Free screening of film 'Glacial Balance' to be held during Earth Week

Dane Vanover
April 07, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — There will be a free screening of the award-winning film "Glacial Balance" from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, in the HUB-Robeson Center’s Freeman Auditorium. A panel discussion, moderated by Denice Wardrop, director of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, will follow the screening.

"Glacial Balance" is a journey along the spine of the Andes Mountains, from Colombia to Argentina, getting to know those who are first affected by the dwindling topical glacier reserve — the canaries in the mine. Along the way, the film crew is accompanied by scientists who provide perspective on what is happening in the natural world and what we can expect. And from that, we learn the chain reaction that these disappearing glaciers are having on the world.

One of the key goals of Ethan Steinman, Emmy-nominated director of "Glacial Balance," was to make the rest of the world empathize with what Andean communities are suffering.

“These communities are not the causes of these problems, but they are some of the first to be dealing with the situation in a very serious way,” Steinman said. “Seeing how they deal with this, and their lack of anger at the outside world, impacted me greatly.

“My hope is that people in other parts of the world who are, to varying degrees, responsible for these effects, will come to realize this and cause a positive chain reaction effect of awareness-raising and change for the better,” he said.

Peter Buckland, Academic Programs Fellow at Penn State's Sustainability Institute and organizer of the event, said "We know that February was the 372nd month in a row with a global temperature above average and the hottest month on record.”

"Glacial Balance takes us right into communities where life is being disrupted by that warming,” Buckland said. “At a university with a global mission, where our faculty, staff and students take climate change and sustainability very seriously, we need to understand the magnitude of these issues so that we can come together to act more responsibly."

Featured panelists for the event will include:

  • Ethan Steinman, Emmy-nominated director of "Glacial Balance"

  • Sridhar Anandakrishnan, associate professor of geosciences, Penn State

  • Nick Holschuh, graduate student in geosciences, Penn State

This event is cosponsored by:

The Sustainability Institute will also host a free public seminar with Steinman, "Documenting Science: How to Shoot Usable Video of your Research," from 9:45 to 11:30 a.m. on April 21 in Foster Auditorium in Pattee Library. At this seminar, Steinman will discuss inexpensive and effective methods of recording high-quality media in the field.

"Rather than fighting for high budgets or hiring someone to film, I teach them the methods a filmmaker uses to key in on their subject and shoot an array of footage that can be edited after research is complete to complement their research papers and assist in public outreach,” said Steinman.

“I like to focus on using available technology (cellphones, school cameras, etc.) because knowing how to use these tools and how to construct a visual story is what is key,” he said.

For more information about the film screening and seminar events, contact

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 20, 2019