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NY WILD Film Festival

A super salmon; a little known endangered sun bear; Leonardo DiCaprio's passion for the planet; blood, sweat and tears in a French Polynesian jungle; one of the rarest animals on earth and one of the most trafficked animals are among the highlights of the 2017 New York WILD Film Festival. The fourth annual New York WILD Film Festival will be held from February 23-26. This must see event offers 22 outstanding films, multiple receptions and conversations with some of the world’s most creative, adventurous and heroic earth-loving characters.

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Public Lecture Series with Stephen A. Smith - February 27, 2017

Into the Thick of It: Expeditions into the Arctic Ice Pack - Sea ice is the stuff of legendary adventure, a cryospheric barrier that has long kept the Arctic isolated from the rest of the world. Stephen A. Smith is a filmmaker and expedition leader with over 30 years of self-propelled travel over and through those frozen seas. Find out why the world needs sea ice, and what makes the story of the changing Arctic ice pack worthy of front-page reporting.

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Film Screening - The Hudson: A River at Risk - Tuesday, February 28

The Hudson River, like many waterways around the world, has long been treated like an infinite waste barrel, a dumping ground for toxic chemicals, hazardous waste and trash. But for the past fifty years an amazing collection of environmental groups – Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, Clearwater and many more – have worked to revive the Hudson and the beautiful Valley that surrounds it. These accomplishments remind us what a resilient resource the river is. Join filmmaker and Club Member Jon Bowermaster for ‘The Hudson, A River At Risk,’ a report on a handful of serious and growing threats to the river. Jon will be joined by Paul Gallay, President of Riverkeeper, and Ned Sullivan, President of Scenic Hudson, for a Q&A following the film.

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Public Lecture Series with Gareth Roriston - Monday, March 6

Traditionally hunter gatherers and seldom documented, this lecture is about the Watha community of Galana, Kenya. Topics will include their history, traditional culture, survival techniques, and contemporary issues faced by the community as they homogenise into modern Kenyan society, at the potential expense of losing their history and cultural identity. The lecture will also focus on the Watha's history of elephant hunting as a way of life, in the face of the well-known crisis facing African Elephants today.

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Public Lecture Series with Bob Brier - Monday, March 13th

In the 19th century three massive obelisks left Egypt bound for Paris, London, and New York. The engineers entrusted with transporting “Cleopatra’s Needles” had to invent new methods to transport these granite monoliths, and it was far from certain that they would succeed. It took the French four years to lower, transport and erect their obelisk. In this lecture, Bob Brier tells how obelisks were quarried and raised in ancient Egypt and then recounts the remarkable adventures involved in bringing the three obelisks across oceans to their new homes.

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Public Lecture Series with Tristan Gooley - Monday, March 20th

How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea - From wild swimming in Sussex to wayfinding off Oman, via the icy mysteries of the Arctic, natural navigator and bestselling author, Tristan Gooley, draws on his own pioneering journeys to reveal the secrets of ponds, puddles, rivers, oceans and more to show us all the skills we need to read the water around us.

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Public Lecture Series with Ryan Pyle - Monday, March 27th

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 Jonathan White - Monday, April 3rd

After nearly losing his 65’ wooden schooner in a gale on a large tide in Southeast Alaska, writer, sailor, and surfer Jonathan White wanted to learn just exactly how the tide works. For his newest book, Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, Jonathan spent ten years searching for the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world. In China he confronted the Silver Dragon, a twenty-five foot tidal bore that runs eighty miles upriver; in Chile he studied tide-generated electricity; in Panama and Venice he learned about sea level rise, and in the Arctic he followed an Inuit elder down a small hole through thick winter ice to gather fresh blue mussels in the cavities left by low tide. Combining photographs and stories, Jonathan takes audiences into the deepest workings of the tide around the globe.

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Public Lecture Series with Stockton Rush - Monday, April 10

Stockton Rush wanted to be the first person to walk on Mars – a dream fostered by NASA’s Apollo program, Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ten years ago he realized that much of the life yet to be discovered is here on Earth. In fact, only 5% of the ocean has been explored. To open the ocean to a new era of human exploration, Stockton created OceanGate in 2009 and has led many dive expeditions, including to the legendary Andrea Doria, the Yukon Territory, and the discovery of a Grumman F6F Hellcat aircraft that crashed near Miami.

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Public Lecture Series with Alex Shoumatoff - Monday, April 17

Alex Shoumatoff's new book, The Wasting of Borneo, his eleventh, is about the destruction of the world’s most ancient and species-rich rain forest — Borneo’s lowland rain forest — by the palm-oil and logging industries. In 2012 he visited Birute Galdikas and her orangutans in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. This fall, peat fires from rain forest cleared and burned for conversion to oil palm plantations, raged for months and thousands of orangutans died of starvation and smoke inhalation. Few Americans are aware that the greatest destruction of biodiversity on the planet is happening here, and that we are implicated. Half our household products contain palm oil.

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Public Lecture Series with George Sirk - Monday, April 24

The unaffected authenticity of ‘Modern Times Too’ was a direct result of George Sirk’s honest rapport with the Papuans. This, combined with his expertise in the Australasian natural world, will be apparent as he narrates the film with his mesmerizing tales. In 1981, George went with two ornithologists, Wayne Longmore, from the Australian Museum, and Brian Finch from the UK, to Papua New Guinea on a birding expedition to the Chambri Lakes and the Bayer River Highlands. The lakes had not been surveyed since the 1930’s and new data was sought by the Museum.

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Call for Entries! The 2017 Scott Pearlman Field Award for Science & Exploration

The Scott Pearlman Field Award for Science and Exploration provides financial support to artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, and media journalists to promote reproduction-quality documentation of field research on scientific expeditions. There is no age requirement and applicants do not have to be a member of The Explorers Club, although membership is highly recommended. Click here to download the application. Electronic applications only. Hard copies will not be considered or returned. The winning entry will receive $10,000 dollars. The deadline is May 31, 2017. Apply today!

Previous Recipients include: Lonnie Dupre, Michele Westmorland, Karen Huntt, Joseph Meehan, Anne Doubilet, Eugenie Clark, Katie Clancy, Ellie Ga, Alison Jones, Peter Berman, Greg Deyermenjian, Lawrence Millman, Kate Harris, Alegra Ally, and Jamie Unwin.

This is an Explorers Club Grant Program.

Announcing the 2017 Explorers Club Annual Awardees

This year we will honor the outstanding accomplishments of three individuals with The Explorers Club Medal — the most prestigious recognition in exploration — André Borschberg, FI ‘13 & Bertrand Piccard, M.D., FI ‘00 for their solar powered circumnavigation, Solar Impulse, and Nainoa Thompson, FN ‘15, for his historic work on Polynesian wayfinding and the Hōkūleʻa.

Their fellow awardees include: Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita honored with the Tenzing Norgay Award; George Basch, MN ‘10 with the Citation of Merit; Lee Langan, FN ‘99 recognized with The Edward C. Sweeney Memorial Medal; and Sophie Hollingsworth, SM ‘14 with our first-ever New Explorer Award.

Join us, as we celebrate these outstanding individuals on Ellis Island, Saturday, March 25th 2017. For more information, please see the biographies below, and be sure to reserve your tickets for this amazing event!

In Memoriam: John Herschel Glenn Jr.

It is with a deep sense of sadness that I share with you the news that our distinguished Honorary Chairman and most valued fellow explorer, John Glenn, has passed away at the age of 95.

Senator Glenn was elected to membership in The Explorers Club in 1962, and in 2013, he was awarded the coveted Legendary Explorers Medal for his extraordinary contributions to manned space flight.

His distinguished career as an astronaut, United States Senator and educator, and his most valued membership and companionship in The Explorers Club, elevated him to a level that few others have ever achieved.

He was the first American to orbit the Earth aboard the Mercury Friendship 7 spacecraft in 1962, following a military career as a pilot in both World War II and Korea, during which he flew 149 combat missions, and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross six times.

He later rejoined the space program and in 1998 and at the age of 77, he served as the Payload Specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery on a nine-day mission.

He served in the United States Senate from 1974 to 1999, and in 1984 was a candidate for President of the United States. And in 2012, Senator Glenn was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to a civilian, by President Barack Obama.

We were deeply honored to have had John Glenn among us as one of our most distinguished explorers. Our most profound and deepest sympathies go out to his wife of 68 years, Annie and to his two children.

Ad Astra, Godspeed John Glenn

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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