Some 3000 years ago, the relentless spread of civilization reached Tibet with dramatic consequences, ones that would alter the face of Eurasia forever. This was the time of the Late Bronze Age followed by the Iron Age, periods of profound technological and environmental change across Eurasia. Although we now often think of Tibet as a backwater, in antiquity it too was an active participant in the reshaping of this vast continent. The developments unleashed in Tibet and beyond three millennia ago reverberate down to the present day, helping to account for the cultural legacies of two-thirds of the world’s population.More Details
The Middle Kingdom Ride - Ryan Pyle decided to leave the rat race behind and ride his motorbike around China. He covered over 14,000 miles over 60 days in a circuit of China that has never been attempted before. He has effectively become a Shanghai local, having lived there for 10 years. Pyle has now set his sights even higher. Crazy drivers, 40 degree plus heat, massive landslides, floods, inhospitable towns and dangerous falls will hamper his progress, as he strives to claim a Guinness World record for the longest continuous journey by a motorcycle within a single country. It's a quest to go where no one has gone before; a journey they call The Middle Kingdom Ride.More Details
The Tayos Odyssey - Explorer Alex Chionetti has been the primary investigator and promoter of the Tayos cave system – the most extensive cave system in South America. His 30 years of work required travel into remote areas of Ecuador where natives, hostile to all outsiders, made all travel hazardous. The caves indicate use by unknown sophisticated civilizations many years ago and now house species unique to the area. His many photographic records will accompany his talk.More Details
Roman Legions, Slave Mercenaries, in Ancient Western Han Duanghuang, Gansu, China, 35B.C.E. to 22B.C.E. - The idea of Roman soldiers being in China at the end of the Roman Republic and earliest Roman Imperial times has long upset many scholars in America, England, and China. Recent DNA tests conducted by the Chinese government and on-going archaeological finds in significant sites in the province of western Gansu have begun to change the minds of a steadily growing number of eminent scholars.More Details
Unpacking Antarctica - In the Austral summer of 2009-10, Elise Engler was the recipient of a National Science Foundation’s Antarctica Artist and Writer’s Program Grant. As a result, she spent 2 months in the Antarctic; drawing, painting, photographing and making videos of my experiences accompanying scientists in the Dry Valleys, Cape Royds and Caper Crozier (2 penguin colonies) and the South Pole. This lecture documents her travels, using photographs and images of the art made throughout this residency and upon return.More Details
The Life and Times of Black Holes Throughout Cosmic Time - Over the last 10 years or so, astronomers have accumulated convincing evidence that black holes are not only "real" and exist, but are in fact ubiquitous in nature, coming in a broad range of sizes. Large black holes are found to reside at the center of every galaxy, and very massive ones, several billion times heavier than our own Sun, are known to have formed already within a mere 700 million years after the Big Bang. Columbia University astrophysicist Zoltan Haiman will discuss how such massive black holes may have formed and evolved throughout the history of the cosmos.More Details
In Search of Black Ice: Science and Exploration in the Nepalese Himalaya - From September 2013 through June 2014, Ulyana Nadia Horodyskyj had the unique opportunity to live and work in the Nepalese Himalaya on a US Fulbright fellowship. During this time, she explored mechanisms for ice mass loss in the Himalaya. From surviving a near-drowning in a glacial river, climbing to over 6100 meters (20,000 feet) in search of samples, and losing a member of her team in the Everest avalanche, Horodyskyj will take you on a journey of discovery, exploration, hardship and heartbreak during my collection of scientific data from the Roof of the World.More Details
The ancient ruins of Southeast Asia have long sparked curiosity and romance in the world’s imagination. They appear in accounts of 19th-century French explorers, as props for Indiana Jones’ adventures, and more recently as the scene of Lady Lara Croft’s fantastical battle with the forces of evil. They have been featured in National Geographic magazine and serve as backdrops for popular television travel and reality shows. Drawing from his recent book A Heritage of Ruins: The Ancient Sites of Southeast Asia and Their Conservation (2013), William Chapman will explore the varied roles these monumental remains have played in the histories of Southeast Asia’s modern nations.More Details
Often exciting, sometimes humorous, always revealing and refreshingly honest, Life Behind the Lens by Doug Allan offers unique personal insights into the trials and tribulations of filming animals in the wildest places on Earth. Doug’s enthusiasm for communicating his deep understanding of the biology of the animals and the psychology of film-makers make this presentation both engaging and inspirational. It’s suitable for a wide range of ages and audiences, from youngsters to adults, from scientists to artists.More Details
ELEPHANT DON: The Politics of a Pachyderm Posse - The lecture will cover 20+ years of Caitlin O'Connell's elephant research and specifically a new focus on male elephant society featured in her new book of the same name. The presentation will feature photos, video, sounds and data along with a discussion of the book and the long term research and recent publications that came out of the research.More Details
Dawid’s Return is about a two month journey I did into the Kalahari Desert, South Africa, with an old Khomani San/Bushman and his children. Patricia Glyn visited and recorded ancient heritage sites, traditional hunting grounds, birth and death sites, and got a glimpse of what life was like for the Khomani before they were evicted from their homeland by South Africa’s apartheid regime.More Details
Based on the new book "ICE SHIP: The Epic Voyages of the Polar Adventurer Fram" by Charles W. Johnson, this presentation follows the life-story of one of the most famous polar ships of all time, the Norwegian vessel Fram, active from 1892-1914. The lecture covers the ship’s conception, innovative construction, and three remarkable expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic, under three famous – but very different – commanders.More Details
The Silk Road, often referred to as the backbone of history, was a nexus of trade routes that ran from Western China into the Middle East, through Persia and into the Mediterranean. The 5,000-mile route of the ancient Silk Road traveled through more than a dozen countries, crossing some of the most spectacular and inaccessible regions on earth. Sam will cover one of those countries in his presentation – Ancient Persia and modern Iran. He will share images of his journey along the Silk Road in Iran including Teheran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd and Persepolis.More Details
In a small cave on the north rim Grand Canyon, Dr. Jut Wynne FN’06 and colleagues discovered two species of cave-adapted false scorpions and subsequently identified them as unique to science—Hesperochernes bradybaughii and Tuberochernes cohni. Originally collected on expedition in 2005 and 2007, Wynne and his co-author described both species as new after a comparative analysis of all similar species. “One of the species had a thickened pair of legs and a mound on the pincer, while another had a much deeper pincer than other pseudoscorpions — qualifying each as distinct,” explained Dr. Mark Harvey, lead author on the paper. On top of this, Jut also collected another pseudoscorpion species, Larca cavicola, on two expeditions with Club Flag #52 in 2008 and 2009, some 160km to the west of its type locality, thereby extending its known range and contributing to our understanding of this species through his work.
It’s a joy for me to be a fellow Member of The Explorers Club and to watch our recent progress including such things as:
• 53 Flag Expeditions and the renewed excitement of our Log, Journal, Newsletter, and other special publications
• Record breaking and unique Lowell Thomas and Annual Dinners honoring and recognizing all explorers, both famous and unheralded
• New initiatives that proved to be extraordinary successes including our Artist-in-Exploration Grant, Film Festivals, the $100,000 Foundation Mamont Grant for Explorers Club Expeditions, and completion of our Phase II million dollar restoration outside and the extraordinary renovations inside of our world Headquarters
• Live streaming our lectures and special events
• Over $150,000 for student grants
• Administrative reorganization, upgrading our current operations to a modern digital mode
• Development and financing plans to bring our library and archives to the 21st Century for the benefit of members and scholars
These things don’t just happen. They result from the work of your dedicated fellow members and the guidance of our Officers and Board of Directors.
(1) You have been very active at any level of The Explorers Club – chapters, committees, special events
(2) You truly believe in our mission as the Center of World Exploration
(3) Have had considerable experience within or outside of The Explorers Club in organizational leadership, development, or chapter improvements—
There is now an opportunity, and in fact a need, for five excellent men or women of the Club to become Board members of the Class of 2018. I encourage you to run!
David Brinkman MN‘08, Chair of our Greater Piedmont Chapter, has proudly announced the successful excavation of an 18th century fort near the Congaree River in Cayce, S.C. In coordination with Jonathan Leader and John Hunt of the University of South Carolina, the team discovered “this particular fort, which would have been visited by well-known Revolutionary War figures such as Thomas Sumter, Andrew Pickens and Isaac Huger, was small, between 150 and 200 square feet, but served as the base for a garrison of approximately 100 people around the time of the French and Indian Wars.”
Carrying Flag #147, the excavation could be considered among the first Joint Chapter Expeditions, with Greater Piedmont, Atlanta, and Rocky Mountain Chapter members participating. In particular, Brinkman was keen to thank “a core group that has been there on almost every dig: Jon Leader, John Fisher, Jacob Borchardt, Dean Hunt, DC Locke, and Odess Brinkman. There were also Explorers that came from far away to take part in a couple of the digs: Julie and Alex Wallace, Linda and Jim Alexander, Don Chenoweth, and Steve Pigott.”
You can click here to learn more about the dig on the University of South Carolina’s website. We would like to congratulate David on this collaborative effort, and look forward to continued discoveries from the site.