About Me

Dr. Debra Tillinger teaches the science of climate change to the general public, other educators, and students of all ages. She works at the American Museum of Natural history as an adjunct visiting scientist in the graduate education program and as an educator for the Our Earth’s Future series. Our Earth’s Future, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, has provided informal after-hours classes, one-day intensives, and several online courses. The program won the 2015 REVERE award for teaching “Beyond the Classroom.” Her work also includes teaching in-service educators the science of climate change and contributing to the development of a project-based climate curriculum for public schools.


Dr. Tillinger holds a PhD in ocean and climate physics from Columbia University and teaches courses on physics, natural disasters, and oceanography at Marymount Manhattan College and CUNY. In addition to formal science education, Dr. Tillinger also presents scientific information through the arts in character as “Dr. Mermaid,” at venues including TEDxBlackRockCity, Gratitude Migration Festival, the annual Mermaid Lagoon Fundraiser, and Bushwick’s House of Light.