Between Earth and Sky: Climate Change on the Last Frontier

Showtimes

Featuring a post-film panel discussion with local experts, including Dr. Joseph Blankinship, UA Assistant Professor and soil biogeochemist; Moira Hough, PhD candidate  in the UA  Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Dr. Craig Rasmussen, UA Professor of Environmental Pedology. 

Special thanks to our community partners The University of Arizona Institute of the Environment, the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, and the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium.

Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.    

Alaska has been the source of myth and legend in the imagination of Americans for centuries, and what was once the last frontier of American expansion, has become the first frontier in climate change.

Striking and powerful … a necessary documentary.” – Anne Joost, Climate Alert

Between Earth and Sky examines climate change through the lens of impacts to native Alaskans, receding glaciers, and arctic soil. The island of Shishmaref has been home to the Inupiaq people for thousands of years. As sea ice retreats and coastal storms increase, the people of Shishmaref are faced with a disappearing island and a $200 million price tag to move their people with an untold cost on their culture and history. Permafrost (permanently frozen ground) in the Arctic and Subarctic sequesters 40% of the Earth’s soil carbon. Alaska has experienced the largest regional warming of any state in the U.S., increasing 3.4 degrees F since 1949. This warming has created a feedback loop of carbon to the atmosphere and the thawing of permafrost. Mixing interviews with some of the world’s leading scientists in climate change and arctic soils, with the day to day struggle of native Alaskans living on the front lines of global warming, Between Earth and Sky shows the calamity of climate change that has started in Alaska but will soon engulf the globe. (Dir. by Paul Hunton & Jonathan Seaborn, 2016, USA, 80 mins., Not Rated)

Science on Screen pairs current, classic, cult and documentary film with lively introductions by notable figures from the world of science, technology or medicine, allowing audiences to experience the excitement of discovery while enjoying some enlightenment along with their popcorn!

Dr. Joseph Blankinship, University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Dr. Blankinship is a soil biogeochemist and a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science. He is the Fellow for the USGS Powell Center Working Group on Soil Carbon Stabilization, an Action Group Leader for the International Soil Carbon Network, and building a research program focused on developing strategies for enhancing soil carbon storage and soil health in degraded arid ecosystems.

Moira Hough, University of Arizona Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Moira Hough is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology studying arctic ecosystems. Her research focuses on understanding how changes in plant and microbial activity impact carbon storage and greenhouse gas release after permafrost thaw. She spent the last three summers working at a field station in northern Sweden and has previously studied sites in northern Siberia and southeastern Alaska.

Dr. Craig Rasmussen, University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  Dr. Rasmussen is a Professor of Soil Science in the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science with over 20 years of experience working in ecosystems ranging from Southwestern deserts to alpine and subalpine forest and grasslands. He has performed extensive research on soil formation, soil organic carbon cycling and sequestration, mineral weathering, and predictive soil mapping.