Computational Tools for Climate Science 2023

The course is over! Thank you for all our amazing students Teaching Assistants and mentors! 

(sign up for our mailing list to be informed about our 2024 course)

Course Overview

Climatematch Academy is an inclusive and accessible 2-week virtual program, created in collaboration with Neuromatch Academy. We follow the motto “From Data to Action”, aiming to grow and empower the global community of climate scientists.

Join our innovative online program to learn cutting-edge techniques from climate science experts, implement them in guided Python tutorials, and collaborate on team projects using real-world and modeled data to explore the social and environmental effects of climate change.

All our content is open source, feel free to browse our book or the content used to create it.

Course Structure

Students work in small learning groups, or pods, made up of 10-15 students and teaching assistants. These pods are formed based primarily on timezone, common interests within the course, and language preference.

Each day, students will spend approximately 5 hours covering curriculum, and then 3 hours working on research projects and professional development activities.

During the curriculum time-block, students will watch a 30-minute keynote talk, followed by 3 hours working on a series of python tutorials, guided by mini-lectures, where they implement analyses relevant to the day’s topic. There will be two 15 minute discussion periods and a 1 hour break during this time. 


The first day of the course curriculum will provide an overview of the climate system and xarray. Students who are not familiar with python will be required to take a python pre-course.  

The next three days are centered on climate data. Students will use reanalysis products, remote sensing data, and paleoclimate proxy data to understand multi-scale climate interactions, climate monitoring, and variations in past marine, terrestrial, and atmospheric climates.  

This will be folled by an introduction to the future of the climate system as predicted through climate modeling. Students will learn about climate models, how to interpret their projections of future climate and the standard framework for assessing socio-economic climate risks. They will also explore the pathways to mitigate those risks. During this time, students will also have a full day to work on their projects (not shown in diagram). 

Finally, the course will cover the responses to climate change, including identification of extreme climate events (e.g. heatwaves, droughts, wildfires), and the use of climate data for tracking the impacts of climate change to inform adaptation measures.

*only relevant for students who need more python experience
IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Research Projects

To give students the confidence to apply their newly-won knowledge after the course, they will work in small groups (5-6 students) to pursue research questions of their own interest. These research projects will allow students to use climate data to investigate one physical earth-system in depth and evaluate the potential socio-economic impact of climate change. Students will work on one of the topics presented in the figure below and described in detail in the following paragraphs.

Professional Development

As a part of their journey in Climatematch Academy, students and teaching assistants will be able to participate in three types of professional development activities.

First, there will be short talks on 1) climate justice, 2) equity in climate science, 3) open climate science, and 4) climate science communication. These will be followed by facilitated group discussions.

Second, we will have career panels featuring professionals from different climate-related professions. It will be an opportunity for students to learn about, and be inspired by, various career trajectories within climate science. This will be complemented by wide-ranging career portfolios that will be shared with students and teaching assistants asynchronously.

Finally, student pods will be visited by mentors who will share their own professional paths and offer career advice in a small-group setting.

Application Information 

Our applications are currently closed. Follow us on social media for announcements on when our 2024 applications open. 

Participants may join us in one of three positions: a student, teaching assistant, or mentor. For mentors, see our mentoring page for more information. For students and teaching assistants see the descriptions and diagram below to determine which role best suites you. Both teaching assistants and students are expected to spend 8 hours a day working on the course Monday-Friday, and teaching assistants must attend a training event before the course begins.


Students have some experience with any coding language and have a foundational science background that is not necessarly in climate. Those familiar with another coding language are encouraged to sign up for our three-day Python pre-course (July 12 to July 14). Students work in small learning groups ("pods") to complete coding tutorials and develop a research project - all under the guidance of our teaching assistants. We charge low, regionally adjusted tuition fees for students, and offer fee waivers where needed without impact on admission. To estimate the course fees based on your region, use our COLA Calculator.

Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistants have some knowledge of climate science and are experienced in python. Teaching assistants guide students through the tutorials and help them develop projects. Teaching assistants are paid 1100-1650 USD for their services, regardless of what country they work or reside in. As part of the application for teaching assistants, you are required to make a 5 minute video (longer videos will be penalized) using a pre-made tutorial. We want as many qualified teaching assitants as possible. Our best advice is to let your personality shine through and take your time moving through the material.  This will ensure the content is clear and easy to follow. Please follow this link to the instructions on what to include in your video as well as detailed recording instructions.

Using the neuromatch algorithm, we 'match' students and teaching assistants into pods based on a variety of parameters such as time-zone, language preference, and interests. All of our materials (lectures and tutorials) are in English, with some subtitles available in Spanish and Mandarin. However, you will have the option of choosing your preferred speaking language in the application process so that we can try to place you in a pod that uses that language for conversations between students and the teaching assistant. The time zone groups used for the course are shown below.

2023 Timeline (2024 Timeline coming soon!)

Applications Open date: April 3, 2023

Application closing dates: April 24, 2023

Offers Go Out: May, 2023

Acceptance, Enrollment, and Payment Deadline: June, 2023

Waitlist Confirmations Deadline: June, 2023

Matching, Pod, and Group Assignments: June, 2023

Students and Teaching assistants Onboarded to Discord with Course Schedule: TBD

Last Day to Drop or Cancel (Refunds Go Out - Delayed Payment Requests Go Out): June, 2023

Teaching Assistant Training: July 5-6, 2023

Course begins: July 17, 2023

Course ends: July 28, 2023