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April 16, 2014

Otsego Land Trust to screen 'Chasing Ice'

By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
Cooperstown Crier

---- — The Otsego Land Trust, in partnership with the Pine Lake Environmental Campus of Hartwick College, will be hosting a screening of the documentary “Chasing Ice,” on April 18 at 6 p.m.

An award wining documentary, “Chasing Ice,” follows James Balog, a national Geographic Photographer, as he travels to some of the world’s coldest places in order to document the effects of climate change, accomplishing this by taking time lapse photographs of glaciers.

“I think it’s an incredible service, not only to give us those pictures but also to give us that information,” said Otsego Land Trust Executive Director Virginia Kennedy.

“As a land trust we find that climate change is on the forefront on what we do here every day,” said Sarah Schereen, outreach coordinator for the Otsego Land Trust. “We’re just trying to spread the awareness and the immediacy of these issues.”

The screening will take place at the Vaudevillian building at 1894 Charlotte Creek Road, Oneonta, which is located on the Pine Lake Environmental Campus of Hartwick College. 

This is not the first time The Otsego Land Trust has screened chasing Ice, as it sponsored the film’s inclusion in last year’s Glimmerglass Film Days film festival. After the screening, there was a discussion on the film with Otsego Land Trust Executive Director Virginia Kennedy.

“It was very successful at Glimmerglass in engaging people in a conversation about climate change,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy noted, however, that the audience at the festival was mostly older. She said that the Otsego Land Trust is trying to do more outreach to young people this year, and showing “Chasing Ice,” to a younger audience is a part of that.

“We wanted to get it in front of college kids,” said Kennedy, which is why she said the land trust has partnered with the environmental campus for this screening.

“We’re hoping to get the next generation on board with this,” said Schereen. “They’re tomorrows leaders so we need to get them informed today.”

Schereen also noted that the subject matter of “Chasing Ice” had a very real relation to the area.

“Even though this film takes place … in far away places, it affects us the same,” said Schereen.

Kennedy pointed to the flooding that the area has experienced over the last few years, and the science linking climate change to changing weather patterns.

“For our area of New York State flooding is a huge concern,” said Kennedy.

She also noted that the conservation easements that the Otsego Land Trust manages are for perpetuity, and that changing climate will have an impact on these properties.

“Climate change will effect land that we put under easement,” said Kennedy, pointing to changes in food production, population shifts, and the availability of water as some effects to keep an eye on.

Following the April 18 screening, there will be a post film discussion with Kennedy on climate change, environmental ethics and conservation. Environmental ethics examines the ethical relationships that people have with land and water, and was the subject of Kennedy’s Ph.D. research.

“I’m not there to tell people what to do,” said Kennedy, who said that she plans to conduct the discussion in a largely hands off manner. “I want people to be engaged. I’m not going to stand up there and talk.”

“We would love to see action from this viewing,” said Schereen. “The general want (is) for people to live intentionally.”

Preregistration for the screening is not required, but is recommended, and can be done by calling 547-2366 or by emailing