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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 Jack Turner - 9.28.2015

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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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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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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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—


2015 Explorers Club Artist-in-Exploration Grant Awarded to Photographer Carlton Ward, Jr.

The Explorers Club Artist-in-Exploration Program, sponsored by Rolex, has awarded its 2015 grant of $25,000 to Carlton Ward, Jr., an Explorers Club Fellow, award-winning conservation photographer and eighth-generation Floridian from Tampa. The grant will support a photography collection, “Florida Wild,” to be based on his 2015 Explorers Club Flag Expedition through the Florida Wildlife Corridor. The trek will begin in the Everglades headwaters near Orlando and continue west and north of Tampa, around the Gulf of Mexico, through the forests and swamps of the Florida Panhandle to the Gulf Islands National Seashore at the Florida-Alabama border.

“Because it’s there”

Last seen roughly 800 vertical feet from the summit on 8 June 1924, today marks the 91st anniversary of the symbolic end to the historic 1924 British Mount Everest expedition. Both George Mallory and Andrew “Sandy” Irvine remain legends in the exploration and mountaineering communities, laying the foundation for the exploits of Club Medalists Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa some 29 years later.

After failing to summit with the 1922 British Expedition, Mallory toured New York City in 1923 as part of an effort to raise the funds necessary for his next attempt. A journalist from the New York Times posed the question “Why climb Everest?,” whereupon he famously justified his drive with the immortal phrase, “Because it’s there.”

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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