For two decades, Kara Oehler has been leading groundbreaking work at the intersection of media, documentary art, technology and data journalism. Her Peabody award-winning stories have aired around the world on shows like Radiolab, Morning Edition and Marketplace, been published in The New York Times Magazine & been exhibited at MoMA. Oehler co-founded metaLAB in 2011 and has been a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, a Harvard Film Study Center Fellow, and a United States Artists Fellow.
Oehler is currently incubating the Institute for Climate Sound and Society at metaLAB: an interdisciplinary community of practice that brings together sound-based scientists, technologists, scholars, archivists, data journalists, curators, and media artists to expand research impact, build new research tools, and de-center humans in public culture. This builds on Oehler’s work co-creating the New York Times Magazine’s “Sonic Voyages” issue, the magazine’s first audio-driven issue that featured destinations to visit not to see, but to hear something.
Recently, Oehler reported and produced The COVID Tracking Project Podcast, a three-part radio and podcast series about public health data with “Reveal” at the Center for Investigative Reporting. This grows from her work co-leading the Outreach and Reporting Team at the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, a volunteer organization who compiled and published COVID data for the United States and was cited in nearly 900 academic papers, used by two presidential administrations and published daily in thousands of news stories.
Oehler has also built multiple institutions to further the fields of documentary arts, including co-founding UnionDocs, one of North America’s leading centers for documentary arts, Zeega, and Mapping Main Street, a collaborative project that documented the 10,466 streets named Main Street in the United States.