Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Maxwell T. Boykoff

Research Interests

Maxwell (Max) Boykoff is the Director of the Environmental Studies Program (where he is a Professor) and is also a Fellow in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. He also Adjunct faculty in the Geography Department. Previously, he was Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, which was part of CIRES. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California-Santa Cruz and Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology from The Ohio State University.

Max has ongoing interests in cultural politics and environmental governance, decarbonization, science and environmental communications, science-policy interactions, political economy and the environment, and climate adaptation He has experience working in North America, Central America, Africa, South Asia, Oceania and Europe, and is a co-author and editor of seven books and edited volumes, along with over sixty articles and book chapters. 

Max’s research and creative work has developed primarily in two arenas:

  1. cultural politics of science, climate change and environmental issues = this refers to ways that attitudes, intentions, beliefs and behaviors of individuals and groups shape (and are shaped by) the perceived spectrum of possible action in the context of science-policy, climate change and environmental issues.
  2. transformations of carbon-based economies and societies (with emphasis on the interface of science and practical action) = this refers to decarbonization politics, policies and decision-making, with particular interest in how these activities find meaning in people’s everyday lives, as well as how they, in turn, feed back into science-policy decision-making.

Max integrates these research and creative works with ongoing commitments to mentorship, teaching and service.


Current Courses

Additional Readings


Books

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Culture, Politics and Climate Change
Edited by Deserai A. Crow and Maxwell T. Boykoff

March 2014

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Successful Adaptation to Climate Change
Edited by Susanne Moser and Maxwell Boykoff

Routledge
May 2013

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The New Carbon Economy: Constitution, Governance, and Contestation
Edited by Peter Newell, Maxwell Boykoff, and Emily Boyd

Wiley-Blackwell
January 2012

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Who Speaks for Climate? Making Sense of Media Reporting on Climate Change
by Maxwell Boykoff

Cambridge University Press
September 2011

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The Politics of Climate Change: A Survey
Edited by Maxwell Boykoff
November 2009
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Contentious Geographies: Environmental Knowledge, Meaning, Scale
Edited by Michael K. Goodman, Maxwell T. Boykoff, and Kyle T. Evered
May 2008

 

Current Research

My research and creative work center on two themes. One is the ‘cultural politics of science, policy, and the environment,’ which refers to how the attitudes, intentions, beliefs, and behaviors of individuals and groups shape (and are shaped by) the perceived spectrum of possible action in the context of environmental challenges such as climate change. A second is the transformations of carbon-based economies and societies, with a particular emphasis on the interface of science, sustainability, and practical action, including policies. Through many connected projects and collaborations, my research commitments involve questions of how climate science and policy find meaning in people’s everyday lives, as well as how this, in turn, feeds back into science- policy decision-making. Together, my work has sought to critically analyze the role of various actors and organizations shaping political and cultural dimensions of environmental science and policy discussions in the public arena. 
 
For example:
  • Through the Media and Climate Change Observatory, colleagues and I monitor media coverage of climate change at various scales, updated monthly. We have established and maintain appraisals of 82 sources across 40 countries around the world and monitor country-level coverage in Australia, Canada, Germany, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In addition, through collaborations with Rogelio Fernandez-Reyes in Spain, and Midori Aoyagi-Usui and Shoko Yamaguchi in Japan, we maintain country-level counts there as well. As offshoots from this work, we work with many partners (e.g., Lancet Countdown on climate change and health issues) and we have produced a number of related reports and journal articles.
  • With colleagues Beth Osnes (Theater Department) and Rebecca Safran (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department) we run a multi-faceted project called ‘Inside the Greenhouse’. This project works to deepen our understanding of how issues associated with climate change are/can be communicated, by creating artifacts through interactive theatre, film, fine art, performance art, television programming, and appraising as well as extracting effective methods for multimodal climate communication. We also seek to build competence and confidence in the students with whom we work. The project effectively fosters a deliberative space for CU Boulder students to experiment with creative climate communications and build capacity for more systematic, capable and effective environmental communication strategies. As part of this project we teach numerous courses and produce seasonal events and various research outputs.

Projects

ICECaPs
ICECaps: International Collective on Environment, Culture & Politics Founded in 2012 at the University of Colorado Boulder, the International Collective on Environment, Culture and Politics is a research group that examines some of today’s most pressing environmental issues. ICE CaPs members and affiliates cross disciplines to apply a wide range of theories and perspectives to study issues at the human-environment interface. We work across scales from the individual to the global. Read more ...

 

Inside the Greenhouse
Inside the Greenhouse Max Boykoff and Beth Osnes of the Theater Department at University of Colorado Boulder are working to deepen our understanding of how issues associated with climate change are/can be communicated, by creating artifacts through interactive theatre, film, fine art, performance art, television programming, and appraising as well as extracting effective methods for multimodal climate communication. Read more ...

 

Media Coverage of Climate Change
Media Coverage of Climate Change/Global Warming Monthly updated figure tracking newspaper coverage of climate change or global warming in 50 newspapers across 20 countries and 6 continents. Max Boykoff (University of Colorado) and Maria Mansfield (University of Exeter) continue to track newspaper coverage of climate change or global warming in 50 newspapers across 20 countries and 6 continents. They update this figure on a monthly basis as a resource for journalists, researchers, and others who may be interested in tracking these trends. Max Boykoff also has a book coming out with Cambridge University Press in September 2011 titled Who Speaks for Climate? Making Sense of Media Reporting on Climate Change. Read more ...

 

Red Cross
Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre Internship Program This program seeks to improve climate change communication and adaptation decision-making in response to climate variability and change within the humanitarian sector. It connects humanitarian practitioners from the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre [RC/RC CC] an affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies [IFRC] with science-policy graduate student researchers at the University of Colorado. Read more ...

 


A Note for Prospective Graduate Students

Professor Boykoff is not taking new students in the incoming Fall 2022 class.



Max Boykoff in southern Zambia as part of the CSTPR and Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre collaboration, working on climate adaptation and resilience. Photo: Wisford Mudenda

Max Boykoff speaking at side event at the United Nations Conference of Parties meeting on climate change (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco. Photo: Gregg Walker

View Publications

  • McAllister L; Daly M; Chandler P; McNatt M; Benham A; Boykoff M. (Sep 2021). Balance as bias, resolute on the retreat? Updates & analyses of newspaper coverage in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and Canada over the past 15 years. Environmental Research Letters , 16(9). 10.1088/1748-9326/ac14eb
  • Boykoff M; Chandler P; Church P; Osnes B. (May 2021). Examining climate change and sustainable/fast fashion in the 21st century: ‘Trash the Runway’. , 1(1). 10.1093/oxfclm/kgab003
  • Watts N; Amann M; Arnell N; Ayeb-Karlsson S; Beagley J; Belesova K; Boykoff M; Byass P; Cai W; Campbell-Lendrum D. (Jan 2021). The 2020 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: responding to converging crises. The Lancet , 397(10269), 129-170. 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32290-X
  • Pearman O; Boykoff M; Osborne-Gowey J; Aoyagi M; Ballantyne AG; Chandler P; Daly M; Doi K; Fernandez-Reyes R; Jimenez-Gomez I. (Jan 2021). COVID-19 media coverage decreasing despite deepening crisis. Lancet Planetary Health , 5(1), E6-E7.
  • Leon B; Boykoff MT; Jordan CR. (Jan 2021). Climate change perception among Spanish undergraduates. A reception study on the combination of the local, global, gain and loss frames. COMMUNICATION & SOCIETY-SPAIN , 34(1), 57-75. 10.15581/003.34.1.57-75
  • Boykoff M; Oonk D. (Nov 2020). Evaluating the perils and promises of academic climate advocacy. Climatic Change: an interdisciplinary, international journal devoted to the description, causes and implications of climatic change , 163(1), 27-41. 10.1007/s10584-018-2339-3
  • Almiron N; Boykoff M; Narberhaus M; Heras F. (Sep 2020). Dominant counter-frames in influential climate contrarian European think tanks. Climatic Change: an interdisciplinary, international journal devoted to the description, causes and implications of climatic change , 162(4), 2003-2020. 10.1007/s10584-020-02820-4
  • Timm KMF; Maibach EW; Boykoff M; Myers TA; Broeckelman-Post MA. (Jan 2020). The Prevalence and Rationale for Presenting an Opposing Viewpoint in Climate Change Reporting: Findings from a US National Survey of TV Weathercasters. Weather, Climate and Society , 12(1), 103-115. 10.1175/WCAS-D-19-0063.1
  • Boykoff M. (Jan 2020). Digital cultures and climate change: ‘Here and now’. Journal of Environmental Media , 1(1), 21-25. 10.1386/jem_00003_1
  • Boykoff, M. and O. Pearman. (November 22 2019). Now or Never: How Media Coverage of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5C Shaped Climate-Action Deadlines. One Earth, 1(3). 10.1016/j.oneear.2019.10.026
  • Watts, N; Amann, M; Arnell, N; Ayeb-Karlsson, S; Belesova, K; Boykoff, M; Byass, P; Cai, WJ; Campbell-Lendrum, D; Capstick, S; Chambers, J; Dalin, C; Daly, M; Dasandi, N; Davies, M; Drummond, P; Dubrow, R; Ebi, KL; Eckelman, M; Ekins, P; Escobar, LE; Montoya, LF; Georgeson, L; Graham, H; Haggar, P; Hamilton, I; Hartinger, S; Hess, J; Kelman, I; Kiesewetter, G; Kjellstrom, T; Kniveton, D; Lemke, B; Liu, Y; Lott, M; Lowe, R; Sewe, MO; Martinez-Urtaza, J; Maslin, M; McAllister, L; McGushin, A; Mikhaylov, SJ; Milner, J; Moradi-Lakeh, M; Morrissey, K; Murray, K; Munzert, S; Nilsson, M; Neville, T; Oreszczyn, T; Owfi, F; Pearman, O; Pencheon, D; Phung, D; Pye, S; Quinn, R; Rabbaniha, M; Robinson, E; Rocklov, J; Semenza, JC; Sherman, J; Shumake-Guillemot, J; Tabatabaei, M; Taylor, J; Trinanes, J; Wilkinson, P; Costello, A; Gong, P; Montgomery, H. (16-Nov 2019). The 2019 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: ensuring that the health of a child born today is not defined by a changing climate. LANCET, 394(10211), 1836-1878. 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32596-6
  • Osnes, B., M. Boykoff, and P. Chandler. (2019). Good-natured comedy to enrich climate communication. Comedy Studies. 10.1080/2040610X.2019.1623513
  • Wibeck, V; Linner, BO; Alves, M; Asplund, T; Bohman, A; Boykoff, MT; Feetham, PM; Huang, Y; Nascimento, J; Rich, J; Rocha, CY; Vaccarino, F; Xian, S. (2-Apr 2019). Stories of Transformation: A Cross-Country Focus Group Study on Sustainable Development and Societal Change. SUSTAINABILITY, 11(8). 10.3390/su11082427
  • Ghosh, A; Boykoff, M. (FEB 2019). Framing sustainability and climate change: Interrogating discourses in vernacular and English-language media in Sundarbans, India. GEOFORUM, 99, 142-153. 10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.11.014
  • Boykoff, M; Osnes, B. (JAN 2019). A Laughing matter? Confronting climate change through humor. POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY, 68, 154-163. 10.1016/j.polgeo.2018.09.006
  • Watts, N, M Amann, N Arnell, S Ayeb-Karlsson, K Belesova, H Berry, T Bouley, M Boykoff, P Byass, WJ Cai, D Campbell-Lendrum, J Chambers, M Daly, N Dasandi, M Davies, A Depoux, P Dominguez-Salas, P Drummond, KL Ebi, P Ekins, LF Montoya, H Fischer, L Georgeson, D Grace, H Graham, I Hamilton, S Hartinger, J Hess, I Kelman, G Kiesewetter, T Kjellstrom, D Kniveton, B Lemke, L Liang, M Lott, R Lowe, MO Sewe, J Martinez-Urtaza, M Maslin, L McAllister, SJ Mikhaylov, J Milner, M Moradi-Lakeh, K Morrissey, K Murray, M Nilsson, T Neville, T Oreszczyn, F Owfi, O Pearman, D Pencheon, S Pye, M Rabbaniha, E Robinson, J Rocklov, O Saxer, S Schutte, JC Semenza, J Shumake-Guillemot, R Steinbach, M Tabatabaei, J Tomei, J Trinanes, N Wheeler, P Wilkinson, P Gong, H Montgomery and A Costello. (8-Dec 2018). The 2018 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: shaping the health of nations for centuries to come. LANCET, 392(10163), 2479-2514. 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32594-7
  • Boykoff, M. (OCT 2018). Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore. NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE, 8(10), 853-853. 10.1038/s41558-018-0288-5
  • Leon, B; Boykoff, M; Huda, J; Rodrigo, C. (2018). Framing in Climate Change Videos. COMMUNICATING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY THROUGH ONLINE VIDEO: RESEARCHING A NEW MEDIA PHENOMENON, 107-119.
  • Watts, N, M Amann, S Ayeb-Karlsson, K Belesova, T Bouley, M Boykoff, P Byass, WJ Cai, D Campbell-Lendrum, J Chambers, PM Cox, M Daly, N Dasandi, M Davies, M Depledge, A Depoux, P Dominguez-Salas, P Drummond, P Ekins, A Flahault, H Frumkin, L Georgeson, M Ghanei, D Grace, H Graham, R Grojsman, A Haines, I Hamilton, S Hartinger, A Johnson, I Kelman, G Kiesewetter, D Kniveton, L Liang, M Lott, R Lowe, G Mace, MO Sewe, M Maslin, S Mikhaylov, J Milner, AM Latifi, M Moradi-Lakeh, K Morrissey, K Murray, T Neville, M Nilsson, T Oreszczyn, F Owfi, D Pencheon, S Pye, M Rabbaniha, E Robinson, J Rocklov, S Schutte, J Shumake-Guillemot, R Steinbach, M Tabatabaei, N Wheeler, P Wilkinson, P Gong, H Montgomery and A Costello. (10-Feb 2018). The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: from 25 years of inaction to a global transformation for public health. LANCET, 391(10120), 581-630. 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32464-9
  • Boykoff, M. (JUL 2016). Climate Change as Social Drama: Global Warming in the Public Sphere. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, 122(1), 299-301. 10.1086/686044
  • Boykoff, M. T. and G. Luedecke. (2016). Elite News Coverage of Climate Change. Oxford Res. Encycl. Clim. Sci.. 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.357
  • Goodman, MK, J Littler, D Brockington and M Boykoff. (2016). Spectacular environmentalisms: media, knowledge and the framing of ecological politics. ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION-A JOURNAL OF NATURE AND CULTURE, 10(6), 677-688. 10.1080/17524032.2016.1219489
  • Fischhendler, I, D Boymel and MT Boykoff. (3-Mar 2016). How Competing Securitized Discourses over Land Appropriation Are Constructed: The Promotion of Solar Energy in the Israeli Desert. ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION-A JOURNAL OF NATURE AND CULTURE, 10(2), 147-168. 10.1080/17524032.2014.979214
  • Boykoff, MT. (2016). CONSENSUS AND CONTRARIANISM ON CLIMATE CHANGE HOW THE USA CASE INFORMS DYNAMICS ELSEWHERE. METODE SCIENCE STUDIES JOURNAL(6), 89-95. 10.7203/metode.85.4182
  • Fischhendler, I, G Cohen-Blankshtain, Y Shuali and M Boykoff. (OCT 2015). Communicating mega-projects in the face of uncertainties: Israeli mass media treatment of the Dead Sea Water Canal. PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE, 24(7), 794-810. 10.1177/0963662513512440
  • Gold, AU, DJ Oonk, L Smith, MT Boykoff, B Osnes and SB Sullivan. (2015). Lens on Climate Change: Making Climate Meaningful Through Student-Produced Videos. JOURNAL OF GEOGRAPHY, 114(6), 235-246. 10.1080/00221341.2015.1013974
  • ONeill, S, HTP Williams, T Kurz, B Wiersma and M Boykoff. (APR 2015). Dominant frames in legacy and social media coverage of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE, 5(4), 380-+. 10.1038/nclimate2535
  • Anderegg, WRL, ES Callaway, MT Boykoff, G Yohe and TL Root. (SEP 2014). AWARENESS OF BOTH TYPE 1 AND 2 ERRORS IN CLIMATE SCIENCE AND ASSESSMENT. BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, 95(9), 1445-1451. 10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00115.1
  • Suarez, P, JM de Suarez, B Koelle and M Boykoff. (2014). Serious fun Scaling up community-based adaptation through experiential learning. COMMUNITY-BASED ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE: SCALING IT UP, 136-151.
  • Bailey, A, L Giangola and MT Boykoff. (3-Apr 2014). How Grammatical Choice Shapes Media Representations of Climate (Un)certainty. ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION-A JOURNAL OF NATURE AND CULTURE, 8(2), 197-215. 10.1080/17524032.2014.906481
  • Liverman, D, SC Moser, PS Weiland, L Dilling, MT Boykoff, HE Brown, ES Gordon, C Greene, E Holthaus, DA Niemeier, S Pincetl, WJ Steenburgh and VC Tidwell. (2013). Climate Choices for a Sustainable Southwest. ASSESSMENT OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES: A REPORT PREPARED FOR THE NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT, 405-435. 10.5822/978-1-61091-484-0_18
  • Boykoff, MT. (JUN 2013). Public Enemy No. 1?: Understanding Media Representations of Outlier Views on Climate Change. AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST, 57(6), 796-817. 10.1177/0002764213476846
  • Boykoff, M. T. and S. K. Olson. (October 25 2013). ‘Wise contrarians’: a keystone species in contemporary climate science, politics and policy. Celebrity Studies, 4(3), 276-291. 10.1080/19392397.2013.831618
  • Boykoff, MT and T Yulsman. (SEP 2013). Political economy, media, and climate change: sinews of modern life. WILEY INTERDISCIPLINARY REVIEWS-CLIMATE CHANGE, 4(5), 359-371. 10.1002/wcc.233
  • ONeill, SJ, M Boykoff, S Niemeyer and SA Day. (APR 2013). On the use of imagery for climate change engagement. GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS, 23(2), 413-421. 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.11.006
  • Boykoff, MT. (JUL 2012). Digitally Enabled Social Change: Activism in the Internet Age. CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY-A JOURNAL OF REVIEWS, 41(4), 486-487. 10.1177/0094306112449614h
  • Rick, UK, MT Boykoff and RA Pielke. (JAN-MAR 2011). Effective media reporting of sea level rise projections: 1989-2009. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 6(1). 10.1088/1748-9326/6/1/014004
  • ONeill, SJ and M Boykoff. (28-Sep 2010). Climate denier, skeptic, or contrarian?. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 107(39), E151-E151. 10.1073/pnas.1010507107
  • Knight, J, C Caseldine and MT Boykoff. (SEP 2010). Why We Disagree About Climate Change. Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity. GEOGRAPHICAL JOURNAL, 176, 267-269. 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2010.00371.x
  • Boykoff, M. (JUN 2010). Turning down the heat: the politics of climate policy in affluent democracies. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING C-GOVERNMENT AND POLICY, 28(3), 569-570.
  • Bottrill, C, D Liverman and M Boykoff. (JAN-MAR 2010). Carbon soundings: greenhouse gas emissions of the UK music industry. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 5(1). 10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/014019
  • Boykoff, MT, D Frame and S Randalls. (FEB 2010). Discursive stability meets climate instability: A critical exploration of the concept of climate stabilization in contemporary climate policy. GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS, 20(1), 53-64. 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.09.003
  • Boykoff, M. (2009). Los medios y la comunicación científica. Infoamérica, 1, 117-127.
  • Boykoff, M. (2009). El caso del cambio climático: los medios y la comunicación científica científica. Infoamérica, Agosto-Diciembre, 117-127.
  • Hulme, M, M Boykoff, J Gupta, T Heyd, J Jaeger, D Jamieson, MC Lemos, K O'Brien, T Roberts, J Rockstrom and C Vogel. (15-May 2009). Conference Covered Climate from All Angles. SCIENCE, 324(5929), 881-882.
  • Boykoff, MT. (2009). We Speak for the Trees: Media Reporting on the Environment. ANNUAL REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENT AND RESOURCES, 34, 431-457. 10.1146/annurev.environ.051308.084254
  • Boykoff, M. (2008). The Real Swindle. Nature Reports Climate Change, 2(2), 31-32. 10.1038/climate.2008.14
  • Boykoff, MT. (JUN 2008). The cultural politics of climate change discourse in UK tabloids. POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY, 27(5), 549-569. 10.1016/j.polgeo.2008.05.002
  • Boykoff, MT and M Mansfield. (APR-JUN 2008). 'Ye Olde Hot Aire'*: reporting on human contributions to climate change in the UK tabloid press. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 3(2). 10.1088/1748-9326/3/2/024002
  • Boykoff, MT. (OCT 2007). From convergence to contention: United States mass media representations of anthropogenic climate change science. TRANSACTIONS OF THE INSTITUTE OF BRITISH GEOGRAPHERS, 32(4), 477-489. 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2007.00270.x
  • Boykoff, MT. (DEC 2007). Flogging a dead norm? Newspaper coverage of anthropogenic climate change in the United States and United Kingdom from 2003 to 2006. AREA, 39(4), 470-481. 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2007.00769.x
  • Khalsa, SJS, MB Dyurgerov, T Khromova, BH Raup and RG Barry. (OCT 2004). Space-based mapping of glacier changes using ASTER and GIS tools. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 42(10), 2177-2183. 10.1109/TGRS.2004.834636