Maggie Burnette Stogner Professor SOC - School of Communication

Maggie Burnette Stogner is the Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking (www.environmentalfilm.org) and a professor of Film and Media Arts. She brings over 30 years of filmmaking


  (202) 885-2160

Leena Jayaswal Professor SOC - School of Communication

Leena Jayaswal is a documentary filmmaker, award-winning photographer and Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington DC, where she is the director of the new BA in P


  (202) 885-2662

Larry Engel Associate Professor SOC - School of Communication

With nearly 40 years of teaching and filmmaking, and 250 projects, his documentaries appear on PBS, the Discovery Channels, and National Geographic, among many other outlets. Awards include a Daytime


  (202) 885-2688

Sarah Menke-Fish Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning SOC - School of Communication

Sarah Menke-Fish is a full-time professor of Film and Media Arts. She serves as Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning and Associate Director for the Center for Environmental Filmmaking. Menke-Fish l


  (202) 885-2098

Krzysztof Pietroszek Assistant Professor SOC - School of Communication

Dr. Pietroszek is a tenure-track professor in the Film and Media Arts Division of the School of Communication.  He is the Founding Director of the Institute for Immersive Designs, Experiences, Applica


Larry Kirkman

Larry Kirkman

Director, Science Communication Lab

Larry Kirkman is professor emeritus, Film and Media Arts, and dean emeritus, School of Communication, American University. He is director of the Science Communication Lab in the Center for Environmental Filmmaking.

Email: larry@american.edu
Phone: (202) 262-9230


Research Fellow

Leah Mahan

Award-winning independent documentary filmmaker Leah Mahan will work with the Center this year on new initiatives such as the Diversity & Impact workshop and evening program during the DC-Environmental Film (March 22nd) and Filmmaker Resources including a case study of her powerful documentary “Come Hell or Highwater: The Battle for Turkey Creek.” Leah’s work has been nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, and has been supported by Sundance, ITVS, Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

CEF Campus Ambassador

Devan Ogburn

Devan Ogburn is a senior at AU majoring in the School of International Service with a concentration in Peace, Global Security, and Conflict Resolution, with a minor in African American and African Diaspora Studies. Devan serves as an Ambassador for both the AU Admissions office and the AU Abroad Buddy Program, and is a mentor for the Sister Sister AU organization. She has had a passion for environmental protection and literacy amongst youth since high school, is on the board of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and works in her community and at AU to provide a healthier environment for generations to come.



CEF director Maggie Burnette Stogner is joined by 2020/2021 Graduate Assistants Nick Tucker, Asia Denise, Jess Wiegandt, Lia Nydes, and Nicole Wackerly. Each of these filmmakers are passionate about producing films that cultivate communities of environmental awareness, justice, and action. 


Crystal Berg

Crystal's thesis documentary will explore climate-induced polar/grizzly bear hybridization in the Canadian Arctic. Working alongside biologists and local guides, this film sets out to examine this rare, yet growing phenomenon, and what is means for the future of polar bears. 

Robert Boyd

Robert's producing a short documentary about the abundant microbial growth, flourishing in kitchens and bathrooms, due to water wastefulness. His film, Table to Toilet: Fueling a Microbial Bonfire, will hold a microscopic mirror up to viewers, showing them the immediate, and close to home effects, of their wasteful water usage.

Mary Alice Mcmillan

Mary Alice McMillan is an MFA candidate in American University’s Film and Media Arts program. A North Carolina native, she is passionate about stories of rural America and the intersection between the environment and health. She is developing her thesis film about breast cancer-related genetic disorders and the role that environmental factors play in the study of genetics. Mary Alice hopes to pursue a career as an independent documentary filmmaker and share stories to create positive change.


Jay has a particular interest in relatively unexplored aesthetic approach to photography and filming.

Jay's project, ALL RED: Great Falls National Park is an experimental environmental short film that examines Great Falls National Park solely through the use of the infrared spectrum. It is the first infrared experimental/environmental film recorded with a raw video codec using a dedicated infrared cinema camera.


As Shannon is working on her thesis film, simple and clear is not enough. SCICOMM: Raising Our Voice for Science in Public Policy will show what scientists deduce to be the next step in communicating science, why it is important and why it has to be different.

Ashley Luke

Ashley's producing a short documentary about the climate refugees of Louisiana's bayou. An area still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Katrina more than 10 years later caused alarming displacement of the coastal region. The documentary will examine how these refugees have adapted to the natural and manmade threats to their environment.