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Public Lecture Series with Rachel Hogan - Monday, May 22

Rachel Hogan is Director of Ape Action Africa in Cameroon, one of the longest-running and most respected primate sanctuaries on the African continent. With compelling stories and images, she will speak of her journey from a shy young woman in a tent in the forest to leader of one of the largest primate rescue and rehabilitation projects in Africa. Wild gorillas and chimpanzees are on the brink of extinction. Habitat loss and poaching threaten these magnificent animals like never before. Against daunting odds, Rachel and Ape Action Africa work steadfastly on the front lines to protect them.

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Asia Society "Secrets of the Sea" Exhibit - Explorers Club Field Trip - Tuesday, May 23

Members and their guests are invited to private tour of the latest exhibit at the Asia Society - Secrets of the Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in Asia. Don't miss this unique look at early exploration, seafaring techniques, and 9th century wayfinding that linked Tang China with the Abbasid Caliphate.

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No Public Lecture - Club Closed - Memorial Day

Explorers Club Headquarters will be closed today, Monday, May 30th, in honor of Memorial Day. We will resume regular operating hours on Tuesday, May 30th, at 9:00 am.

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Film Screening - The Narwhal’s Wake - Wednesday, May 31

In the face of seismic cannon, oil exploration, changing arctic climates, and Inuit hunts, the create that spawned a legend might soon become a myth. The Explorers Club cordially invites you to a short screening of ‘The Narwhal’s Wake,’ followed by talks on the dangers facing the narwhals of Baffin Bay.

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Public Lecture Series with David Thoreson - Monday, June 12

OVER THE HORIZON: Exploring the Edges of a Changing Planet - David Thoreson FN ’16 will share stories of adventure as the first American to sail the Arctic’s Northwest Passage in both directions, including an eye-witness account of the climate change impacts to sensitive Arctic and ocean environments. His presentation includes visual stories of three Arctic expeditions aboard small sailboats. It stitches these voyages together with history, photography, trip planning, satellite data, wildlife, native villages, and changes in the environment which have contributed to loss of Arctic ice.

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Presidential Dinner with John Lukas of the Okapi Conservation Project - Thursday, June 15

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Public Lecture Series with Ryan Pyle - Monday, October 16

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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Club Fellow captures footage confirming use of Narwhal Tusk

Canadian researchers have released the first footage showing a new utilitarian purpose for Narwhal tusks: namely that Narwhals also use their tusks to hit and stun fish prior to eating them. Documented by Canadian scientist Robert Hodgson and wildlife filmmaker Adam Ravetch FN ’95, the feeding behavior was observed by Canadian scientists from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the University of Windsor, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Vancouver Aquarium, and Pond Inlet Inuit.  This observation complements Inuit Traditional Knowledge about the Narwhal.

While the scientists believe the primary function of the tusk is probably related to sexual selection, this provides new insights into the function of the tusk, raises new, interesting questions about the species, and opens new avenues of research into these iconic marine mammals. There is a wealth of Inuit Tradition Knowledge and a variety of scientific theory about the uses of the Narwhal’s Tusk, but prior to this there has been no definitive recorded scientific evidence.

•   Click here for footage from the World Wildlife Fund

•   Click here for more information from the World Wildlife Fund

•   Click here for footage from Adam Ravetch

•   Click here to read the full release from Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The Rolex Explorer Grants

The Explorers Club and Rolex share a common vision – supporting and fostering emerging young explorers. As a result of this shared vision, we are pleased to announce the inauguration of The Rolex Explorer Grants.

The Rolex Explorer Grants will send extraordinary young explorers into the field and promote the significant role that exploration plays in addressing cutting-edge scientific questions, understanding our environment and the world we live in, and learning more about our history. In 2017 up to five $10,000 grants will be awarded to young explorers.

This program is open to all field science disciplines. Proposals must contain a field science exploration component and address a novel scientific, environmental, or historic question. In addition to demonstrating a spirit of exploration, candidates must put forward a project or research proposal that has a clear scientific rationale, represents original work, and has the potential for significant impact or new understanding. Fieldwork must be completed by February 28, 2018.

Eligibility Criteria include:

•   Students currently enrolled in a College / University undergraduate (Bachelor) or graduate (Master or Doctoral) degree program; or
•   Post-doctoral student within 2 years of their doctoral degree at the time of application; or
•   Young Explorers 35 years old or younger.

Awardees will be acknowledged at The Explorers Club Annual Dinner in March 2018, and will receive membership in The Explorers Club for the duration of their award.

Requirements of Grant Recipients:

•   Submission of a written report of research/field work
•   Presentation of research/field work in 3 separate community forums (eg: Church, School, or Community Center, etc.)
•   Presentation of research/field work during the Explorers Club Annual Dinner weekend
•   Creation of a 2 minute “in the field” video for The Rolex Explorer Grants website
•   Agree to give Rolex and The Explorers Club the rights to images and use of likeness

The Rolex Explorer Grants will begin accepting applications on May 10, 2017.

The deadline for submission will be 11:59 pm EDT, June 5, 2017.

To apply Register at:

Awardees will be notified by: June 16, 2017.

Written reports will be required to be submitted by February 28, 2018.

Questions can be addressed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Club Fellow Hunts for Endemic Insects on Easter Island

Jut Wynne FN ‘06 has just published a summary of his 2016 Rapa Nui Endemic Insect Expedition in Scientific American:

The Hunt for Endemic Insects on Easter Island - A cave scientist goes in search of the last vestiges of an ancient ecosystem

Carrying Flag #139, Jut and his team were unable to find any endemic insects evolutionarily constrained to the deepest caves on Rapa Nui, yet their work did yield several important scientific discoveries:

“We found eight island endemic species and two Polynesian endemics. Eight species were new to science! Ranging from tiny eye-straining springtails (Collembola) and book lice (Psocoptera) to the much larger roly polys (terrestrial Isopods), all of these animals were believed restricted to the cave environment.”

Click here to read Jut’s full Flag Report: Island-Wide Inventory for Endemic Ground-dwelling Arthropods in Extreme Environments of Rapa Nui.

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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