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The 2015 Lowell Thomas
Awards Dinner


Sun Spots, acrylic painting by Alison Nicholls, ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

The Explorers Club proudly presents the 2015 Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner, Visionaries of Conservation: Paradigm Shifts in Protecting the Planet. This year, the Lowell Thomas Awards will celebrate explorers who exhibit excellence and innovation in conservation, with emphasis on emerging techniques and technologies that meaningfully contribute to our knowledge of the world and how we protect it.

Hosted by the Florida Chapter at the Crowne Plaza Oceanfront in Melbourne, Florida, this year's Lowell Thomas Awards will be held on Saturday, November 7th with weekend events running from Friday the 6th to Sunday the 8th.

Located in close proximity to the Kennedy Space Center, Patrick Air Force Base, and Port Canaveral, the Oceanfront Resort in Melbourne is just an hour from Orlando, home to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Lowell Thomas Weekend promises to be an exciting event including organized Explorers Club outings, strolls along the majestic white sands of Cocoa Beach and world-renowned attractions of central and south Florida.

Click here for the 2015 Lowell Thomas Awardee Announcement

Everglades National Park

Schedule of Events


Friday, November 6th, 2015

6:00 pm to 8:30 pm – Visionaries VIP Dinner
An intimate seated dinner with Honorary Dinner Chair HRH Prince Felix du Luxembourg, Lowell Thomas Awardees, 2015 Rolex Artist-in-Exploration Carlton Ward Jr., Emcee Boyd Matson, wine connoisseur Robert Kacher, and others.

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Kick-Off Party
Enjoy nighttime ocean breezes, fire-pits and cocktails with exploration colleagues. Visit with Live Animal Ambassadors from Brevard Zoo and watch live sketching by LTAD 2015 artist Alison Nicholls of Art Inspired by Africa.

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

10:00 am to 3:00 pm – Explorers Symposium
Fresh off the front lines of conservation, Lowell Thomas Awardees individually present on their work. 2015 Rolex Artist-in-Exploration Carlton Ward Jr. kicks off his term with a talk about producing his extraordinary images of majestic Florida. There will be a break for one hour at noon with an open lunch.

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm – General Reception & Invasive Species Tasting
Connect with fellow explorers, VIP guests, and awardees for an unforgettable cocktail hour featuring Johnnie Walker Explorers' Club Collection and wines along with an appetizing selection of prepared Florida Invasive Species, including Wild Boar, Lionfish, Venison, Iguana, Python, Pintade, Rattlesnake, and more.

7:30 pm to 10:30 pm – The Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner
Celebrate Vision! Celebrate Conservation! Our seated black-tie dinner and awards presentation will be emceed by National Geographic’s Boyd Matson. Flag & Honors will present Simon Roosevelt's flag return, carried as Simon retraced grandfather Teddy Roosevelt's expedition into Africa. Live Auction follows presentations.

10:30 pm – After-Party in Surfside Lounge & Oceanfront Deck
An informal affair, continue the celebration in style at your pace.

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

9:00 am to 5:00 pm – Explorers Excursion
A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to launch mankind into outer space at Kennedy Space Center!

Please note that the Crowne Plaza Oceanfront has offered late check out for those guests attending Sunday events. See Travel & Lodging options below for more details.

Biscayne National Park

Tables & Tickets

Click here for online ticketing

With pure conservation as its core mission, the United States National Park Service was founded to preserve our nation’s wildest regions, including its most sensitive ecosystems and most precious cultural heritage sites. In celebrating the National Park Service’s 100th year of conservation, the Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner Committee dedicates this year’s table and ticket themes to our nation’s most significant National Parks.

The Mesa Verde Ticket - Mesa Verde National Park holds over 4,000 archaeological sites of the Ancestral Puebloan people and protects cliff dwellings built in the 12th and 13th centuries including the famous Cliff Palace and the Balcony House.

Including: Friday’s Kick-Off Party, Explorers Symposium, General Reception, and admission to the Dinner.

The Biscayne Ticket - Biscayne National Park protects four interrelated marine ecosystems and is home to a variety of threatened species such as the West Indian Manatee, American crocodile, various sea turtles, and peregrine falcon.

Including: Friday’s Kick-Off Party, Explorers Symposium, General Reception, admission to the Dinner, and Sunday’s Explorers Excursion.

The Glacier Ticket - Glacier National Park was established in 1910 and hosts 26 glaciers and 130 named lakes along with the world's best-preserved sedimentary fossils from the Proterozoic era.

Including: Full weekend pass. Friday’s Visionaries VIP Dinner and Kick Off Party, Portrait with an Animal Ambassador during Kick Off Party, Explorers Symposium, General Reception, Dinner, Recognition in official Dinner Program, and Sunday’s Explorers Excursion.

The Congaree Table - Established in 2003, Congaree National Park protects the largest portion of old-growth floodplain forest left in North America and contains some of the tallest trees in the Eastern United States.

Including: Priority table seating for 10. Invitation to Friday’s Kick-Off Party, Explorers Symposium, General Reception, and Sunday’s Explorers Excursion for all 10 guests. Also includes admission to Friday's Visionaries VIP Dinner for table purchaser and a single guest.

The Everglades Table - Florida’s gem, The Everglades National Park protects the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Its mangrove ecosystems and marine estuary is home to 36 protected species including the Florida panther and American crocodile.

Including: Priority table seating for 12 including a Dinner Dignitary, full weekend pass to every weekend event for all guests, and purchaser recognition in the official dinner program.

The Sequoia Table - California’s Sequoia National Park was established in 1890 and is home to General Sherman, the world’s largest tree. The park contains over 240 caves and the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.

Including: Priority table seating for 12 including a Dinner Dignitary, full weekend pass to every weekend event for all guests, and purchaser recognition in the official dinner program.

We’re fortunate to have attendance confirmed by a respectable number of VIP guests. Because the number of attendees for LTAD this year is capped, please consider making your arrangements as early as possible as sales will close when our cap is met.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at 212.628.8383, or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Sequoia National Park

Travel & Lodging Options


Recommended Lodging – The Crowne Plaza Oceanfront offers LTA Weekend attendees a very special discount and free daily parking (reg. $7/day). You can contact the hotel directly at (877) 270–1393 and ask for the reservations desk. Alternatively, you can click here for special room codes and discounted online booking. Overflow rooms may be available at nearby oceanfront hotels.

The Crowne Plaza Oceanfront has graciously offered Club guests free late check-out until 6:00 pm on Sunday the 8th. Attendees who plan to go on Sunday excursions, then fly out on Sunday evening, may leave luggage in their rooms and freshen up before traveling. Please notify the Crowne Plaza of any late check-out plans upon booking.

Air transportation – Orlando Airport (MCO) and Melbourne Airport (MLB) are your two closest airports. Melbourne Airport has an FBO for those flying executive/private craft.

Ground transportation – Crowne Plaza Oceanfront provides a free shuttle between Melbourne Airport and its resort. Car rental service is offered at highly competitive rates from Orlando Airport and is suggested for those wishing to explore the area as our beachside locations have sparse public transportation.

Dining – Crowne Plaza Oceanfront’s onsite restaurant, MARiSOL offers its award winning sea-to-table concept with meals served in a resort-style fine dining atmosphere, indoors or on the oceanfront deck. Open 6:30AM to 10:00PM daily.


The Crowne Plaza Oceanfront in Melbourne, Florida

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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