for the 2018 CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award in the category of Best Original Collection of Essays in Technical or Scientific Communication.

Ross, D. G. (2018). Résumé design and career advocacy in a Goodwill Career Center. In G. Agboka and N. Matveeva (Eds.), Citizenship and Advocacy in Technical Communication: Scholarly and Pedagogical Perspectives (pp. 175 – 198). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ross, D. G. (2016). “We will live to piss on their graves”: Edward Abbey, radical environmentalism, and the birth of Earth First!. In R. D. Besel and B. K. Duffy (Eds.), Green voices: Defending nature and the environment in American civic discourse (pp. 243 – 273). Albany, NY: SUNY.


Selected Publications (Peer Reviewed Journal Articles)

Ross, D. G., Oppegaard, B., & Willerton, R. (2018). Principles of place: Developing a Place-Based Ethic for discussing, debating, and anticipating technical communication concerns. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication.

Ross, D. G., & Parks, M. (2018). Mutual respect in an ethic of care: A collaborative essay on power, trust, and stereotyping. Teaching Ethics. DOI: 10.5840/tej2018112156

Ross, D. G. (2017). The role of ethics, culture, and artistry in scientific illustration. Technical Communication Quarterly, 26(2), 145 – 172.

Ross, D. G. (2015). Monkeywrenching plain language: Ecodefense, ethics, and the technical communication of ecotage. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 58(2), 154 – 175.

Ross, D. G. (2013). Deep audience analysis: A proposed method for analyzing audiences for environment-related communication. Technical Communication, 60(2), 94-117.

Ross, D. G. (2013). Common topics and commonplaces of environmental rhetoric. Written Communication, 30(1), 91 – 131.