For two decades, Kara Oehler has been leading groundbreaking work at the intersection of sound, documentary art, technology and 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 NY.
Oehler is currently Executive Director of the Institute for Climate Sound & Society at metaLAB Harvard and Freie Universitët Berlin: an interdisciplinary community of practice that brings together sound-based scientists, technologists, scholars, archivists, journalists, curators, and media artists to expand research impact, build new research tools, and de-center humans in public culture and housed at metaLAB Harvard and Freie Universitët Berlin. 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 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 with NPR that documented the 10,466 streets named Main Street in the United States.