Peter Friederici, M.S.

Peter Friederici Associate Professor
Northern Arizona University
School of Communication
Blg 16 Rm #335
Phone: 928-523-6378

Research and academic interests

As an award-winning journalist specializing in science and environmental stories, Peter is interested in how complex and important topics are communicated through today’s media. His writing, teaching and research focus on exploring connections between people and the environment, and on ensuring that the reporting and analysis involved in such stories are accurate, compelling and relevant.

Courses taught

• Introduction to Journalism

• Basic Reporting

• Environmental Reporting Topics

• In-depth Reporting Topics

• Journalism Capstone Project

• Environmental Communication

• Ecological Oral Histories

• First-year Seminar: Understanding Risk

• Communicating Science


• 1991 M.S., Environmental Education with focus in environmental writing, Audubon Expedition Institute/Lesley College, Cambridge, Massachusetts

• 1985 B.A., Comparative Literature, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; graduated Phi Beta Kappa

• 1983–1984 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany (Wayne State University Study Abroad Program)

Recent research and creative activity

Regional Newspaper Coverage of Climate Change: A Comparison of German and U.S. Examples: ongoing research project about how journalists cover climate change

Ecological Oral Histories: ongoing project to document land-based recollections of environmental change in northern Arizona

A New Start at the End of Nature: book project about climate change in the Southwest, with photographer Peter Goin

Some publications:

Generating Controversy: The Navajo Generating Station was supposed to improve the lives of the native people living in its shadow, but its only real legacy is the polluted skies over the American Southwest,” National Parks (Spring 2015): 46-52. 

Star Trek: How Birds Use Electromagnetic Cues to Travel,” Audubon (Spring 2015): 48-53. 

“‘It’s a Different World’: Using Oral Histories to Explore Working-Class Perceptions of Environmental Change,” pp. 179-196 in Working on Earth: The Intersection of Working-Class Studies and Environmental Justice, ed. C. Robertson and J. Westerman. University of Nevada Press, 2015.

Taking Earth’s Temperature: Delving into Climate’s Past. 56-minute documentary on paleoclimate research. IDEALab Productions/NAU, 2014.

Terms of Engagement,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 30, 2014.

Why Is Germany’s Greenest City Building a Coal-Fired Power Plant?,” InsideClimate News, July 24, 2013 

Despite New Obstacles, Germans Still Aim for Future Without Nukes or Fossil Fuels,” InsideClimate News, June 2, 2013.

A Key Experiment to Probe the Future of Our Acidifying Oceans,” Yale Environment 360, May 2, 2013 

“Will Navajos Approve a Grand Canyon Megadevelopment?” High Country News, Dec. 10, 2012

A Thousand Invisible Cords: From Genes to Ecosystems, writer for PBS documentary on ecosystem genetics, 2012 

What Has Passed and What Remains: Oral Histories of Northern Arizona’s Changing Landscapes. (University of Arizona Press, 2010) [edited collection of first-person narratives about environmental change].

The World’s Best Bad Idea,” Miller-McCune, November 2010 

Nature’s Restoration: People and Places on the Front Lines of Conservation (Island Press, 2006) [nonfiction book profiling the spread of ecological restoration across North America]

“Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light,” in The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004, ed. P. Zaleski. Boston: Houghton Mifflin [essay]