Original video documentaries, photo essays, and data visualizations.

In Upstate New York, Leather’s Long Shadow

As its name implies, Gloversville, New York, was once the leather glove capital of the world and tanning of all kinds thrived across Fulton County. That heavily polluting industry fled to the developing world when it fell under emerging U.S. environmental regulations, and Gloversville has never been the same.

Skin Deep: Feeding the Global Lust for Leather

In this first installment of a four-part series examining the evolution and movement of the international tanning and textiles industries, Undark visits key leather-tanning districts in Bangladesh and India, where jobs are precious and workers — oftentimes children — process animal hides for a global market.

The Measure of a Fog: Geoengineering

With the exception of rogue experiments, most geoengineering schemes — which aim to reverse climate change on a planetary scale — are still in the “what if” phase, and caution would seem to dictate that we go slowly. Still, with temperatures and emissions still rising, such ideas could gain new urgency.

Flying In, Flying Away

Melting ice means that bird species of the North Atlantic and North Pacific — separated for millennia by a frozen sea too large and bereft of food to cross — now have a passage between oceans. Their migrations suggest unprecedented shifts in the native ecosystem of the Chukchi Sea, and the globe.

The Measure of a Fog: Energy

The climate problem is an energy challenge. Fossil fuels are the lifeblood of the our world, and virtually everything we do, make, buy, drive, wear, and consume is touched by or dependent on the infrastructure use to harvest, distribute and burn coal, natural gas, or oil. How do you replace an energy system?

The Measure of a Fog: Carbon

The carbon cycle describes how carbon moves through Earth’s systems. As a result, it determines the fate of our fossil fuel emissions — and the future of our climate. But like the climate itself, it can feel a little abstract, or hard to pin down.

Face Masks and Forensics

The University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa houses hundreds of masks, molded from the faces of Africans both dead and alive. Many of these masks were created under racist pretenses, but they may serve an important purpose today in validating forensic facial reconstruction technology.

Don’t Save Mallows Bay

It was easy for me, out on the water, to surrender to the romance of this maritime graveyard. I am both an ecologist and an environmentalist. I value historic places. But from afar, tough questions nagged at me, including this one: Is this place really valuable enough for federal protection?

The Measure of a Fog: Distance

The changes we’re making to the planet’s complex machinery — changes arising from a colorless, odorless gas tied to positive-sounding things like progress and prosperity — can seem both placeless and everywhere. In a short-film series, we explore the scale of climate change, and why it’s so hard to fathom.

Coming Soon: Undark Multimedia

Please check back soon for Undark’s emerging collection of original video documentaries, data visualizations, photo essays, and other visual journalism, which will be published several times a year.