ASU appoints leading documentary filmmaker, sustainability expert as Professor of Practice

Peter Byck RT

TEMPE, Ariz. – April 18, 2013 – Arizona State University has appointed documentary filmmaker Peter Byck to jointly serve as Professor of Practice for the Global Institute of Sustainability’s School of Sustainability and for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Byck focuses on issues of environmental sustainability and he has more than 20 years’ experience as a writer and producer. His most recent documentary, the widely acclaimed Carbon Nation™, is a “climate change solutions movie (that doesn’t even care if you believe in climate change).” The film was recently featured during an interview with Byck on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” show. Byck’s new installments in the “Carbon Nation 2.0” film series will be co-branded with ASU.

Byck will teach a short film documentary course to educate and provide hands-on experience to students on communicating contemporary principles, ideas, concepts, and issues of sustainability; documentary film-making and marketing; and storytelling on sustainability-related topics. The course will be offered in the fall semester of 2013.

“Storytelling is the missing link to creating the clean energy revolution,” states Byck. “Combining the vast resources of ASU (sustainability education, research, business practices and global partnerships) with the expertise, connections and storytelling skills of Carbon Nation ™ will create a powerful, long-running media campaign.”

In April, Byck kicks off a new sustainability lecture series for the Institute, called “Carbon Nation Conversations.” This interview-style format includes live audience discussion to stimulate an exchange of ideas focused on climate change solutions.

“Peter knows how to effectively engage an audience and stimulate a thoughtful debate about some of the greatest challenges to sustainability,” said Rob Melnick, executive director of the Global Institute of Sustainability.

Byck’s office will be located at ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus, where he will have access to filmmaking resources at the Cronkite School, as he is also partnering with ASU to develop and co-brand a series of short films based on the Carbon Nation™ movie about climate change solutions.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for ASU students to learn from a highly experienced documentary filmmaker with a passion for his craft and for the subject matter of sustainability,” added Christopher Callahan, founding dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and vice provost of ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus.

The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU’s sustainability initiatives. The Institute advances research, education, and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first comprehensive program of its kind in the U.S., offers transdisciplinary degree programs to create practical solutions for environmental, economic, and social challenges. For more information, visit the Global Institute of Sustainability at

The Cronkite School, named in honor of the longtime “CBS News” anchor in 1984, prepares the next generation of journalists in both the time-honored fundamentals embraced by Cronkite and the multimedia skills necessary to thrive as journalists in the digital age. Housed in a $71 million state-of-the-art media complex in downtown Phoenix, the school is the home of the Carnegie-Knight News 21 Initiative, Cronkite News Service, Cronkite NewsWatch and the New Media Innovation Lab.


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