Making Arizona


Resilience in the face of climate change

Arizona is feeling the intensifying effects of global climate change as extreme heat breaks new records and water scarcity concerns grow.

Making Arizona highlights these effects and showcases stories of Arizonans experiencing and addressing aspects of climate change. 

The documentary series will make use of existing knowledge of local climate experts to boil down the often daunting scope of global climate change to a local level. Screenings of the films around the state in combination with discussions are designed to spark community dialogue.

Alongside the films, climate scientists at UArizona will help develop supporting material for existing community groups to augment and amplify their work. Lesson plans for middle and high school will help to fill teachers' need for engaging teaching material on climate change.

Meet the Team

Project Director

Michael Mulcahy

Michael Mulcahy
Associate Professor, Film and Television Program; School of Theatre, Film & Television

Michael Mulcahy is a filmmaker and teacher with over thirty years of experience making documentaries in Arizona. A previous film, CORRECTION, about the training and experiences of correctional officers in the Arizona prison system, screened on PBS nationally. Through his training and experience he has developed a range of technical and creative skills across the range of the entire filmmaking process. Michael is the lead filmmaker and director developing the series and was recently selected as one of nine Udall Center Fellows for 2023-2024, to continue development of Making AZ.

Humanities Scholars 

Jeff Banister

Research Professor, School of Geography, Development and Environment; Director, Southwest Center

Unique perspective
A historical perspective with a focus on visual cultures. Deeply rooted in diverse philosophical approaches to sensing and representing the material world.


Eva K. Romero

​​​​​​Bilingual Writer, President, Board of Directors, Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona

Unique perspective
An awareness of how media products carry socio-politically charged perspectives and anxieties around current events, considering how the series can “come sideways” at the conflicting agendas related to climate change represented in our state.


Octaviana V. Trujillo

Professor and Chair, Department of Applied Indigenous Studies, Northern Arizona University; member of the Yaqui tribe

Unique perspective
A focus on how individual and community actions can be represented in meaningful and respectful ways. Former tribal leader.


Content Experts

The content experts will provide guidance to the project director and the research/writers to ensure reputable and credible climate research is used and represented in effective, accurate ways.

Dr. Gregg Garfin

Director, Arizona Institute for Resilience Science, Translation and Outreach Professor and Extension Specialist, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Dr. Gregg Garfin has worked for more than two decades to bridge the science-society interface through dialogues between scientists and decision makers and collaborative climate and environment research projects. His research focuses on adaptation to a changing climate, climate variability, and drought.


Dr. Mark Kear

Assistant Professor, School of Geography, Development and Environment

Dr. Kear’s work explores the variegated landscape of post-credit-crunch experimentation in non-prime financial institutional development and subject formation through financial education and coaching.


Student Researchers/Writers

Hannah Bensinger, Natural Resources with a minor in Marine Science
Sophia Dixon, Environmental Science with a minor in Journalism
Halley Hughes, Global Change

Philippa Johnstone, Natural Resources
Sohi Kang, Journalism
Nadira Sage Mitchell, Natural Resources with a minor in American Indian Studies

Events and Promotion

Dr. Laura López-Hoffman, Research Professor, Environmental Policy Programs, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy

Connecting the project to the larger network of environmental groups and political entities in the state

Website, event planning and promotion
Olivia Miltner,
Arizona Environment Program Coordinator, Arizona Institute for Resilience
Molli Bryson, Program Coordinator, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
Dietlinde DuPlessis, Studio Arts (Photography)

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