Climate Change Institute ‘Art of Climate Science’ exhibit at Hutchinson Center

ORONO. Maine — “The Art of Climate Science,” a new exhibit of photography and artwork illustrating the diverse research activities of students, faculty and staff of the University of Maine Climate Change Institute, will be on display June 16–Sept. 29 at UMaine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

An opening reception featuring many of the participating researcher-artists will be held June 16, 4:30–7 p.m. The exhibition and reception in the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery are free and open to the public.

“The Art of Climate Science” features 88 photographs and works of art by CCI faculty, staff and students that capture the diverse landscapes, environments and methods researchers use to understand the past, current and future of Earth’s climate system.

“The Climate Change Institute has conducted research throughout the most remote reaches of the planet, from the poles to the highest mountains, and of course throughout Maine,” says Paul Mayewski, CCI director. “The artwork in this exhibit provides examples of the landscapes that shape CCI’s research world.”

The photos, sketches and paintings offer unique glimpses into what it looks like to do archaeology in the high altitude Andes of Peru, drill ice in Antarctica or Alaska, or to search for the microscopic heralds of climatic change in the remote lakes of Greenland.

Jill Pelto, a graduate student in the School of Earth and Climate Science who often incorporates climate data in her paintings and has received national recognition for her climate science-based artwork, is showing a selection of her pieces.

“Climate science involves collecting and deconstructing samples to reconstruct the past, and this is truly an art form in itself,” says Pelto. “But behind the data and the papers, there are the photographs of the places the researchers have traveled, the sketches they have made and the stories of the work it has taken to understand Earth’s changing climate.”

The exhibit also includes work of CCI Ph.D. candidate Mariusz Potocki, an award-winning photographer whose photos have been featured by National Geographic. Many of Potocki’s photographs document his travels and research throughout South America and Antarctica.

“This is an opportunity for the amazing research done by students and faculty at UMaine’s Climate Change Institute to be seen in a form that is accessible to the wider public,” says Molly Schauffler, associate research professor in the CCI and science coordinator at the Hutchinson Center, who helped spearhead the creation of the exhibition. “Art speaks, and never has there been a more important time to communicate climate change.”

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Nancy Bergerson, 207.338.8049. Additional information about the Hutchinson Center is online (

Additional information about the Climate Change Institute is available online (