Founded in 2007 by James Balog, the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is an innovative, long-term photography project that merges art and science to give a “visual voice” to the planet’s changing ecosystems. EIS imagery preserves a visual legacy, providing a unique baseline—useful in years, decades and even centuries to come—for revealing how climate change and other human activity impacts the planet.
EIS installed time-lapse cameras at remote sites in Greenland, Iceland, Nepal, Alaska, Antarctica, and the Rocky Mountains and conducts episodic repeat photography in Iceland, Canada, the French and Swiss Alps, and Bolivia; and has been the subject of an award-winning feature documentary, Chasing Ice, a NOVA/PBS documentary, two books, and numerous magazine and newspaper features. In addition, EIS has been alerting the world about ice and climate change via appearances before Washington policymakers, a touring exhibition, displays in public venues (including Denver International and O’Hare International Airports) and multimedia presentations at corporate, scientific, and global policy conferences. ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers, (Rizzoli International) was released in September 2012.
For three decades, James Balog [“BAY-log”] has been a leader in photographing and interpreting the natural environment. An avid mountaineer with a graduate degree in geography and geomorphology, James is equally at home on a Himalayan peak or a whitewater river, the African savannah or polar icecaps.
To reveal the impact of climate change, James founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the most wide-ranging, ground-based, photographic study of glaciers ever conducted. The project is featured in the highly acclaimed documentary, Chasing Ice, which won the award for Excellence in Cinematography at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, as well as dozens of awards at film festivals worldwide. Chasing Ice was shortlisted for the 2013 Academy Awards. It has been screened at The White House, the U.S. Congress, the U.K. House of Commons and the United Nations. It has been the subject of features on the NBC Evening News, ABC Nightline, The Late Show with David Letterman, PBS’s Moyers & Company, and Real Time with Bill Maher.
James has been honored with many awards, including, in recent years, the Heinz Award, the Missouri School of Journalism’s Honor Medal for Distinguished Service, the Aspen Institute’s Visual Arts & Design Award, and the North American Nature Photography Association’s “Outstanding Photographer of the Year” award. He recently received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the University of Alberta and the American Geophysical Union Presidential Citation for Science and Society.