Image courtesy of Barron Bixler


The Environmental Media Lab at Princeton is designed to be a collaborative and transdisciplinary hub for research on and experimentation with different forms of imagining wicked environmental problems, including climate change. Our animating hypothesis is that many different narratives are essential to convey both research about and lived experiences of these problems and to articulate possibilities for livable and just futures. In this work, we seek to collaborate with artists, filmmakers, writers, designers and makers as well as environmental scientists and community science groups.

The lab currently receives support from the Princeton University programs and centers listed below as well as from the American Council of Learned Societies.

princeton sponsors

What We Do


The lab both produces and studies the impacts of environmental storytelling across established and emerging media. Our annual climate story incubator is central to this work. Site-specific and participatory, the incubator involves students, postdoctoral researchers and collaborators in the development of narrative projects that are site-specific and participatory. Organized around the provocation of "Coastal Futures," the inaugural incubator is generating highly-localized accounts of how different places and groups have experienced, explained and responded to severe storms along the mid-Atlantic and coastal wildfires in California.

research and publication

We study how—and for whom—artists, storytellers, and creative communities generate knowledge about ecological crises and model futures that arc away from planetary disaster and toward environmental and social justice. Centered in the environmental humanities, our research draws on narrative theory, media studies, socially-engaged art, and ecological and climate science. To provide a forum for this scholarship and for our collaborations and collaborators, the lab plans to publish an open-access journal beginning in 2023.


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