This ain't your father's climate science.
In collaboration with photographers Charlie Naebeck and Jordan Matter, creator of the New York Times bestseller "Dancers Among Us," we’ve made a 2014 wall calendar that features 13 powerful portraits of climate scientists and their research.
Most of what the public knows about climate science comes from distillations of scientific papers. The people behind these papers, their passion and their everyday working environments are rarely seen.
Our goal is to humanize science and increase understanding of current climate research, without being boring. Who’s studying Earth's climate? Why? Where? How? And what are they learning?
Scientists use climate models—computer programs that simulate the interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, land surface and ice—to learn what will happen to climate in the future. The Climate Models calendar uses scientists as models to teach climate science.
Photos in the calendar shatter stereotypes of scientists and show that they're a diverse group of people doing important research to understand how our planet works. From studies of drought in the American Southwest to reconstructions of Southeast Asia's climate history using data obtained from tree rings, the information in the calendar covers a broad range of current climate science and describes what scientists are discovering about Earth's past, present and future climate.
These portraits bring climate research into the public realm, breaking barriers between scientists and non-scientists, and bringing a face to this important research. Messages in the calendar describe how scientists collect climate data, measure changes in the environment over time and analyze this information to understand past, present and future climate.
The 12x9 calendar features renowned climate scientists and their research, along with information like their favorite dataset, chart or climate phenomenon. The calendar also includes dates of weather and climate events that live in infamy, dates of key scientific meetings and more. Participating researchers work at Columbia University's International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Why kick start the Climate Models calendar?
We've had a photo shoot and designed the calendar, and even received a grant from the New York City chapter of the Awesome Foundation. Now we need to raise funds to print it. That's where you come in. We believe in the power of this calendar to increase scientific literacy and want to distribute as many as possible. Meeting our funding goal will enable us to do this by covering the cost of printing our first run of calendars.
Any money raised above and beyond our goal will be used for education and outreach activities.
And, Grist liked it so much they said, "The hottest new calendar is this one featuring (fully clothed) climate scientists." The calendar has also been covered by the Smithsonian Magazine, Climate Central and OnEarth Magazine.
The Climate Models Roadshow
You can imagine how we feel about skeptics. Want to know more about what your pledge is supporting? Come see us in action! This fall Climate Models will storm into New York City and San Francisco. Those on the East Coast can catch us during Marfa Dialogues/New York, a series of events merging art and climate science. We received a grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to participate and will host an event for the public with images and some of our climate models on November 12 at 7 p.m. at the Rauschenberg Project Space in Chelsea.
The scientific community can meet us in December when we bring the calendar to the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. This is the world's largest gathering of Earth and space scientists: 20,000 of them converge in San Francisco to discuss their research (think science fair for adults). We're presenting a poster on the calendar in the session Achieving Widespread Climate Literacy Through Innovative Engagement Strategies, Effective Partnerships, and Large-Scale Networks. Please stop by on Tuesday afternoon if you're attending AGU.
Risks and challenges
Our desire is to increase scientific literacy and revolutionize science communication. This can happen with your support.
We've already faced a few challenges in the process of producing the calendar, including a federal government shutdown, food poisoning and temperamental models. We're only kidding about one of those.
Our hope is that these are the most difficult obstacles we'll encounter. That said, we now face the challenge of reaching the broadest possible audience. Our vision for this calendar is centered around creating an exciting new way to communicate climate science. We've succeeded with that. Now we need to get the word out.
Meeting our funding goal enables to get the calendars printed. We expect the calendar to become popular in the scientific community. The challenge will be reaching a wide audience of both people who are already familiar with climate science and people who just don't know what they're missing. Our plan for reaching the masses involves word of mouth, public presentations and the internets. Got an idea for how we can get the word out? Please let us know.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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