The American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting is always a good time, and this year is no exception. If you’re here in San Francisco, please join me for my talk, “Improving the Perfect Storm: Overcoming Barriers to Climate Literacy” (Friday 1:40pm in Moscone South 104) and be sure to check out Dreams of the Last Butterflies at AGU Cinema!

And I promise that when my talk from TEDxBlackRockCity, The Math and Madness of El Niño, is available, I will post it here.

The sixth annual Mermaid Lagoon will be held early in 2016. More details to come…

And after hearing an excellent talk about science and storytelling, I’m inspired to finally post my talk from last year’s Mermaid Lagoon:Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 11.58.15 AM.png

This is my latest offering at the American Museum of Natural History. Any resemblance to the talk given by Dr. Mermaid at the Mermaid Lagoon is purely coincidental. Okay, the topics might be similar, but this will be much more in-depth, and I expect that fewer audience members will be dressed as sea creatures.

In a special one-day offering, Dr. Debra Tillinger will lead an in-depth exploration of the science of the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and how changes in these two critical areas of Earth indicate and catalyze the impacts of climate change. Participants will hear from guest speakers on the geology, biology, and cultures of these beautiful and fragile parts of the world. They will also engage in interactive discussions, take Museum hall tours, and enjoy a challenging game of geopolitics, SMARTIC, in which players must enact real-life solutions to the potential large-scale problems anticipated by the impact of climate change in the polar regions. Refreshments will be served.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under grant number MA-10-13-0200-13.

Apply here!

I was writing a bio for an upcoming talk I’m giving (8/23 – I’ll post details when I have them) and I was doing some self-googling for reference. I discovered a review of the very first Mermaid Lagoon and it warmed my cold fishy heart. I LOVE this summary:

The “mermaids” of the lagoon, that is, the performers and staff, presented a broad spectrum of entertainment.  The night’s opening act was Desert Sin, a non-traditional bellydance group in elaborate costume. The performance seemed to interpret the darker power of the sea, intense stares and rippling arms abounded.  Then came a fire-palm dance by burlesque performer Veronica VarlowKai Altair, Varlow’s sister and the MC for the night explained that mermaids are famous for seductive dance and song that lures men to their doom and that this particular one was intended for the BP executives.  Altair herself performed her mystical/tropical music with great warmth and enthusiasm later on that night.  Other entertainment included Cassandra of Lady Circus in a breathtaking glass-walking performance inspired by the Little Mermaid, and Ali Luminescent (Coney Island’s Mermaid of the Year in 2009) on trapeze.  To tickle more academic fancies, a doctor of oceanography gave a lecture both on the ramifications of the oil spill and Japanese dolphin fishing in full mermaid attire.  Among other prizes, love letters from Ms. Varlow and prints of the resident oceanographer’s photography were raffled off as further fundraising. (emphasis added)

That’s me, tickling your academic fancies and providing photos as raffle prizes. And I love the insistence that Kai and Veronica are sisters – which they are, just not biologically.