Peter Friederici, MS

Peter Friederici Professor & Director, MA Program in Sustainable Communities
Northern Arizona University
Blg SBS West Rm #278
Phone: 928-523-6378

Research and teaching 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 offered

  • Environmental Reporting
  • Environmental Communication
  • Ecological Oral Histories
  • First-year Seminar: Understanding Risk
  • Communicating Science

Representative research and creative activity


Goin, P., and P. Friederici. 2016. A New Form of Beauty: Glen Canyon Beyond Climate Change. Photography book about landscape and climate change, with Peter Goin. University of Arizona Press. (

Friederici, P., and K. Lancaster. 2016. Living with Fire at Grand Canyon. 4-minute documentary film on ecological role of fire at Grand Canyon National Park.

Friederici, P. 2015. “‘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.

Friederici, P. In press. “Private Memories of Public Precipitation: Gathering and Assessing Ecological Oral Histories in an Era of Climate Change,” in The Land Speaks: New Voices at the Intersection of Oral and Environmental History, ed. Debbie Lee and Kathryn Newfont, Oxford University Press.

Friederici, P. 2015. “Generating Controversy,” National Parks 89 (March): 46-52 (

Friederici, P. 2015. “Star Trek: How Birds Use Electromagnetic Cues to Travel,” Audubon 117: 48-53 (

Boone, Boone D., and Friederici, P. 2014. Taking Earth’s Temperature: Delving into Climate’s Past. 56-minute documentary on paleoclimate research, for screening on PBS. IDEALab Productions/NAU. (

Friederici, P. 2014. “Terms of Engagement,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 30 (

Friederici, P. 2014. “Phoenix tries to rise above the flames,” High Country News 46, no. 1 (Jan. 20): 8-9. (

“WW II-Era Law Keeps Germany Hooked on ‘Brown Coal’ Despite Renewables Shift,” InsideClimate News, October 1, 2013 (link:

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

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

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

“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 (link:

What Has Passed and What Remains. Permanent multimedia oral history exhibit at the Pioneer Museum, Flagstaff

What Has Passed and What Remains: Oral Histories of Northern Arizona’s Changing Landscapes (University of Arizona Press, 2010)

“The World’s Best Bad Idea,” Miller-McCune, November 2010 (link:

Nature’s Restoration: People and Places on the Front Lines of Conservation (Island Press, 2006)

“Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light,” in The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004, ed. P. Zaleski (Houghton Mifflin)

Links of interest (Introduction to the MA Program in Sustainable Communities, which I direct) (An overview of NAU’s Ecological Oral Histories project) (personal webpage) 


  • 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)