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August 21st, 2013

Down to Earth: Meet an INSTAAR scientist and a renowned photographer on their home ground

Meet the people behind the science—and art—resulting from INSTAAR research.

Climatologist James White and photographer James Balog are featured in consecutive “Down to Earth” columns in summer 2013 issues of EARTH Magazine, a publication of the American Geosciences Institute. White is director of INSTAAR and a climatologist noted for his contributions to our understanding of abrupt climate change. Balog is an award-winning photographer whose latest venture, the Extreme Ice Survey, has placed cameras around the world to capture time-lapse videos of changing glaciers. He is the subject of the recent documentary Chasing Ice.

Both columns are candid conversations with writer Terri Cook about their journeys to what they are doing now, and some of the twists and turns along the way. White, for instance, just missed becoming an oceanographer—twice.  Balog started as a geology student at CU before a midnight realization propelled him from science to art.

The editors of EARTH Magazine have kindly allowed us to share these interviews.  As a bonus feature, they included a profile of Giff Miller’s research into the megafauna extinction that took place in Australia 45,000-50,000 years ago. The research, which found a “dramatic upheaval at the base of the food chain,” pushes the limits of existing dating techniques.

Read interview with James White (June 2013 - PDF).
Read interview with James Balog (May 2013 - PDF).
Read feature on Giff Miller’s research, “Ecosystem collapse in Pleistocene Australia" (June 2012 - PDF).