Office: Boulder, Colo..
Staff: Currently three people (can vary widely).
Family life: Wife, Suzanne, and daughters Simone, 23, and Emily, 9, both of whom, he says, already have "a pretty amazing knack for snapping photos".
Favorite equipment: Nikon cameras and lenses, especially the 24-70 f/2.8G ED AF-S zoom.
Accolades: Heinz Award, with a special focus on global change (2010); Missouri School of Journalism's Honor Medal for Distinguished Service (2010); Aspen Institute's Visual Arts & Design Award (2009); World Press Photo awards for nature and science; Leica Medal of Excellence; League Award, International League of Conservation Photographers (2009); Nature Photography Association's Outstanding Photographer of the Year (2008); Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure (2007).
Books: "Seeing Ice" (to be released in fall 2012); "Extreme Ice, Vanishing Glaciers and Changing Climate: A Progress Report" (2009); "Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest" (2004); "Animal" (1999); "James Balog's Animals A to Z" (1996); "Anima" (1993); "Survivors: A New Vision of Endangered Wildlife" (1990); "Wildlife Requiem" (1984).
Advice for aspiring photographers: "Develop an appreciation for other art forms, such as great films, great paintings, great architecture, great music," he says. "If all you do is study how to make pictures, what you know is how to make pictures. But if you study something else, you learn about the real bedrock of what your pictures are sitting on."
Creative philosophy: "Good creativity of any kind obviously comes out of personal commitment and passion and willpower, but it also comes out of the energy of a moment in history. … We are vehicles for energy that needs to pass through us."