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 (

Alani wins first in breaking news, IU takes first in Hearst

New IU graduate Hannah Alani is the winner of the Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program’s breaking news writing contest, the organization announced Tuesday.

Alani will join fellow IU students Jordan Guskey, who won the sports writing contest, and Taylor Telford, who placed second in enterprise reporting and fourth in personality/profiles, at the Hearst national finals in San Francisco in June.

As a result of all the IU students’ achievements, Indiana University placed first overall in the writing competition.

The breaking news writing contest is one of 14 monthly competitions of the Hearst program, which consists of five writing, two photojournalism, one radio, two TV and four multimedia categories, with championship finals in all divisions. Students submit their previously published work for the contests. Students from 106 undergraduate journalism programs at universities across the nation are eligible to participate.

Alani’s entry, “Daniel Messel receives 80 years for murder of Hannah Wilson,” was among 93 entries from 58 journalism schools around the country. She will receive a $2,600 scholarship as first-prize winner.

The program awards up to $500,000 in scholarships and grants annually, including student scholarships and matching grants for schools. 

Schools also receive matching gifts, as well as a prize at the end of the cycle for the school that accumulates the most points based on their students’ total points.

Other IU students whose points contributed to IU’s first place prize were Sophomores Laurel Demkovich and Sarah Gardner, who placed third and fourth, respectively, in the feature writing contest

Media School students have had success in past Hearst contests. Seven IU students competed in the finals last June, and Alden Woods, BAJ’16, won first prize.

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program is conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, and is fully funded and administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.