People

Climate Sensing and Data Storytelling is a conversation made possible by the generous research,
craftsmanship, analysis, and action of the following contributors.

Nikhil Anand is an environmental anthropologist whose research focuses on cities, infrastructure, state power and climate change. His new book project, Urban Seas, decenters the grounds of urban planning by drawing attention to the ways in which fishers and scientists are reading and acting in anthropogenic seas near Mumbai.

Amy Balkin is an artist whose works propose alternatives for conceiving the public domain outside current legal and discursive systems, addressing property relations, environmental justice, and equity in the context of climate change. Her work and collaborations include A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting (Balkin et al.), a climate-change archive of the future anterior, clean-air park Public Smog, and The Atmosphere, A Guide, which traces some human influences on the sky. Her work has been exhibited in Sublime (Centre Pompidou Metz), Hybris (MUSAC), Rights of Nature (Nottingham Contemporary), and dOCUMENTA (13), and published in Decolonizing Nature (Sternberg), Materiality (Whitechapel/MIT) and Critical Landscapes (UC Press). She lives in San Francisco.

Daniel A. Barber is an Associate Professor and Chair of the PhD Program in Architecture at the Weitzman School of Design. His research explores the intersection of environmental and architectural history, and is also concerned with how contemporary design practices are confronting the climate crisis. His latest book is Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning (Princeton UP, 2020). 

Laura Barbas-Rhoden is Professor of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Wofford College; co-President of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment; founder of Alianza Spartanburg; and author of Writing Women in Central America (Ohio UP, 2003) and Ecological Imaginations in Latin American Fiction (UP of Florida, 2011).l history, key achievements, or an interesting fact.

Anne Berg studies the histories of waste and recycling, film and cities, racism and genocide. Trained as a historian of modern Germany and Europe, Anne increasingly ventures into more global terrain. Her research proceeds along a number of parallel tracks, connected by a sustained interest in the visual, the spatial and the material. She has published articles on the history of waste in Nazi Germany, the United States and South Africa. Currently, Anne is working on a book project that examines the disturbing connections between waste management and genocide in the Third Reich, entitled Empire of Rags and Bones: Waste and War in Nazi Germany. At Penn, Anne teaches courses on the history of National Socialism, world history, environmental history and the history of garbage.

Dominic Boyer is Professor of Anthropology at Rice University and Founding Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (2013-2019). He is currently pursuing ethnographic research with flood victims in Houston, Texas, and on electric futures across the world. His most recent book is Energopolitics (Duke UP, 2019), which is part of a collaborative duograph, “Wind and Power in the Anthropocene,” with Cymene Howe.

Grace Boroughs, PPEH Climate Storytelling intern, was born and raised in South Africa. She is a Junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Environmental Management and Sustainability, with minors in Fine Arts and Urban Studies. She is interested in the ways in which these three subjects are interconnected and can be used to make positive change for the environment. She worked with the Penn Program for Environmental Humanities and Data Refuge in the Summer to develop a podcast on the refinery in South Philadelphia and became interested in the lack of attention Philadelphia has paid to rising water levels and air pollution data. She is excited to continue and develop this research.nts, or an interesting fact.

Hayley Brazier is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Oregon and a research assistant for the Center for Environmental Futures. Her dissertation focuses on marine environmental history with a particular emphasis on how North American society has used and transformed the Pacific seafloor since the late nineteenth century. Her research was recently awarded a National Science Foundation doctoral dissertation grant. Between 2017-2019, she worked for the Digital Humanities initiative at the University of Oregon. Hayley has taught courses on race and ethnicity in US environmental history, the national parks, and marine environmental history. Hayley has a background in public history, including museum studies and historic preservation.

Allison Carruth is Associate Professor of English and Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, where she directs the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS). Alongside her scholarship, she has been involved in collaborations that bridge the arts, humanities, and sciences—from the Food Justice conference (2011) to Play the LA River (2012-2015).

Alex Chen is a third year Anthropology doctoral student in the combined MD / PhD program. Tracing Ebola in the American health care landscape, his work examines how fear, contagion, and biocontainment moves through the material and discursive medium of air. He holds an MDes in Risk and Resilience from Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Teresa Cavazos Cohn is Director of the University of Idaho’s Taylor Wilderness Research Station, Research Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Society and a co-founder of the Confluence Lab. Her research and outreach projects have been supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and Milkweed Press.

Katie Collier, PPEH Climate Storytelling intern, is a College sophomore from Central Florida studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a concentration in Choice & Behavior, and a minor in Cognitive Science. She is particularly interested in environmental policy and its intersection with health and social issues. Katie is enthusiastic to join the Data Remediations team because of the critical moment we are in in terms of addressing the issues of climate change. Data Remediations and Data Refuge are both key to communicating information that will contribute to the health of the environment and people everywhere and she is excited to be a part of the team.

Daniel Cooper, PPEH Climate Storytelling intern, is a junior in the College of Arts Sciences from South Jersey studying Environmental Science and English. He’s excited to get involved with the Climate Storytelling Team as a Public Research Intern. Daniel is passionate about environmental issues, especially climate change, and sees the most effective way to get people to take action involves sharing personal stories – because we’re all being affected by climate change. Daniel has seen this firsthand through his experience at an environmental nonprofit this past summer after working with different community groups and with elected officials to pass legislation in support of climate action.

Roderick Coover is Founding Director of Temple University’s PhD-MFA Program in Documentary Arts And Visual Research and was the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities 2019 Artist-In-Residence.  His recent works, made in collaboration with writers, composers and computer scientists, include VR projects made for 360 cinemas and domes like The Key To Time and Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project as well as the code-driven films  Toxi•City: A Climate Change Narrative and Penelope. His works are exhibited internationally in art venues and public spaces. His books include The Digital Imaginary: Literature and Cinema of the Database and available from Bloomsbury and Switching Codes: Thinking Through Technology In The Humanities And Arts, published by the University of Chicago Press.  He has received Fulbright, Mellon, Whiting, Spire and LEF awards, among others. More on his website, unknown territories.org

Jessica Creane is an immersive experience designer dedicated to crafting playful, transformative experiences that bring people together. She is the founder of IKantKoan LLC, a production company focused on playfully exploring complex subject matter like climate change, ethics, chaos, and love. Jessica is a Professor of Game Design at Drexel University, a climate change game designer with The National Parks Service, a 2020 Arctic Circle Artist-in-Residence, a Rachael Carson Center Climate Change and Grief team member, a Tribe12 Fellow, and she recently gave a TEDx talk about embracing uncertainty through play. She is a graduate of The Pig Iron School of Advanced Performance Training and her work has been presented at The World Economic Forum, PAX East, PAX Unplugged, The Franklin Institute, IndieCade, Bandwi/d/th International, Tanween Creativity Festival in Ithra, Saudi Arabia, HERE Arts, FringeNYC, BostonFIG, and on KQED San Fransisco. Her New York Times recommended show, CHAOS THEORY, recently won the Best Social Immersion Award from Immersion Nation and is currently running at Caveat Theater, NYC.

Knar Gavin is a fourth-year PhD candidate in English working at the juncture of ecopoetics, media ecology, and new materialist inquiry. Her dissertation explores the use of poetic strategy to contend with the complex material relations, chronologies, and entanglements associated with environmental crisis. A co-coordinator of the Anthropocene and Animal Studies reading group, Knar holds graduate degrees from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Syracuse University. She is the author of Vela. (The Operating System, 2019) and recent poetry can be found in AGNI, the Denver Quarterly, Storm Cellar and Foundry.

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. He is the author of two books of nonfiction, a collection of essays, and eight novels. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages and he has served on the jury of the Locarno and Venice Film Festivals. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest honors, by the President of India. His books have won prizes in India, Europe, and Myanmar, and he has been awarded honorary degrees by the Sorbonne, Paris and by Queens College, New York. He divides his time between Brooklyn, Goa, and Kolkata.

photo credit: Ivo van der Bendt

Carolyn Hall and Clarinda Mac Low are the co-creators and co-leaders of Sunk Shore, an experiential, site-specific shoreline tour and workshop that addresses climate change by embodying data of the past and present, then envisions a speculative future. Both Hall and Mac Low work as scientists and in dance and performance.

photo credit: Robin Michals

Alexandre Imbot, PPEH Climate Finance Intern, is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences completing a degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management with a minor in Economic Policy. As a founding team member of the PPEH Futures Beyond Refining project, he is co-creating, communicating, and improving tools to shape the cleaner, more equitable future we deserve.

Erin James is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Idaho and Co-Founder of the Confluence Lab. The Storyworld Accord: Econarratology and Postcolonial Narratives (U of Nebraska P, 2015) won the 2017 International Society for the Study of Narrative’s Perkins Prize and was a finalist for the Association of the Study of Literature and Environment’s Ecocriticism Book Award. She published Environment and Narrative: New Directions in Econarratology, co-edited with Eric Morel, in 2020 (Ohio State UP).

Dolly Jørgensen is Professor of History, University of Stavanger, Norway specializing in environmental history. Her current research agenda focuses on cultural histories of animal extinction, and recently published Recovering Lost Species in the Modern Age: Histories of Longing and Belonging (MIT Press, 2019). She is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Humanities and co-directs The Greenhouse environmental humanities program area at UiS.

Patricia Eunji Kim is Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at New York University. She is at work on a monograph, Bodies of Power: The Art and Archaeology of Royal Women from the Hellenistic World (4th-1st c BCE), and co-editor of Timescales: Thinking Across Ecological Temporalities (University of Minnesota Press).

Jennifer Ladino is the author of Memorials Matter: Emotion, Environment, and Public Memory at American Historical Sites, and Reclaiming Nostalgia: Longing for Nature in American Literature. She is Professor of English at the University of Idaho, where she teaches American literature and environmental humanities courses and is co-founder of the Confluence Lab.

Adrienne Mackey is a multidisciplinary artist exploring performance and play. With her company, Swim Pony, she’s created works including SURVIVE! – a 22,000 sq-ft science installation; THE BALLAD OF JOE HILL at Eastern State Penitentiary; WAR OF THE WORLDS, with Drexel EGS; and THE END – a month-long mixed reality game exploring mortality. She’s now developing TRAILOFF – a mobile app embedding stories on nature trails and WATERLOGGED!, a wildlife card game.

Aylin Malcolm (aylinmalcolm.com) is a PhD candidate in medieval literature and the environmental humanities at Penn. A Montréal native with a background in community radio, Aylin is especially interested in human relationships with the ocean and in the intersections of art and science.

Maggie McNulty is a Masters of Environmental Studies Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability from Drexel University. Her research interests include the intersection of environmental justice and history. Maggie’s current research projects include exploring how women used urban greening to shape their cities during the Progressive Era and ethnographic research with neighbors living adjacent to the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery complex in South Philadelphia.

Stephanie LeMenager is Barbara and Carlisle Moore Professor of English and Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon. Her publications include the books Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century (2014), Manifest and Other Destinies (2005), and Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century (2011). Her co-edited collection Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities addresses climate change pedagogy and her forthcoming Bloomsbury four-volume collection, Literature and Environment, offers a history of the interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities through the one hundred most influential published articles in the field. LeMenager is a founding editor and current advisory board member of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, the first Environmental Humanities journal to be based in the United States. She is a recent recipient of the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship for Advanced Study, where she began writing her latest book, about climate change, fiction, and lies. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Time magazine, Climate Wire, and on CBC radio and NPR.

Sheri Parks, Ph.D. is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. Previously, she was Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming and Director of the Center for Synergy at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has been Principal Investigator (PI), Co-PI or Community Liaison on a number of sponsored projects, including those funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Commerce. She led Baltimore Stories: Narrative and the Life of an American City, which was named a national model of deep community conversations by NEH. Sheri is also a public intellectual, quoted in a variety of media, and a national award-winning National Public Radio affiliate host and commentator. She is the author of Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Strong Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman, selected as an editor’s pick by Essence Magazine. Her academic field is Public Aesthetics, or how ordinary people weave aesthetic forms and meanings throughout their everyday lives. She recently served as the President of the board of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

Adam Sobel is a professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Engineering School. He studies the dynamics of climate and weather phenomena, particularly in the tropics. In recent years he has become particularly interested in understanding the risks to human society from extreme weather events and climate change. He is author or co-author of over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles; a popular book, Storm Surge, about Hurricane Sandy; and numerous op-eds and articles in the mainstream media, including several recently for the New York Times.

Evie Sorrell is a sophomore from Eagle River, Alaska studying Environmental Sustainability and Management with a minor in Urban Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her research interests lie in the different types of policies, practices, and pathways that can be taken to adapt to our altered future. Evie is excited to be a part of the Climate Storytelling team and looking forward to uncovering and broadcasting the effects of climate change and how we are adapting economically, socially, and culturally to this new environment.

Sarah Cameron Sunde is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video, and public art. Her work investigates scale and duration in relationship to the human body, our environment, and deep time. It has been seen/experienced in venues around New York, U.S. and presented internationally in Norway, Netherlands, Bangladesh, China, Uganda, Iraqi Kurdistan, Brazil, Kenya, and Aotearoa New Zealand. Residencies include: Watermill Center, Baryshnikov Art Center, LMCC Workspace. Honors include: MAP Fund, Princess Grace Foundation, Creative Climate Award. BA in Theater (UCLA); MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice (The City College of New York, CUNY). http://www.SarahCameronSunde.com + www.36pt5.org

Alejandra Villalobos is a second year Graduate Student in the International Educational Development Program interested in the intersection of languages and culture, education, and environmental stewardship. She’s so excited to join this team and contribute to projects that go beyond our campus and collaborate with local, national, and global communities.  Alejandra is a Chicago native, first gen graduate student, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and will most likely greet your dog before you.

Marsha Weisiger is the Julie and Rocky Dixon Chair of U.S. Western History and an associate professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Oregon. Her scholarship focuses primarily on the environmental history of the American West. She is the author of Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country (University of Washington Press, 2009) which won four awards, including the Norris and Carol Hundley Award and the Hal Rothman Book Award, and Land of Plenty: Oklahomans in the Cotton Fields of Arizona, 1933-1942 (University of Oklahoma Press, 1995), which won the Angie Debo Prize. She has also written on wolf reintroduction, gendering environmental history, environmental justice, and architectural history. Her work has received two faculty research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Burkhardt Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, and a King Fellowship from the Clements Center for Southwest Studies. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and co-founder and co-coordinator of the Cascadia Environmental History Collaborative.

Bethany Wiggin is an Associate Professor of German and affiliated faculty in the Program in Comparative Literature and the Department of English. She is the Founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities. Her books and essays explore histories of migration, language, multilingualism, and cultural translation since the Columbian exchange across the Atlantic world. She is now writing Utopia Found and Lost in Penn’s Woods and Timescales: Ecological Temporalities across Disciplines, co-edited with PPEH alumnae, is in press (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). In 2020, she became the Co-President of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment . At Penn, she directs two public research projects: 1) on climate storytelling, including the Philadelphia-based project, Futures Beyond Refining and 2) on how university endowments may be invested to drive climate solutions, a collaboration with partners at the Wharton School of Business at Penn. You can learn more about these projects–and about how you can get involved– at ppehlab.org.