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Announcing the 2019 Climate Art Fellow, Dr. Nigella Hillgarth!

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Climate Art Fellow is Dr. Nigella Hillgarth. She will be working with our partners at the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (CAICE) to explore the role of atmospheric chemistry to tell the story of our changing climate.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Nigella Hillgarth will be the 2019 Climate Art Fellow! This year’s fellowship is sponsored through a unique collaboration between the Climate Science Alliance and our partners at the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation and the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (CAICE) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

This summer, Dr. Hillgarth will be working with CAICE researchers to explore the role of atmospheric chemistry and movement of microbes to tell the story of a changing climate and its impact on the earth and its inhabitants. We anticipate that the art that emerges from this partnership will be utilized to help us better engage with local communities on climate impacts and solutions that can lead to informed decisions that enhance our resilience to climate change impacts.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Dr. Hillgarth is an environmental advocate and photographer concerned with the impacts of climate change on ocean and coastal ecosystems. Her work on Greenland ice and sea level rise has been shown on the East coast and San Diego and her recent work has focused on coastal birds and climate change. Dr. Hillgarth has had an extensive career as a scientist, educator, and leader and was the Executive Director of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego from 2002 - 2014 where she directed the first major climate change exhibit on the West Coast.


You can see Dr. Nigella Hillgarth's show "Climate Change at Midnight" at the UC San Diego Faculty Club until the end of June.


Instagram: @nhillgarth


Dr. Hillgarth will also be joining our team of Affiliated Artists. Learn more about the newest member of the Alliance family by reading our Q&A:

Climate Science Alliance (Alliance): When did photography begin to play an influential role in your life?

Dr. Nigella Hillgarth (Dr. Hillgarth): I have been a keen photographer ever since I went to Antartica 13 years ago and in past five years photography has become a very important way in which I connect with the environment.

Alliance: Has your time spent with nature through photography influenced your research and work with environmental nonprofits? What lessons/inspirations did you bring back to the office?

Dr. Hillgarth: Definitely - photography has taught me to see nature more intensely and to appreciate the beauty of the world as well as all the environmental issue that confront us. So nature photography has helped to keep me balanced as well as focused on the mission of the nonprofits I worked with.

Alliance: What was your “climate moment” – the moment that made you want to do something about climate change?

Dr. Hillgarth: I really can not remember - It has been with me for a long time, but working at Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists on the climate exhibit opened my eyes to the agency of the issue in about 2004.

Alliance: What is one of your favorite interactions you've had while photographing nature?

Dr. Hillgarth: Being out at Midnight in June in Greenland watching the sun set and rise resulting in extraordinary light - wonderful for photography!

Alliance: What advice would you give to a Climate Kid?

Dr. Hillgarth: Find ways to connect to nature and the environment in general and drawing, painting and photography are wonderful ways to connect and get closer to nature and the problems our planet Earth is having right now.

All images can be found on Dr. Hillgarth's website here.

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