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Photo by Jill Pelto

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Jill Pelto Gallery


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Washington

"Decline in Glacier Mass Balance"

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  • This is a watercolor and colored pencil artwork by Jill Pelto and is part of a series about the major impacts of global warming.
  • "Decrease in Glacier Mass Balance" uses measurements from 1980-2014 of the average mass balance for a group of North Cascade, Washington glaciers. 

Teaching Tips


  • The painting is simple and easy to appreciate and interpret.
  • There are references at the bottom that can help explain the concept of glacier mass balance.
  • This resource is ideal for sparking creativity in students.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Learners should be familiar with the concept of glacier mass balance.


  • The educator can sign the students up for a collaborative project with the artist Jill Pelto.
  • Consider inviting the artist to speak via zoom about the artwork from her perspective.
  • Students can be challenged to represent other climate change risks they identify in their community, in the form of art.
  • The reference link provides a supporting video and article that students can use to learn more about glacier mass balance.
  • Students can create a work of art inspired by Jill Pelto's style or an environmental issue that they feel strongly about.
  • Other works by Jill Pelto include "Landscape of Change""Measuring Crevasse Depth", and "Increasing Forest Fire Activity".

Scientist Notes
This resource shows continued deficit in glacier budget. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Arts
    • Media Arts: Standard 11 - Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
      • MA.11.CO2.HS1 1. Demonstrate and explain how media artworks and ideas relate to various contexts, purposes, and values, such as social trends, power, equality, and personal/cultural identity.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
      • VA.8.RE2.8 1. Interpret art by analyzing how the interaction of subject matter, formal art elements, composition, use of media, art-making approaches, and relevant contextual information contributes to understanding messages or ideas and mood conveyed.
      • VA.8.RE2.HS1 2. Orally or in writing interpret an artwork or collection of works, supported by relevant and sufficient evidence found in the work and its various contexts.
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