Melissa Schaefer in a garden

Melissa Charenko

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Feb 2023-Jul 2023)


Melissa Charenko received her PhD in History of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University. Broadly interested in the history of ecology and environmental history, her work explores scientists’ diverse understandings of climate, which, she argues, arise from the various ways that scientists encounter, measure, and see climate. She is currently completing a book, Science as Prophecy: Measuring Climates Past and Future. It concentrates on the ways that scientists use climate proxies, such as fossil pollen, tree rings, or air bubbles in ice, to understand earth’s climate and human development over the past 12,000 years or longer, as well as the ways these proxies are used to foresee environmental and human futures. At the MPIWG, she is a member of the Proteins and Fibers Working Group where she is exploring how research into animal fibers can answer questions about human antiquity, migration, and climate. She was previously a Predoctoral Fellow at the MPIWG as part of Lorraine Daston's department

Current Projects

No current projects were found for this scholar.

Completed Projects

"The Science of Prophecy?" The Role of Paleo-Disciplines in the Face of Anthropogenic Change, 1916–2015
Science as Prophecy

Past Events


Science as Prophecy: Measuring Climates Past and Future