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Climate Changed: Models and the Built World




ESI: Environmental Solutions Initiative

Faculty Supervisor:

Jessica Varner

Faculty email:


Apply by:



Mara Freilich, maraf@mit.edu

Project Description

We are inviting undergraduate students to support the development of the book (a multi-authored volume) and associated media content titled Climate Changed: Models and the Built World. As climate change transforms how we make decisions around the built environment, the book examines the power and uncertainty within models. The publication places developers of climate models, designers, planners, artists, humanities scholars, and social scientists in dialogue to generate a transdisciplinary exploration of climate models and their uses. In concert with the book, a series of virtual conversations between the contributors will be held to serve as a roadmap for transdisciplinary engagement. Edited audio from the dialogues will be released as podcasts coincident with the book’s publication, anticipated for summer 2021. Working with the Climate Changed editorial team, students will help with background research, help organize informal conversations with contributors (held fall/winter 2020) and assist in formal, recorded conversations in January 2021. Work will involve summarizing and synthesizing current research in order to inform contributor conversations, reviewing contributor abstracts, and collaborating with the lead author team to develop conversation prompts. After conversations are held in January 2021, students may have the opportunity to continue on the project through spring 2021 in order to help organize, record, and edit the conversations between contributors to turn these virtual dialogues into a podcast series. This will involve conducting background research to inform the conversations, and editing and producing the podcast series. This opportunity would be especially well-suited for a student who is interested in learning about and engaging in applied research on addressing climate change. The interdisciplinary nature of this project is ideal for expanding students’ educational horizons and facilitating connections with a broader network of academics and practitioners. Undergraduate students will be crucially involved in evaluating success towards this goal and in taking action to expand the reach of our conversations to include communities on the frontlines of climate impacts and fields of research that are conducting cutting edge work on climate impacts.


Editorial experience desirable; coursework or work/volunteer experience related to science and technology studies, resilient design, climate change, architecture and urban design, and/or climate/environmental justice desirable; experience and/or interest in writing about climate or design-related issues for a general audience also desirable; enthusiasm for the project is a must. No other qualifications are necessary.