The Eberly College of Science Presents

A Time Capsule from the Anthropocene, A Conversation with James Balog

Proceeds from ticket sales will fund a Student Sustainability Award in the Eberly College of Science.


Thu, Oct 26, 2023


7:00 pm


Student (with ID) - $7 (includes fee); Adult - $18 (includes fee)


The Friedman Auditorium
130 W. College Ave. State College, PA


Penn State Eberly College of Science
Penn State Eberly College of Science

For 40 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 nature. 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. His film, The Human Element, is an innovative and visually stunning look at how humanity interacts with earth, air, fire, and water. Its world premiere was at the San Francisco Film Festival in April 2018. Since then, it has screened all over the world and been released on myriad streaming platforms across North America, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and many others.

To reveal the impact of climate change, James founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) in 2007. It is the most wide-ranging, ground-based, photographic study of glaciers ever conducted. The project was featured in the internationally acclaimed documentary Chasing Ice and in the 2009 PBS/NOVA special Extreme Ice. Chasing Ice won an Emmy in 2014 and was shortlisted for the Academy Awards. It has been screened at the White House, U.S. Congress, Great Britain’s House of Commons, the United Nations, and major international science and policy conferences, including COP-15 in Copenhagen and COP-21 in Paris. NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, and NPR have done features on his work, as have David Letterman, Bill Maher, and Bill Moyers.

James has presented his work at major public institutions like the White House, U.S. Congress, and United Nations; corporations like Apple and Qualcomm; and universities such as MIT, Cornell, Boston College, and now Penn State.  Balog’s photographs are housed in dozens of public and private art collections, including the Cantor Museum at Stanford University, Agnes Gund Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Denver Art Museum, International Center of Photography, and Gilman Paper Company. They have been extensively published in most of the world’s major picture-oriented magazines, including National Geographic, Life, Vanity Fair, and  The New York Times Magazine. He is also the author of eight books.
Excerpted from Press Notes, The Human Element, an Earth Vision Film Production.


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With the purchase and installation of a new projector, The State will have a new 4K, laser projection, and digital cinema sound processing system will give us the ability to screen major movie festival features, as well as independent and major studio live action and animation that is only distributed in the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) format.