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An Evening with General Wesley Clark

A New Security Paradigm: Climate Change and Economic Opportunity - Thirty years after widespread recognition of man-made Climate change, we have yet to confront the urgency of the problem - or the full extent of the opportunities it affords. Global climate modeling efforts have persistently underestimated the rate of change and it's consequences. So-called positive feedback loops have been omitted, misunderstood, or simply unpredictable with current data. General Wesley Clark will offer a current assessment.

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Climate Change: Politics, Arts, and Innovation - Tuesday, September 25

Featuring panels "Action Through Art" with The Climate Museum and Storm King Art Center; "Impact Pioneers Gathering" with The ixo Foundation, SolarCoin, and South Pole; and "Politics, Policy, and Communication" with Yale Professors Anthony Leiserowitz and Dan Esty.

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Climate Change: Global Engagement - Wednesday, September 26

Climate Change: Global Engagement - Featuring presentations from The Svalbard Global Seed Vault and The Tara Expeditions Foundation.

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World Premiere "Born to Explore" Special - Namibia: Land of the Cheetah - Thursday, September 27

In this one-hour world premiere, Born to Explore travels to Namibia for an in-depth look at the most endangered cat in Africa - the cheetah. Explorer Richard Wiese discovers why Namibia is known as the cheetah capital of the world. He meets Dr. Laurie Marker, founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund to see what’s being done to save these cats from extinction. Loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict and the illegal wildlife trade have impacted cheetah populations worldwide and there are now less than 8,000 left in the wild. Join us in Namibia: Land of the Cheetah.

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The Tartan Turban - Monday, Oct. 1

Public Lecture Series with John Keay - "The Tartan Turban" - Like the travels of Marco Polo, those of Alexander Gardner clip the white line between credible adventure and creative invention. Either he is the nineteenth century’s most intrepid traveler or its most egregious fantasist, or a bit of both. Contemporaries generally believed him; posterity became more skeptical. And as with Polo, the investigation of Gardner’s story enlarged man’s understanding of the world and upped the pace of scientific and political exploration.

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An Evening with Michael Palin - Sunday, October 14

Join Michael Palin – former Monty Python stalwart and much-loved television globe-trotter – as he brings to life the world and voyages of HMS Erebus. In this illustrated talk, Michael Palin will chart the history of the ship from its construction in the naval dockyards of Pembroke, to the part it played in Ross’s Antarctic expedition of 1839 to 1843, to its abandonment during Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic expedition, and to its final rediscovery on the seabed in the Northwest Passage in 2014.

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Exploring Roman History with New Technology: Climate, Epidemics, and the Fall of an Empire - Monday, Oct. 15

Exploring the Past with New Technology: Climate, Epidemics and the Fall of an Empire - At its height, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain to Egypt, from Spain to Iraq. The western Roman Empire lasted almost a thousand years. How such a mighty civilization fell – and why – has been a preoccupation of historians since at least the 18th century. But today, as new technology develops that can be applied to the field science of archaeology, we are able to understand more about the past than ever before.

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Film Screening - "Headhunt Revisited" - Thursday, October 18th

American artist Caroline Mytinger visited Melanesia—then known as “the land of the headhunters”—in the 1920s, as part of an audacious quest to paint unspoiled civilizations. Her journey was nothing short of amazing. Four years later, Mytinger returned with a wealth of ethnographic material, including 25 oil paintings, more than 40 sketches, and enough notes for two published books. Today, her art is recognized as one of the first and only color interpretations of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the early 20th century. Directed by Michele Westmorland FN ’95 and narrated by Lauren Hutton, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera retraces Mytinger’s improbable journey and looks at the time-traveling power of her art.

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Space Stories 2018 - Saturday, October 20

Space Stories is a day devoted to the exploration of space, in all its facets. With interviews and presentations from Greg Olsen, Geoffrey Notkin, Les Guthman, Kim Arcand, Dafydd Rhys "Dave" Williams, Paul Hildebrandt, Grigorij Richters, and a live recording of StarTalk All-Stars hosted by Astrobiologist David Grinspoon. Admission includes lunch and a light breakfast.

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Public Lecture Series with Ryan Pyle - "Chinese Turkestan" - Monday, October 22

Sparsely populated and spanning more than 1.6 million square kilometers of desert, river basins, mountains, and grasslands, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has had a turbulent history. Many of the events that have occurred there during the last 2500 years have been inextricably associated with its geographical position in northwest China, at a crossroads linking Europe and Asia. Traversed by branches of the series of trade routes that formed the ancient Silk Road, the region has been fought over and controlled by a succession of warlords and empires. Join Ryan as he spends nearly a decade exploring AND documenting the ancient footsteps in shifting sands in China’s remote northwest.

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Public Lecture Series with George Kourounis - Monday, October 29

Mother Nature’s Bad Moods: 20 Years Of Documenting Extreme Forces of Nature and Climate Change - For twenty years, George Kourounis has been documenting extreme forces of nature around the world and sharing his findings via the internet, public talks, assisting scientists, and by hosting numerous television programs. In this lecture, he’ll be sharing some of his most exciting, dramatic, and sometimes hilarious and harrowing experiences that span 65 countries.

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Public Lecture Series with Virginia E. Miller - Monday, November 5

Skeletons, Skulls, and Bones in the Art of Chichén Itzá - The Aztecs considered the bones of slain captives to be powerful, a belief probably shared by the earlier Maya: one Maya hieroglyph for “captive” translates as “bone”, for example. Captives are sometimes represented in Maya art during the Classic period (300-900 C.E.), and skulls and bones may be secondary motifs, particularly on portable objects like painted pottery. Nevertheless, it is only during the Terminal Classic period (800-1000 C.E.), and in the northern Maya area, that vivid images of decapitation, heart sacrifice, skulls, and bones become common in monumental art.

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Sea Stories 2018 - Saturday, November 10

Sea Stories is day focused on exploration, conservation, scuba diving, shipwrecks and marine life. This will be a great opportunity for those who are interested in the ocean to interact. Tickets will NOT be sold at door. Speakers and topics coming soon!

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Club Closed for Veterans Day

The Explorers Club will be closed on Monday, November 12th in honor of Veterans Day. We will open again on Tuesday, November 13th at 9:00 am. Our public lecture with Adrian Hayes - "One Man's Climb - A Journey of Trauma, Tragedy and Triumph on K2" will begin at 6:00 pm on Tuesday evening, Nov. 13. Click here to purchase tickets online for that event.

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One Man's Climb - A Journey of Trauma, Tragedy and Triumph on K2 - Tuesday, November 13th

Explorers Club Public Lecture Series with Adrian Hayes - British adventurer, mountaineer, and polar explorer Adrian Hayes tells the deeply moving story of his two attempts on K2 – the savage mountain. Located in the Karakorum Himalayas on the borders of Pakistan and China, the world’s second tallest mountain has a tortuous history, which has resulted in less than 400 climbers reaching the top in the 64 years since its first ascent – compared to over 5,000 summits of Mt. Everest in the same period. Known as the ‘Mountaineers Mountain,’ K2 is the ultimate prize in mountaineering. Aside from so few people achieving the goal, its fatality rate – a sobering summit to death ratio of 25% - has left scores of climbers paying the ultimate price.

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Frontline Conservation: Sketching out a Future for Endangered Species - Wednesday, November 14

Frontline Conservation: Sketching out a Future for Endangered Species - News and views from the front line in the battle to stop species extinction, from the deployment of anti-poaching dogs to the role of technology, telling first-hand accounts of those who risk their lives every day fighting poachers. On display will be a selection of 450 sketches donated by leading artists, all drawn in 26 minutes, the length of time in takes for an elephant to be poached for its ivory.

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Public Lecture Series with David Grann - “The White Darkness” - Monday, November 26

“The White Darkness” is a powerful true story of adventure and obsession in the Antarctic. Henry Worsley was a devoted husband and father and a decorated British special forces officer who believed in honor and sacrifice. He was also a man obsessed with Ernest Shackleton. In 2008, Worsley set out across Antarctica with two other descendants of Shackleton’s crew, battling the freezing, desolate landscape, life-threatening physical exhaustion, and hidden crevasses. Yet when he returned home he felt compelled to go back. On November 2015, at age 55, Worsley bid farewell to his family and embarked on his most perilous quest: to walk across Antarctica alone. David Grann is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker magazine.

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Public Lecture Series with Anthony Watts - "Mountains in the Sea" - Monday, Dec. 3

The oceans make up 76% of Earth’s surface, yet we know little of the nature of the seafloor that lies beneath. This lecture will trace the history of seafloor exploration, from the 19th century, through World War II, to the present-day. Dr. Watts will show that mountains, the majority of which are volcanic in origin, litter the seafloor. He’ll use acoustic imagery to illustrate these mountains and the role they play as a recorder of tectonic plate movement and Earth’s magmatic pulse, then discussing their scientific and societal significance.

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Public Lecture Series with Dr. Patrick Hunt - "Tracking Hannibal" - Monday, December 10

Tracking Hannibal: From Carthage through Spain to the Alps, Italy and Beyond - Hannibal Barca's legendary march to wage the Second Punic War serves as the foundation of his historical legacy as Rome's greatest foe, yet the true route trod by his war elephants had never been confirmed. This lecture is not from an “armchair historian” but instead from “feet on the ground,” where Dr. Patrick Hunt led a ten-year National Geographic-sponsored field expedition to identify Hannibal’s actual trail.

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Public Lecture Series with Dan Stone - "The Food Explorer" - Monday, December 17

The Food Explorers: The Botanists Who Roamed the Planet To Find Our Everyday Foods - In the nineteenth century, American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater. Along with his team of USDA botanists, Fairchild transformed the American diet. Join Fairchild’s adventures with National Geographic writer Daniel Stone, author of “The Food Explorer.”

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New Membership Announcement - September 2018

Greetings Members,

We are pleased to report that, at the last Board of Directors meeting, another 91 explorers were approved to join our ranks.

As stipulated in the bylaws, a list of the current candidates will be posted in the Members Lounge for thirty days before the candidates are invited to accept this honor. This email is an opportunity to extend that posting globally.

Please find that list in the Members Area by clicking here.

Members are strongly encouraged to comment on these candidates with supporting or pertinent information by October 10th. To do so, please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

We would also like to take a moment to thank all the sponsors of these candidates. The continuing vitality of our club depends upon qualified new members joining us and these sponsors have delivered that.

Get your tickets now for the 2018 Lowell Thomas Awards in Boston!

Saturday, October 27

Click here to purchase tickets online

Ticketing is now open for the 2018 Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner at the Museum of Science in Boston, MA. We are also offering a special block of discounted early-bird tickets, available to all guests before Saturday, September 1!

The Lowell Thomas Awards were first presented on the occasion of The Explorers Club’s 75th anniversary, October 17, 1980, to a group of outstanding explorers including Carl Sagan,  Isaac Asimov,  Sylvia Earle,  and Lowell Thomas himself. Since that time, the honor has been bestowed upon Buzz Aldrin, Sir Edmund Hillary,  Jim Lovell, Mae Jemison, Sir David Attenborough, Chuck Yaeger, and many more.

As a community dedicated to preserving the instinct to explore, we have always valued curiosity, determination, and ingenuity. For our 2018 Lowell Thomas Awards, we celebrate individuals who have demonstrated the skills necessary to engineer groundbreaking expeditions and expeditionary science.

Our 2018 Awardees are an incredible group, including Organismic & Evolutionary Biologist Peter Girguis, Aerospace biomedical engineer and space suit designer Dava Newman, groundbreaking Egyptologist Sarah Parcak, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons Pluto Mission Alan Stern, and Nobel prize-winning physicist Rainer Weiss.​

Held at the venerable Boston Museum of Science and featuring a weekend of events at incredible cultural institutions across the “cradle of liberty,” the 2018 Lowell Thomas Awards promises to be an event guests won’t soon forget.

Click here for schedule and hotel information

The Latest from the Field - Thai Cave Rescue

Since June 23rd, the world has been fixated on the 12 young Thai soccer players and their “Wild Boars” coach, trapped by flood waters more than 2 miles inside the Tham Luang Nang Non Cave in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province.

After 10 days, the boys were finally located grouped together on a ledge just above the water line.  At this point, heroic efforts to rescue them began.  SEAL Teams from around the world joined the highly skilled Thai SEALS who were already at the scene.  They were joined by some of the world’s top caving experts who mapped out and executed one of the most intricate and dangerous cave rescues ever attempted.

We are privileged to share with you that Explorers Club Australia/New Zealand Chapter member Dr. Richard Harris FI’09, one of the world’s most distinguished and recognized caving experts, was summoned by both Thai and British rescue leaders to join them in Mae Sai, Thailand.

Dr. Harris immediately departed Adelaide for Thailand and played an instrumental and leading role in the rescue planning and execution.

As one of the first into the cave to reach the boys, Dr. Harris was also the last one out, after the successful rescue was complete.  The enormity of his contribution was critical to the successful return of the 12 boys and their coach.

We couldn’t be more proud of Dr. Harris’ work. Additionally, we are proud of the Club members who are caving and diving experts that shared their expertise and guidance with worldwide media:

  •    Dr. Richard Harris FI’09 speaks with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the rescue, via CNN
  •    Australian Report on the mission of Dr. Richard Harris FI’09, via
  •    Bill Steele FE’79 penned a special OP-ED piece on caving for the Washington Post
  •    Tim Taylor FN’04 appeared on a special NBC Today Show report
  •    Christine Dennison FR’03 appeared from New York on CNN Worldwide

The anxiety surrounding the rescue was felt worldwide.
The relief in its success was shared worldwide.
The pride of The Explorers Club in the roles played by our members is a lasting honor.

On a sad note - as Dr. Harris emerged from the cave following the heroic rescue of the last boy and his coach, he learned from his trusted colleagues that his father had passed away. We all join in extending our very deepest and most profound sympathy to Dr. Harris and his entire family.

Wishing you a most successful and safe summer of expeditions.

Most Cordially,
Bill Liss

Communications Chair
Member of The Explorers Club Board of Directors

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste