Sandra Westdahl

Landmark Stories, the University of Arizona
Portrait of Sandra Westdahl


Panel: Voices Unheard in Environmental Justice

Sunday, March 12, 4 p.m.

Surround Stage

PANEL: Voices Unheard in Environmental Justice
with Denise Moreno Ramírez, Sandra Westdahl and Elena Lopez

Watch the discussion on YOUTUBE:

In the early 1980s, high levels of a cancer-causing solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE, were found in the groundwater in south Tucson. For decades, community members have fought to get the TCE plume cleaned up and now another contaminant of emerging concern, PFAS, poses a new threat to the groundwater.

Landmark Stories documents one University of Arizona researcher’s work to listen, share, and preserve the voices of a community fighting for environmental justice.

Join the producer, story animator, and researcher behind the environmental justice documentary for a sneak preview of the film and a discussion on the responsibility filmmakers and scientists have to work collaboratively with communities to amplify and empower unheard voices in science.

Landmark Stories is an award-winning documentary team placed within the national Experiment Station system, a federally supported effort to facilitate and disseminate scientific innovation. Their films help bring science and its impact on communities to broader audiences.


Sandra Westdahl is a National Edward R. Murrow award-winning documentary filmmaker with a driving passion for social issues and bringing intimate stories to the screen. In her current role as the Team Leader and Senior Producer at Landmark Stories, she wants to tell stories that build relationships and bring attention to communities that are disproportionately impacted by environmental and social injustices.

Before embarking on a career as a visual storyteller, Sandra worked as a print journalist in her home country of Sweden.

She completed her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Arizona and worked as a video producer fellow with The New York Times Journalism Institute. She spent more than five years working for PBS 6 producing, filming and editing documentary shorts with a focus on social justice and equality.

Since making the transition to film, Sandra has received 13 Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards, three Telly Awards as well as four regional and one national Edward R. Murrow Awards for her work. Her work has been featured nationally on PBS NewsHour Weekend and NPR Tiny Desk Contest.