Linking Climate Change Science and Art

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What began as an effort to document and analyze the retreat of glaciers in Glacier National Park, has become a collection of striking photographs displayed on museum walls.

USGS scientists Dan Fagre and Lisa McKeon have created an exhibit, Losing a Legacy.
USGS scientists Dan Fagre and Lisa McKeon stand in front of the Losing a Legacy: A photographic story of disappearing glaciers exhibit at the Hockaday Museaum of Art in Kalispell, MT.  

USGS scientists Dan Fagre and Lisa McKeon have created an exhibit, Losing a Legacy: A photographic story of disappearing glaciers, to showcase photographs from their Repeat Photography Project after discovering the photographs, inherent appeal. The collection consists of historic glacier photographs paired with contemporary photographs and reveal dramatic reduction in glacier size. Since they began their rephotography efforts in 1997, over 70 photographs of 19 different glaciers have been repeated. This exhibit features 27 of those photo sites and showcases 10 glaciers.

The photographs’ ability to easily communicate the effects of climate change have made these images widely popular. The Repeat Photography website has made them readily accessible to the world. The images, created for scientific purposes, have been widely used by the media, educators, and even various artists who have taken inspiration from their powerful imagery. By blending the science of climate change research with the aesthetic of landscape photography, this exhibit seeks to educate, inspire, and entertain viewers.

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