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Bertrand Piccard Keynotes The Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner , Oct. 13, New York

Sir David Attenborough, David Hempleman-Adams, LVO, OBE, MED ’00, William Thomas, Ph.D., FN ’89, Scott Wallace FN ’07

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Aug. 29, 2012) – The historic 108-year-old Explorers Club, based in New York, today announced the recipients of its 2012 Lowell Thomas Awards, named for Lowell Thomas, the famed broadcaster and former Club member. Awards to Sir David Attenborough, David K. Hempleman-Adams, William H. Thomas and Scott Wallace will be presented in New York on Oct. 13 during an evening celebration themed, “Mindfulness: the Ultimate Tool in Exploration.”

The dinner, one of the Club’s major events of the year honoring important explorers, will be held starting at 5 p.m. at Cedar Lake Event Space, 547 West 26th Street, just west of the High Line. Tickets starting at $375 per person are available to anyone interested in exploration and the honorees through or by calling 212 628 8383. 

Explorers Club president Alan Nichols will bestow honors to explorers who have exhibited an extraordinary capacity to transcend traditional comfort zones to undertake expeditions that benefit all mankind. 

Keynote speaker is Bertrand Piccard, co-pilot of the first non-stop balloon circumnavigation around the globe (1999), and most recently, co-pilot of Solar Impulse, the world’s first solar-powered airplane that achieved an intercontinental flight between Switzerland and Morocco. Piccard received the Lowell Thomas award in 1999.

Sponsors of the evening include Rolex, Eddie Bauer, Wandrian Adventures, and Whyte and Mackay.

What does “mindfulness” have to do with exploration? Club president Alan Nichols explains, “Successful exploration requires keen awareness beforehand of the needs of the expedition and the tools of survival. In the field, ‘mindfulness’ of the surrounding environment, both physical and cultural, the team dynamics, and one’s own thoughts, body, emotions and even spirit, is required.”

Previous recipients of The Lowell Thomas Award include: Isaac Asimov, Clive Cussler and Wade Davis; astronauts Buzz Aldrin, James Lovell and Kathryn Sullivan; and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary.

This year’s honorees are:

Sir David Attenborough – Filmmaker Sir David Attenborough has introduced generations to the world of natural history. A television icon in Great Britain, his career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are few places on the globe that he has not visited. Beginning with the pioneering Life on Earth in 1979, his programs have featured groundbreaking techniques for capturing the natural world and created new benchmarks for wildlife filmmaking. 

David Hempleman-Adams, LVO, OBE, MED ’00 – David Hempleman-Adams – polar expeditioner, mountaineer, balloonist and pilot – is one of the world’s most accomplished adventurers. He gained international recognition in 1998 as the first to achieve the “Explorers Grand Slam” – climbing the “Seven Summits” and reaching the magnetic and geographical North and South Poles. In 2000, Hempleman-Adams flew a balloon across the Atlantic to the North Pole on a 132-hour record-setting flight. He was also first to cross the Atlantic in an open-wicker-basket hot-air balloon, on a 2003 flight from Canada to the United Kingdom. Overall, Hempleman-Adams has set 46 FAI world aviation records, completed 30 polar expeditions and earned 80 honors and awards, including the 2004 Explorers Club Medal.

William Thomas, Ph.D., FN ’89 – Anthropologist and conservationist William H. (Bill) Thomas is dedicated to protecting biodiversity in Papua New Guinea by developing methodologies that bridge traditional knowledge and western science.  He is particularly focused on the potential for indigenous knowledge to provide a blueprint for the conservation of the earth’s remaining wild lands. Thomas hopes that by exposing conservationists to the potential of indigenous knowledge, they will be more willing to adopt local models of sustainability and involve local people in the conservation of their lands. 

Scott Wallace FN ’07 – Scott Wallace is an author, photojournalist and public speaker who has made exploration and discovery the centerpiece of a distinguished career. Wallace’s numerous assignments for National Geographic in the Amazon include a ground-breaking, three-month trek into the land of an uncontacted tribe, known only as the “Arrow People,” in the deepest recesses of the rainforest. That journey resulted in the publication in 2011 of his widely-acclaimed book The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes.

The Lowell Thomas Award, established in 1980, is named for Lowell Thomas (1892-1991), the legendary journalist, broadcaster and explorer who made Lawrence of Arabia famous in the early 1900s. Thomas was a 50-year member of The Explorers Club where the recently renovated headquarters building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is named in his honor.

Published by : Matt Williams

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