James Balog to be awarded LEAF AwardNature photographer James Balog has been announced as the 2014 winner of Duke's LEAF Award for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in Fine Arts.
The award will be conferred Saturday afternoon in the Bryan Center's Griffith Film Theatre. The LEAF has been presented by the Nicholas School of the Environment every year since 2009.
Balog's best known photographs focus on glaciers melting as a result of global climate change. His work has been featured in National Geographic and in the film "Chasing Ice," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. In 2007, Balog began the Extreme Ice Survey—the largest ground-based photographic glacier study ever done—and he has authored eight books, including "ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers." He is also the first photographer to be commissioned by the United States Postal Service to create a full set of stamps.
He is a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has received a number of awards, including the North American Nature Photography Association's Outstanding Photographer of the Year and PhotoMedia's Person of the Year.
Among past winners are actor Robert Redford, musician Jackson Browne, film director John Sayles and writers Barbara Kingsolver and Alexander McCall Smith.
Tickets to the event are free. The award ceremony will be followed by a reception in Environment Hall—the new home of the Nicholas School of the Environment, located behind the Levine Science Research Center. Tours will be given during the reception.
Environment Hall will be dedicated in a ceremony Thursday. The $40 million building is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified at the highest level and was built with a number of advanced sustainability features. It includes five classrooms, an auditorium, 45 private offices, 72 open office spaces, a computer lab and an environmental art gallery, as well as conference rooms and common areas, according to a Duke News press release.