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Summit Art Showcase Highlights 15 Artists’ Interpretations of Transformational Climate Adaptation

Fifteen artists shared their interpretations of what transformational climate adaptation means, sounds, looks, and feels like in a pop-up art showcase at the 2023 San Diego Climate Summit held at the San Diego Natural History Museum on September 20th.

a collage of artworks from the Summit Art Showcase

As part of the recent 2023 San Diego Climate Summit, held on Kumeyaay land at the San Diego Natural History Museum on September 20th, the Climate Science Alliance invited artists to ask themselves what transformational climate adaptation means, sounds, looks, and feels like. Fifteen artists were selected to be a part of the Summit’s pop-up art showcase.

Graphic is blue and red icons surrounding the words "2023 San Diego Climate Summit"

Meet the artists below and head to the 2023 San Diego Climate Summit webpage to see the event summary and photo gallery!


Photo of Adi Khen


Adi Khen is a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Jennifer Smith’s Lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), UC San Diego. Adi currently studies local intertidal ecosystems, both through a herbarium (pressed seaweed) collection and as part of the TIDES project co-led by SIO and the Tribal Marine Stewards Network. Adi is an affiliated artist with Climate Science Alliance and is passionate about using art to communicate science more creatively and effectively.

Photo of Andrea Sanchez Davidson


Surfgrass Productions

Andrea Sanchez Davidson is the co-founder of Surfgrass Productions, a production company focused on ocean and coastal storytelling that connects science, nature, and environmental justice through film. The interdisciplinary Masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation program at UC San Diego motivated her to use her creativity and passion for filmmaking to inspire others to be curious, explore, and take care of the planet. When not out in nature with a camera, she is the Program Manager for the Ocean, Coast, and Fisheries program at Resources Legacy Fund.

Support Surfgrass Productions at and on their YouTube, Instagram (@surfgrass_productions), and Facebook.

Photo of Audrey Carver


Audrey Carver grew up in Idyllwild, California and has worked in Scientific Communication and visual arts in Costa Rica, Boston and Ecuador. She now is very happily back in San Diego as the Intergenerational Education and Outreach Lead at the Climate Science Alliance. Recently graduated from Tufts University, she created her own interdisciplinary major, mixing art, anthropology, and environmental studies. Her research focuses on senses of place, and she is passionate about using art to help people connect to their environment. She is an avid surfer, hiker, and lover of fish tacos. Audrey has been a part of the Climate Science Alliance since 2016, when she first joined as an Artist in Residence helping to advance Climate Kids projects across the region. In 2020, Audrey served as our Climate Art Fellow to communicate findings of the San Diego County Ecosystems Assessment report. In 2021, Audrey served as the Science, Media, and Art Intern, working with Climate Kids to develop fun and engaging art content that inspires youth to care for our natural world and also developing art pieces as part of the Connecting Wildlands and Communities project. After graduating, Audrey joined the Alliance team once again in 2022 as the Climate Literacy Fellow, tasked with expanding the Climate Kids program and advancing the Alliance's commitment to intergenerational learning—a role she continued to lead in her position as Intergenerational Education and Outreach Lead.

Photo of Flor Hernandez Zarate


Flor is a 24 year old Zapotec writer and organizer born & raised on unceded Chumash lands, otherwise known as San Luis Obispo County. She is a UC San Diego Alum with bachelor degrees in Political Science and Literature/Writing. It is her hope for a future where Black, Indigenous, and people of color are safe and cared for in concrete ways.

Support Flor’s work on her Instagram (@cempazuchitls_library) and through her Patreon.

Photo of the Idyllwild Arts Academy Teem Climate Council


The Teen Climate Council are the teen voices at The Aquarium of the Pacific. The council consists of multiple committees - the Visionary, Media, Editorial, Design, Outreach, and Business committees - each focusing on different ways to inform the community of the problems facing the world's oceans. The authors are members of the Editorial Committee: Sharon Ma, Rayna Carranza, Marjorie Lian, Giovanni Garcia. The Council is led by Youth and Family Volunteer Coordinator, Callum Watson, and Lead Chair, Naomi Scott. The Council innovates and takes action through projects such as short films, climate festivals, and workshops. Their actions have led to countless achievements towards spreading awareness about environmental issues. Despite all members being in high school, they are passionate about making a difference when it comes to climate change by educating both children and adults, and more importantly, by making footsteps worth following.

The objective of the Arts Enterprise Laboratory Strategic Grant Initiative is to provide students with an opportunity to develop and implement arts projects beyond the scope of the Idyllwild Arts Academy curriculum. Strategic Partnerships, such as ours with the Aquarium of the Pacific, share the gift of the Idyllwild experience with younger students, provide entrepreneurial opportunities organized and run by IAA students to expose them to the intersection of arts and the workforce, and create lasting connections with programs in the larger community to ensure ongoing interchange of ideas and creativity. The AEL aims to provide support for the conceptualization, production and promotion of original work. The illustrators of Yutaka Finds a Friend are the following members of the 2023 Visual Art Department: Harper Donaldson (Senior Managing Illustrator), Adiya Nabiyeva (Senior Illustrator), Daone Choi, Min Gao, Anisiia Isaeva, Jade Shantay, Nil Delfin Uslu, and Maria Barcelo Tous. Book design by Rebecca A. Kandel.

Photo of Jacqui Ver Loren Van Themaat


As a Naturalist, Interpretive Guide, Drama Therapist, and Artist I use the creative arts and our natural environment to educate and connect with children, their families and teachers. Connection to our natural world is key to inspire people to be better stewards and protect and conserve the world that we rely on for physical and emotional survival. I am also a UC Climate Steward and Xerces Society Ambassador – sharing the stories of native bees and butterflies and their important role as pollinators. I have a passion for community science projects, especially in the field of pollinators and habitat restoration. My art has been exhibited at The Wildlands Conservancy’s Oak Glen Preserve in California, and in private collections in the United Kingdom, Australia and exhibitions in South Africa.

Follow Jacqui’s art and environmental adventures on Instagram (@nature_enthusiast) and Facebook. Check out Jacqui’s art available for purchase on Etsy.

Photo of Katelyn Royce


Katelyn started her art journey at the beginning of Covid. Her mediums are acrylic paint and embroidery thread. She is inspired by nature to make her pieces and wants to bring her world travels to the canvas. Common elements include flowers, the moon, the sun, and water. The process of making the art is calming and has been life changing since she started.

Photo of Kim Reasor


Kim Reasor is a visual artist living in San Diego County. In addition to paintings confronting the urban and industrialized landscape she has worked on science-art collaborations in the Arctic and Southern California since 2016. She has shown her work in a variety of local venues, including the San Diego Museum of Art, Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, William D. Cannon Gallery, and the Oceanside Museum of Art.

Support Kim’s work at

Photo of Melanie Taylor


Born in Northumberland, England, Melanie now lives in San Diego, CA and the Surrey Hills, UK. She received a BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design and MA Fine Art from the University of Southampton, UK, at the Winchester School of Art. She has exhibited her work in galleries and museums in the UK, USA, Spain and India, including the Blue Gallery, London, White Columns, NY, Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, UK, Espai Cultural Caja Madrid, Barcelona, Bread & Salt, City Gallery and Art Produce Gallery in San Diego, CA. She is the recipient of professional awards for her artwork and has been an Artist-in-Residence at Art Produce, San Diego, CA and Sanskriti Pratishan, New Delhi, India. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections including Art UK, University of Surrey, UK, Sanskriti Foundation, India, and Boston Ballet, USA.

Photo of Oriana Poindexter


Oriana Poindexter is a photographer and marine scientist focused on the intersection of art, science, and marine natural resources. Oriana earned her degrees at Princeton University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. She went on to work for nearly a decade with academic institutions, government agencies, and environmental organizations as an expert in the sustainable seafood and fisheries management arenas. Her work has been featured by Smithsonian Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, and she has created interpretive visual exhibits for the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Birch Aquarium.

Support Oriana’s work at and on Instagram (@opoindex).

Photo of Paula Sternberg Rodríguez


Paula (she/they) holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of California San Diego. Paula also holds a Master of Science from the Northwest Biological Research Center in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, where their research assessed coastal management and resilience by incorporating social and ecological sciences. Paula was the Climate Science Alliance's first Climate Science Intern and led a research project that explored blue carbon measurement methodology in mangrove forests. She is now the Alliance's Science Program Manager where she is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the organization's science program. She is passionate about science communication and outreach, is community oriented, and always tries to include social frameworks in her professional endeavors. They have collaborated with the Gulf of California Marine Program, Mares Mexicanos, the Surfrider Foundation, the Baja Coastal Institute, and Ocean Discovery Institute. Paula grew up moving across the border between Ensenada and San Diego and has a deep appreciation of the Baja California Peninsula and the border region. She also leads the Climate Science Alliance's Binational Working Group, with the mission of promoting binational and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Photo of Richelle Ellis


Richelle Ellis is an expeditionary artist exploring planetary connectivity both on and off Earth. Her work explores connectivity in a world where human impact, technology, and the environment collide. She has had solo shows in Los Angeles, New York, Japan, and international orbit around Earth etched on satellites and aboard rockets. Recent artworks scheduled to launch to the Moon in 2023. Works exhibited worldwide including the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Museum of Design Atlanta, and the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

Ellis has completed 18 art residencies as part of her research and astronaut training, where she travels the world to reflect social and environmental changes across the globe. This multi-year artistic voyage leads her to make art in unassuming yet far-reaching places: atop glaciers near the North Pole, in a traditional Japanese paper mill in rural Japan, contained in the Biosphere 2 in Arizona, and inside a Habitat on an Analog Mars Mission with NASA Goddard. Awarded residencies include The Arctic Circle Residency, Vermont Studio Center, Awagami Factory, Kala Fellowship, and many more.

She is an Analog Astronaut and Head of Creative Research for analog space missions on the Moon and Mars via Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS), Sensoria Program, and Lunares Research Station. She is the Founding Director of SUPERCOLLIDER, an art + sci + tech organization offering physical and virtual curations globally. Ellis is the Co-Founder and Director of Space Programs for Beyond Earth, an all-female artist collective exploring intersections between art, biology, and space.

Photo of Ruth Wallen


Ruth Wallen is a multi-media artist and writer whose work is dedicated to encouraging dialogue around ecological and social justice. After working as an environmental scientist, she turned to art to pose questions beyond disciplinary boundaries, address values informing environmental policy, and contribute to the developing field of ecological art. Her photographs, interactive installations, nature walks, web sites, artist books, performative lectures, and writing have been widely distributed and exhibited in the United States and abroad. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Autonomous University of Baja California, Tijuana, and is currently core faculty in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College and an emeritus lecturer at UCSD.

Support Ruth’s work at and on Instagram (@listentotrees).

Photo of Tiffany Wolfe


Tiffany Wolfe (Diné/Oglala Lakota) has worked in the Tribal Environmental field for over 15 years and enjoys creating art in her downtime. She enjoys drawing images that inspire and empower. She began her craft by drawing with pencil and paper, ink pen, watercolor and now her practice has evolved to a digital canvas. Her work has been selected for logo use by non-profits and small businesses and has been shared in campaigns in Indian Country.

Photo of Wen Song


Wen Song has developed a great passion for the arts through the years. She enjoys exploring and combining different mediums together in order to not limit her creative process. She creates work that showcases her observations and interactions with all aspects of life. She has participated in numerous fellowships with The AJA Project and painted murals for her local community. Along with visual arts, she has trained in dance, voice, as well as acting. Wen is passionate about giving back to her community through the arts, by both fundraising and teaching.


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