This “Climate Models” Calendar Wants You to Check Out These Model Scientists—And Their Work

These climate scientists had some fun posing n landscapes representing their very serious work

Tufa Dinku
Tufa Dinku studies how satellites can be used to measure rain and temperature and other things relevant to understanding the climate. Charlie Naebeck / Climate Models

If you spend any time paying attention to the science of climate change, you become familiar with the simulations that are the bread and butter of this field. These climate models try to recreate the climate of the past and to predict the future, and they’re highly complex attempts to build the world in a computer. It’s easy to forget that, behind the code and the non-linear equations, are people—like Tufa Dinku, above, a climate modeler from Columbia University who is a strong advocate for improving Africa’s access to up-to-date climate measurements.

To help give real faces to the climate scientists and modelers that spend their days refining our representations of the world, two Columbia University science communicators, Rebecca Fowler and Francesco Fiondella, created the Climate Models calendar, a high-fashion photo series that uses climate modelers as models.

The scientists were snapped by Charlie Naebeck, while  Jordan Matter, the photographer behind the captivating “Dancers Among Us” series, came up with the shoot concept.*

Allegra LeGrande studies how glaciers behaved during periods of past climate change. Photo: Charlie Naebeck / Climate Models

Aside from reminding everyone that there actually are humans dedicating their lives to designing and building all of these climate models, Fiondella says that he also wants to help break down stereotypes, to show that scientists aren’t just people, they’re sexy people, too.

Dorothy Peteet uses samples of the soil collected from wetlands and marshes to understand how plants respond to climate change. Photo: Charlie Naebeck / Climate Models

Fiondella and Fowler are currently raising money for their Climate Models calendar on Kickstarter.

*This story has been updated to reflect that white Jordan Matter helped come up with the Climate Models idea and consulted on the project, Charlie Naebeck was the one taking the photos.

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