Spotlight on the People Behind The ClimateMusic Project

OUR TEAM IS MADE UP OF HIGHLY DIVERSE, CREATIVE, TALENTED, AND ENERGETIC INDIVIDUALS LIKE DR. ROSE ABRAMOFF, ONE OF OUR SCIENCE ADVISORS. 

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Rose is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her research explores the effect of global change on biogeochemical cycling in soils. She earned her PhD in Biology with a Certificate in Terrestrial Biogeoscience from Boston University in 2015, and also brings a background in theater and dance to The ClimateMusic Project.

1. What's your role at The ClimateMusic Project?

I am one of four science advisors that work with the artists CMP comissions to create musical, visual and/or performative art. We discuss the scope of projects; gather, organize and interpret data; and work with artists to ensure that their pieces reflect publicly-accessible, peer-review climate data in a transparent and accurate way.

2. Why are you involved?

I want people to see (through art) what I’ve seen. Some of what I’ve seen are just numbers on a screen: long-term data sets showing the dramatic changes to our environment caused by fossil fuel emission and land use change. But I have also worked in the field, and have sunk a length of rebar into the melted permafrost in Northern Alaska and been shocked at how far down we could go - further than ever recorded in that location. I have seen a wave of hemlock woolly adelgid - a pest whose northward expansion is enabled by warmer winter temperatures - decimate a historic grove of hemlocks that I used to study, home to coveted edible mushrooms, local fauna, and massive stores of carbon. I want to create an experience where people can feel what I feel, understand what I understand, as I sink past last year’s melt depth mark, and feel no resistance.

3. What do you think this collaboration between scientists and artists can achieve?

Climate science is growing increasingly interdisciplinary and so are its solutions. Our weakness (our great numbers that demand food and energy) can also be our strength, when mobilized to affect policy, to invent sustainable technologies, and to support vulnerable populations. That mobilization comes first from passion, and passion from effective communication. Art is one of our oldest means of communication, one of the earmarks anthropologists use to identify modern humans. We can all understand this medium. It is deeply felt, and easily remembered.

4. What's your favorite kind of music, and with whom would you like to see The ClimateMusic Project collaborate? 

I love popular music from different countries and time-periods, particularly folk, indie, and afrobeat. I like music that reflects our history of human migration and merging cultures. It is fantastic to see CMP reaching out to all kinds of artists.

5. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get involved in the fight against climate change?

Every community has opportunities to increase resilience and capacity. Climate change is not an isolated issue, but intersects with poverty, health care, minority rights, land management, and governance. Look around your community and see where climate change may already be affecting people’s health, safety, and quality of life