A University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication Project

Experiential learning devoted to stories of people and places adapting to a changing climate.


Science & Memory is an experiential learning and creative project dedicated to telling complex stories of adaptation to the climate and environmental change. Began in 2014 with SOJC faculty Mark Blaine, Torsten Kjelstrand, Dan Morrison, and Deb Morrison with a cohort of 18, Science & Memory undergraduate and graduate participants now number well over 200.


Science & Memory teams have traveled to Cordova, Alaska every year since 2014, as well as studying themes on the Oregon Coast, Ghana, and Moku o Loʻe Island off Oahu, Hawai’i. Each experience reminds us of the importance of science communication, strategic understanding of audience, and the beauty of well-crafted work.


SOJC Faculty members Tom McDonnell, Senyo Ofori-Parku, Leslie Steeves, Troy Elias, Ed Madison, Dave Koranda, Hollie Smith, and Shan Anderson have all contributed to the production and guidance of important Science & Memory work.


The project builds student skills of storytelling, research, design, production, project management, and translation of climate  and environmental science. The work you see here will be included in portfolios for advertising, journalism, media studies, and public relations students as they seek careers in these professions uniquely positioned to address climate issues.




Science & Memory is in the world due to the generosity of partners and donors who support the experience. Scott Chambers and the Chambers Family Foundation will forever be a catalyst for our success. John & Kari Boiler and the Boiler Family Fund have been instrumental in supporting students and faculty, as has the Cole Family Fund for Creativity.


Steve & Wendy Ranney and the Orca Adventure Lodge provide a home away from home.


SOJC Dean Juan-Carlos Molleda and Senior Development Officer Lauren Wilcox provide support and direction for our success. Special bravo to Josh Buetow, SOJC Director of Financial Operations, for his patience and guidance.



Science & Memory grows from these goals:

For students

Provide unparalleled experiential learning for students curious about how to tell compelling stories on complex climate and environmental issues in the pacific Northwest, Alaska, and global destinations by putting them in the field with innovative gear and resources.

For storytellers and professionals in-training

Develop stories that engage and compel audiences to be curious thoughtful, and explore the issues of climate and it's broader impacts on people.

For our professions

Train young professionals to use a variety of narrative and visual tools that underscore an ability to translate complex data and fact into compelling factual story.

For our future

Offer audiences an image, a thought, a quote, a social post that compels citizens about the most important issue of our time, one that connects to our economic future, to social justice themes, and to cultural legacy.

For our university

Showcase the development of trans-disciplinary professional approaches to complex cultural issues through narrative story and academic research.


Hearst Award

Multimedia I - Narrative Storytelling

"As We Watch: A Copper River Delta Story" took fifth place in the Hearst Journalism Awards for the Multimedia category Narrative Storytelling. Filmmaker and student producer Owen Schatz worked with a team of dedicated advertising and journalism majors on the Science & Memory team to craft a testimony to the beautiful Copper River Delta.

Fast Company

World Changing Ideas 2019


In 2018, Science & Memory traveled to Accra, Ghana. The team was challenged to use our skills to help explain the benefits of composting to farmers and the public. The resulting campaign won an Honorable Mention in the international Fast Company World-Changing Ideas competition.


One Show - Short List

"Will You Change?"

written by Spencer Orofino

Out of 12,000 submissions, the short video "Will You Change?" made the short list for the One Show in New York City. Science & Memory represented the only Undergraduate program at the event. Videographer and editor, Evan Norton, and writer Spencer Orofino attended the presentation in March 2016. The film gave perspective to glacial retreat using art and unusual point of view.

Hearst Award

Team Reporting Multimedia IV

First Place


National Hearst Foundation Award for Team Multimedia for the collection of work produced by students. The work included photography, video, design, and long form narrative for the Science & Memory website.

The University of Oregon’s first Multimedia Hearst Award.  First Place, $2,600. Melanie Burke, Emma Pindell, Kyra Bailey, Will Saunders, Hayla Beck, Evan Norton, Paige De Paepe, Miro Merrill, Taylor Richmond, Spencer Orofino, Ben McBee, Lili Bayarmagnai, Julia Reihs, Sierra Morgan, Andy Abeyta.

Impact Award - Office of the VP

University of Oregon Innovation and Impact Award from the Office of the Vice-President for Research and Innovation awarded to founding Science & Memory faculty members Mark Blaine, Torsten Kjellstrand, Daniel Morrison, and Deborah Morrison.



JSMA Exhibit Feature

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) curated a series of works in a show called "Cross Cultural Realities"   A collaboration piece by Miro Merrill and Paige DePaepe anchored the show, visually articulating the interrelated existence of keystone species and the environment of the Northwest. The show ran from November 3, 2015 to April 5, 2016.