“Climate change is a non-partisan issue with environmental, social, and health consequences of vital importance to every person on the planet, now and for generations to come.” – James Balog


The Program

EIS LogoThe WILD Foundation is honored to partner with the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), an initiative of James Balog, the celebrated environmental photographer and charter member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. 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 is a program of the Earth Vision Institute, founded by James Balog in 2012.

As of May 2015, 43 time-lapse cameras are deployed at 24 glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Austria, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. The sites were chosen for their scientific value, their representation of regional conditions, their ease of access and their photogenic quality. The cameras must endure some of the harshest arctic conditions – winds up to 160mph, and temperatures plummeting to -40F. The EIS team must also endure these conditions when installing, retrieving and removing the cameras.

Extreme Ice Survey time-lapse cameras in action, Columbia Glacier, 25 August 2009.

The Goal

The mission of EVI and the EIS program is to integrate art and science to reveal environmental change and inspire a balanced relationship with nature. This is achieved through the creation and dissemination of world-class visual stories and rich media content to educate and inspire global citizens. Learn more at EarthVisionInstitute.org and ExtremeIceSurvey.org.


The Results

EVI programs generate global awareness and inspiration. The EIS program continues to capture astounding, real-time images portraying climate change in a real and immediate way, through visual evidence of glacial retreat.


About James Balog:
Founder & President of Earth Vision Institute and the Extreme Ice Survey

James Balog, Director, Extreme Ice Survey, at minus 30 degrees F, Disko Bay, Greenland

For more than 30 years, photographer James Balog (“BAY-log”) has broken new conceptual and artistic ground on one of the most important issues of our era: human modification of our planet’s natural systems. He and his Extreme Ice Survey team are featured in the 2012 internationally acclaimed, Emmy® award-winning documentary, Chasing Ice, and in the 2009 NOVA special, Extreme Ice. James has been honored with many awards, including, in recent years, an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the University of Alberta, the American Geophysical Union Presidential Citation for Science and Society, the Duke University LEAF Award, the Sam & Julie Walters Prize for Environmental Activism, the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) League Award, and the Heinz Award. He is the author ofICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers and seven other books. His photos have been extensively published in major magazines, including National Geographic, and exhibited at more than one hundred museums and galleries worldwide. In 2009, he served as a NASA representative at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP-15) in Copenhagen.EVI Logo

“Each new series by James Balog represents a quantum leap in creativity, which takes us deeper into the ultimate mystery of humanity’s relationship to the natural world. He is a visionary and his works are like sacred objects.” – James Nachtwey, TIME magazine photographer

The Earth Vision Institute/Extreme Ice Survey is a Collaborative Conservation Project (CCP) of The WILD Foundation. Learn more about EIS and other Earth Vision Institute programs at EarthVisionInstitute.org.