Dr. Mika Tosca

I am a scientist.

I am trans.

I am optimistic.


Dr. Tosca is a climate scientist, a humanist, an activist. She is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an affiliate climate researcher at JPL (the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in southern California.

Her research explores the intersection of human activities and climate change and has brought her to Africa and back. Mika is an out and proud transgender scientist (she/her pronouns) and a vocal advocate for the queer and trans communities in Chicago and beyond.

Dr. Tosca earned her Ph.D. in Earth System Science at University of California, Irvine, in the Earth System Science Department, where she was advised by Dr. Jim Randerson and Dr. Charlie Zender. Her doctoral thesis was titled: "Fire and Smoke in the Earth System: Evaluating the impact of fire aerosols on regional and global climate"

Check it out, you can Google MyCitations.

She was recently interviewed on a segment of Chicago Tonight–on PBS WTTW–about her work combining art and science.


Dr. Tosca has written about the importance of combining art, design principles, environmental aesthetics, and climate science, and has been invited to speak at Miami University (Ohio), University of Michigan, and other institutions. She was also invited to speak to the Luxury Connect real estate conference in Beverly Hills, CA about the intersection of climate change and real estate markets.

Prior to SAIC, Mika was featured on ABC7 news in Los Angeles talking about our recent study on the correlation between air pollution and global warming! She has been published in many academic journals including Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Geophysical Research Letters, and Remote Sensing.

Her work was even featured as a NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day

Dr. Tosca was interviewed by "Science in Action" on the BBC World Service: interview begins at 21:30. She has also penned a non-academic popular science article about her work on landscape fire in Africa for a neat website called The Conversation.


contact Mika: