Integrating Art+Science.

Founded in 2007 by James Balog, the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is an innovative, long-term photography program that integrates art and science to give a “visual voice” to the planet’s changing ecosystems. We believe that the creative integration of art and science can shape public perception and inspire action more effectively than either art or science can do alone.


EIS maintains an extensive portfolio of over one million single-frame photos celebrating the art and architecture of ice. We have 27 Nikon cameras watching over glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Austria, and the Rocky Mountains. Our cameras record changes in the glaciers every hour, year-round during daylight, and yield approximately 8,000 frames per camera per year. We combine these images into stunning time-lapse videos that reveal how quickly climate change is transforming large regions of our planet. Our pictorial archive serves as a visual legacy and provides a baseline—useful in years, decades and even centuries to come—for revealing how climate change and other human activity is dramatically impacting the planet.

EIS is a program of Earth Vision Institute (EVI). Visit the EVI Events page to track our traveling exhibition “ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers” and watch and share our videos with your community. It is our work to share the ‘voice’ of the glaciers with you; if you are moved and inspired by what the glaciers have to say, please use your voice and share it.

Multimedia Presentations and Exhibitions

James Balog has given multimedia presentations about the project at TED and at dozens of major institutions including the White House, the U.S. Congress, NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Apple, Qualcomm, Cornell University, and Duke University. His work is in dozens of public and private art collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Corcoran Gallery, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Denver Art Museum, and the Gilman Paper Company.

Visit the EVI Events page to learn more about about booking James Balog for your event and about our touring exhibition “ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers.”

Explore the work of the Extreme Ice Survey in the time-lapse videos below:

EIS in Action

Meet James Balog and the EIS team and see why they’re so passionately committed to documenting and revealing what’s happening to the world’s glaciers.

Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

Check out this time-lapse video of Alaska’s Mendenhall glacier. You'll see that the glacier "deflates”— like air releasing from a balloon. Notice how ice melts at the glacier’s edge, while thinning at the same time.

Khumbu Icefall, Mt. Everest

Perched on the side of Pumori (7,161 m), a mountain on the Nepal-Tibet border, this EIS camera overlooks the famous Khumbu icefall while Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse loom overhead. This icefall is regarded as one of the most dangerous sections of the South Col route to Mt. Everest's summit.

Sólheimajökull Glacier, Iceland

Watch how the Sólheimajökull Glacier in Iceland is retreating due to a combination of stream erosion and ice melt. The cracks (“crevasses”) that you see forming parallel to the flow indicate that the glacier is also spreading out (thinning) as it flows forward.

Chasing Ice: Explore the work of Extreme Ice Survey:

Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice is now available on iTunes and Netflix.

"ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers"

ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers by James Balog was released September 11, 2012 by Rizzoli New York, the world-renowned publisher of art books. Terry Tempest Williams, one of America's most distinguished environmental writers and thinkers, contributes the epilogue. In this kaleidoscopic view of remote Arctic and alpine landscapes, ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers celebrates a realm of exquisite beauty at the same time as it reveals how climate change is altering our world. Selected from the million-strong EIS photo archive, ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers celebrates the art and architecture of ice. We see stupendous ice sheets transformed by the sun, seawater and time, until they become small, glittering diamonds melting into the ever-rising global ocean. Hardcover 13" x 10", 288 pages, US $50.00, CAN $50.00, ISBN: 978-0-8478-3886-0. Order via or

A selection of ICE images is available for purchase as museum-quality fine art prints signed by James Balog.

EIS News

A Tribute to Former EIS Team member, Dr. Alberto Behar

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Chasing Ice Wins Emmy® Award!

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James Balog Receives Duke LEAF Award

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James Balog to Receive Prize for Global Environmental Activism at Dickinson College

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