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Film Screening - Jungles in Paris - September 8th, 2015

The Explorers Club cordially invites you to an evening of exploratory filmmaking with Jungles in Paris. Join this pioneering multimedia website’s founders—and Explorers Club members—Darrell and Oliver Hartman for a screening of short documentaries about the natural world and traditional cultures. Event will include brief filmmaker discussions and a special presentation of a short documentary collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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Public Lecture Series featuring Zoltan Takacs - September 14th, 2015

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 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.

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Public Lecture Series featuring Mark Evans - September 21st, 2015

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.

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Public Lecture Series featuring Damien Mander - September 23rd, 2015

The Greater Lebombo Conservancy (GLC), an area of 2,483 km2, is currently the most critical piece of land on the planet for rhino conservation. It is all that stands between the worlds highest concentrations of rhino and the world’s highest concentration of rhino poaching syndicates, acting as a highway for rhino poachers entering Kruger National Park. Working with key stakeholders over an 18-month period, Damien Mander coordinated efforts to produce a draft Strategy Plan for Anti-Poaching for the region, and has begun to implement these steps with local partners in an effort to stop the hemorrhaging. This project aims to help safeguard up to 8,000 rhino, making its success a critical requirement for the future of the species.

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Public Lecture Series feat. Russell Heath - October 5th, 2015

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.

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Public Lecture Series featuring Annie Nocenti - October 12th, 2015

Documentary Adventures in Haiti and Pakistan — Making documentary films in troubled countries isn’t easy, but it is a fascinating challenge. After the earthquake that devastated Haiti, Annie Nocenti taught filmmaking out of a tent. In Baluchistan, a tribal province of Pakistan, she made two films, one about a tribal insurgency, and one about hunting with falcons. Filming tribal lords under a veil, and later in the desert with men that normally live in Purda (separation of men and women), ended up being an amazing sharing experience. The same was true in Haiti. Adventure travel can be dangerous and challenging, but what she learned to treasure most was how disparate cultures can come to a better understanding of one another.

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Public Lecture Series feat. Alfred McLaren - October 19th, 2015

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.

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Public Lecture Series featuring Lee Durrell - November 9th, 2015

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.

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Public Lecture Series featuring Thomas Simmons - Monday, November 16th

Mike Plant is in his prime at age 41, recognized as America’s premiere offshore single-handed skipper, when he becomes the subject of a mystery at sea. Weeks have passed since he departed New York Harbor aboard his radically designed 60-foot sloop, Coyote, en route to France for the starting line of the Vendee Globe, a single-handed non-stop race around the world. A massive air search ensues, and those who know Plant believe he is capable of surviving the elements. Thomas Simmons will never forget standing on a tugboat in Newport Bay when his uncle, Mike Plant, appeared over the horizon and sailed to victory in the 1987 BOC Challenge. He knew then as he knows now, that dreams are worth chasing.

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Soundscape 2015: San Francisco Sound at The Explorers Club - November 19th, 2015

For five decades, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady have lived the ultimate adventures of the music business. Founders of renowned groups Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, they pioneered rock music at its highest levels during the sweet spot of the 1960s with songs like Somebody To Love and White Rabbit. For their efforts, in 1996 the two were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Come join these icons as Club director Jim Clash FR'99 probes their recollections of the summer of 1969 when they headlined the counterculture Woodstock concert, and when Neil Armstrong MED’76 and Buzz Aldrin MED‘76 walked on the moon.

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Public Lecture Series featuring John Frederick Walker - Monday, November 30th

Nearly a century ago, the giant sable antelope of Angola was the last great African quadruped to become known to the outside world. The males of this critically endangered sable subspecies carry breath-taking five-foot-long curved horns. Angola’s national animal has managed to survive decades of trophy hunting and a devastating 27-year-long civil war only to now fall under threats from poaching, habitat loss and disease, as John Frederick Walker recently reported for National Geographic News. Walker returns to the Club with spectacular images and rare film clips to share news of on-going conservation efforts to ensure a future for this magnificent walking emblem.

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Public Lecture Series featuring Jack Turner - December 7th, 2015

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.

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Club Closed - MLK Day

The Explorers Club will be closed today, Monday January 18th, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We will resume regular operating hours tomorrow, Tuesday the 19th at 9:00 am.

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Public Lecture Series feat. John Vincent Bellezza - January 25, 2016

Long before lamas, monasteries and Buddhism came to Tibet, the highest plateau on earth was home to a sophisticated civilization. Hidden away in the highest and remotest reaches of Tibet are remarkably well preserved citadels, temples, necropolises and rock art that tell its story. John Vincent Bellezza regales us with gripping tales of his latest discoveries and sheds light on the mysterious people who built these great monuments.

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Announcing The Explorers Club 2016 Youth Activity Fund and Exploration Fund Grants

Deadline for applications is 5:00 PM EST, October 19, 2015

The Explorers Club is proud of its history but also looks toward the future, recognizing the importance of new ideas and avenues of exploration. The Club is deeply committed to supporting the fieldwork of serious researchers and, as part of its public service commitment, is currently accepting applications for the following grants:

The Youth Activity Fund Grant supports high school students and college undergraduates. Its goal is to foster a new generation of explorers dedicated to the advancement of the scientific knowledge of our world.

The Exploration Fund Grant is for graduate, post-graduate, doctorate and early career post-doctoral students. It provides grants in support of exploration and field research for those who are just beginning their research careers.

Awards for both grants range from $500 to $5,000. We recommend keeping your budget realistic. Only a few grants may be awarded at the $5,000 level. The deadline for the applications will be 5:00 PM EST, October 19, 2015. Please check our Student Grants page for guidelines and requirements that must be met in order for a submission to be considered.

The application is now available at Please note, all applications must be submitted through the online system. If you have trouble with registration, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Dust and Dancing to Celebrate Indigenous Australia

Guided only by traditional navigation techniques, Club Fellow Dan Lin FN’ 14 and members of the Polynesian Voyaging Society are participating in a five year journey toward a more sustainable future. While aboard the Hawaiian voyaging vessel Hōkūle’a, Lin and the Polynesian Voyaging Society are promoting conservation of both environmental and cultural resources. A recent stop placed them in the North Queensland region of Australia - just in time for the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival.

In addition to the stunning performances and landscape, the festival is rooted in ideas of cultural conservation. Many of the dances are believed to be tens of thousands of years old, stemming from traditional practices, spiritual beliefs, or local legends. In his own words, Lin explained, “Our voyage, much like this dance festival, believes in building a better future for the next generation to inherit.”

Click here to learn more about his experience at the festival in a piece he wrote for National Geographic, featuring captivating photography of the dancers in action.

For more updates on their voyage, you can follow Dan and the crew of the Hōkūle’a on twitter.

NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Reaches Pluto After 3 Billion Mile Journey

After a decade hurtling through the solar system, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto on closest approach at 7:49 EDT this morning, some 7,750 miles above the surface. The Explorers Club was proud to host an event with the New Horizons team this past May, where Principal Investigator Alan Stern, Deputy Project Scientist Cathy Olkin, Co-Investigator Marc Buie, and Tiffany Finley of the Science Operations Team went over the mission itself and answered questions from our Membership. Click here to watch video from that event.

You can read more about the mission and view the official high resolution image of Pluto on NASA’s website, check out the New Horizons team reacting to the flyby on youtube, and be sure to follow NASA and New Horizons on twitter for updates as the historic mission data continues to come back to Earth—


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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