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
Tashi Rabten was born in Amdo, Tibet in what is now Qinhai Province. He fled Tibet after the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989, crossing the Himalayas in winter to get to Nepal on an epic month-long trek that changed his life. He will describe meeting foreign climbing expeditions fully outfitted while he and his wife only had sweaters and hardly enough food to eat let alone ropes, jackets and other gear. They managed to evade Chinese military patrols and eventually arrived in Dharamsala, India. Determined to dedicate his life to helping the Tibetan people, he eventually came to America on a Fullbright Scholarship, and became a US citizen. He has earned both an MBA and a law degree to enable him to work on diplomatic endeavors.More Details
Nature-to-Medicine — Venoms of the Earth's deadliest animals, from the Sahara to the Pacific, from the Amazon to the Himalayas are the source of medicine's top life saving medications. They treat heart attack, heart failure, diabetes and other diseases. Join scientist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Dr. Zoltan Takacs on real-life adventures into the most remote frontiers of the world in search of venoms, then watch how those venoms are turned into future leads for medicine with cutting-edge genomics. Be ready to ride camels, sleep in hammocks, and team up with exotic tribes. We'll tackle pirates and malaria, face elephants and crocodiles ― the only way of getting hold of nature's million-years-old blueprints for medicine.More Details
Arabia Felix: on the trail of a forgotten explorer — In the 1930s, thanks to the exploits of Lowell Thomas and T E Lawrence of Arabia, the western world was obsessed with Arabia; the Rub Al Khali, or Empty Quarter, was considered the largest expanse of unexplored land outside of Antarctica. In 1932, English explorer Bertram Thomas addressed Explorers Club members on his successful crossing, a journey which is to be re-traced by small team of Arabs and an Englishman later in 2015. Mark Evans, Expedition Leader and international fellow of the club, will share with us stories of the original journey, and plans for the new, that begins in November 2015.More Details
Ansel & Ansel: Points of Inspiration — Yosemite National Park (circa 1916) ignited the passion of two of the most influential voices in the conservation movement. Only 22 years old, Ansel Hall rose through the ranks to become the first Chief Naturalist and Chief Forester for the newly formed National Park Service. The man who would become America’s iconic and most famous wilderness photographer, Ansel Adams, was only a teenager. “Points of Inspiration” is an account from the families of Ansel & Ansel and a tribute to their legacy of adventure, innovation, preservation, and interpretation of wild America.More Details
An Errant Circumnavigation: From 1985-1989, Russell Heath circumnavigated in a 25 foot Vertue class sloop: 37,000 miles, without electronics, inboard engine, or sailing experience—singlehanded. He has many stories: groundings, storms, characters—sea salts and land lubbers—and tales of the stars wheeling overhead. But no trip such as this leaves a person untouched. Heath's talk takes these stories and embeds them in a larger narrative of what it means to be alive, to live at risk, to chase distant horizons, to be moved, and to live deeply.More Details
Silent and Unseen: On Submarine Patrol During the Cold War — Capt. Alfred Scott McLaren will discuss his very exciting career in attack submarines during the Cold War, including deployment during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a great number of Cold War missions, and taking part in, and later commanding, two historic Arctic expeditions.More Details
SAVING SPECIES FROM EXTINCTION: Past, Present and Future of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust — The story of the Trust and its achievements, from the days when it was first conceived by its Founder, Gerald Durrell, to the present, are revealed through amusing and poignant stories and inspiring images. The urgency of the need for biodiversity conservation around the world is articulated, and some of the issues the Trust intends to target in the future are presented.More Details
Club Medalist Bob Ballard was profiled on 60 Minutes this past Sunday, May 10th. In “The Unknown America,” Ballard shares the inspiration for his newest project and and explains why he thinks the next great exploration challenges lie in the deep sea. In addition to the feature, 60 Minutes Overtime produced a tour of Explorers Club Headquarters. Watch as Bob takes host Lara Logan around our historic Clubhouse, describes Flags he carried on expedition, and explains what it’s like to be counted amongst his boyhood heroes.
The Explorers Club extends its congratulations to Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin engineeering and space teams for the successful first developmental test flight of the New Shepard suborbital spacecraft. It climbed to 307,000 feet before the crew capsule successfully was parachuted back to earth.
The New Shepard is designed to take off and land vertically with a reusable first-stage booster. It is propelled with a 110,000-lbf thrust liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen BE-3 engine, with a larger version (550,000-ibf thrust) already in the works for future flights. No timetable has yet been set for future test flights.
As an organization with profound and lasting friendships with the people of Nepal, we join with the world in expressing our deepest and most profound sorrow for the losses sustained in this most horrific earthquake.
From the peaks of Mt. Everest, to the streets of Kathmandu, many of our more than 3,000 explorer-members have partnered and entrusted their lives and their expeditions to the bravery and expertise of their Nepalese colleagues and we will forever be grateful for their friendship and support.
On behalf of our worldwide membership, we have conveyed our most profound sympathies and heartfelt support in letters to the Prime Minister of Nepal and other leading Nepalese government officials.
With Deepest Sympathy,
The Explorers Club