Degrees of Change: New Mexico's Climate Forecast

NM EPSCoR funded the design, fabrication, and installation of a new exhibit focusing on climate change in New Mexico called “Degrees of Change: New Mexico’s Climate Forecast.” Jessica Sapunar-Jursich, Director of Education at the Museum, spearheads the project with Dr. Dave Gutzler as the EPSCoR-funded guest curator on the project. Dr. Gutzler is a climatologist faculty member with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. A central feature is a global representation of climate data using a Global Imagination "Magic Planet". Data and discoveries from NM EPSCoR scientists contribute to data in a New Mexico SIM table, which displays current climate conditions of New Mexico and can predict future changes based on several variables, such as a change in global temperature. A portion of the exhibit also addresses regional climate change impacts from the perspectives of local land users.

The Museum held a Climate Change Expo on Saturday, May 21st. Various environmental and climate education groups participated with presentations and activities, including NM EPSCoR, The Nature Conservancy, and Climate Masters. The Expo served as an event not only to celebrate the opening of “Degrees of Change”, but also for climate education as a whole.


The EPSCoR-funded exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science opened with a member’s only evening event on May 20, 2011, and a Climate Change Expo for the public on May 21, 2011.


Using the exhibit’s main features, climate change and its effects on the world and New Mexico can now be communicated through interactive displays, real-time data, and interviews with climate and hydrology scientists.

Source: Natalie Willoughby, NM EPSCoR, University of New Mexico,
Image Caption:Julia Fulghum, Ph.D., Vice President for Research at UNM, and her son examine the Magic Planet at the opening of “Degrees of Change.”