Image courtesy of Barron Bixler


The Princeton Environmental Media Lab will launch in 2021 as a space for research, invention and communication. The lab's mission is to cultivate stories that illuminate pressing environmental problems and catalyze action. The lab understands those problems—from the global climate crisis to regional food and water health—as not only scientific and political but also cultural in nature.

The lab will apply new and established media to science communication and storytelling experiments, with an eye to the complex histories of contemporary environmental challenges. In this work, we will collaborate with artists, journalists, writers, activists and community leaders who work to effect transformational change for a more livable world.

lab sponsors

What We Do

creative practice

Our media experiments focus on speculative fiction, documentary photography and film, animation, immersive narrative and data visualization. An annual story incubator will produce a multimedia series around a specific environmental challenge or community. The incubator will involve faculty, students and external collaborators. In tandem, we plan to host a residency program for practitioners in fields such as visual art, film, interactive design, journalism and science communication.

research and publication

We study culturally specific histories of and emerging tactics and technologies for telling stories about environmental problems. This research attends to how different communities—including scientists and creative practitioners—adapt visual, narrative and other media to generate ecological knowledge and foster livable worlds. Alongside this scholarship, the lab plans to publish primers on environmental media and science communication.


Working with co-sponsors, the lab will program public events that complement the story incubator. This programming will include screenings, exhibits, workshops and symposia. Potential topics include stories of environmental racism and reparative justice, water and fire in the American West, climate disruptions and adaptations in coastal communities and food and seed sovereignty movements.