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NEW YORK, Mar. 10, 2011 –For the 107th year, the world’s most accomplished explorers have gathered for The Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD) in New York. Previous guests have included Sir Edmund Hillary, Thor Heyerdahl, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and hundreds of noted mountain climbers, polar explorers and deep-sea researchers.

The ECAD tradition continues on Mar. 19 in the ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria during an evening themed, “Exploring 2012: The Maya Prophesy.” Co-chairs of the event are James M. Fowler MED’66, and Edward O. Wilson, Ph.D. MED’04.

Some 1,100 of the world’s best and brightest field scientists, astronauts, cosmologists, paleontologists, cavers, archaeologists, submariners, students, and kindred spirits, will convene to hear keynote speaker Dr. Don Walsh, the commander of bathyscaphe Trieste (which descended to the deepest ocean depths in the Mariana Trench some 50 years ago), and a cast of luminaries hold forth on science, exploration, and ventures into the darkest wherever.

According to the 37th president of The Explorers Club, Lorie Karnath, MBA, Ph.D. (Hon.), “Exploring 2012: The Maya Prophesy” is a play-on-words, and “considers the role that prophecy, superstition, and oftentimes erroneous fact has served in adding extra hurdles to exploration endeavors.” Karnath notes that, “in part the explorer’s role has always been to help wade through coincidence and probability, so as to discern superstition from scientific fact.”

The return of two important Explorers Club Flags will be featured, and ECAD co-chair Jim Fowler, perhaps best known for his appearances on television’s Today and Tonight Shows and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, will also be on hand, along with several surprise “ambassadors” from the animal kingdom.

Awards will be granted to:

The Explorers Club Medal: Wade Davis, Ph.D., HON ‘87
Davis, who has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet, and passionate defender of all life’s diversity,” has dedicated his life to preserving endangered cultures.

The Edward C. Sweeney Medal: Harry D. Brooks, Esq., FN ‘93
Brooks, an aviator, has served the Club as Director, Ombudsman, Atlanta Chapter Chair, and Assistant Treasurer – as well as a Flag carrier on six expeditions.

The Citation of Merit: Peter H. Raven, Ph.D., FN ‘03
A botanist, Raven has championed global research to preserve endangered plants, while helping strengthen scientific expertise in developing countries.

The Citation of Merit: Merle G. Robertson, Ph.D., FN ‘90
Artist and Art Historian, she has documented thousands of Maya masterpieces before destruction by looters and time.

The Finn Ronne Memorial Award: Polly A. Penhale, Ph.D., FN ‘91
For 25 years, Penhale has helped shape the way science is conducted in the Antarctic and has a peak there named in her honor.

The Explorers Club Communications Award:  Morton P. Beebe, FN ‘78
Beebe was Public Information Officer for Operation Deep Freeze in 1957-58 and has had his photographs published in Paris Match, National Geographic, Life, and Smithsonian.

For more information:

About The Explorers Club

The Explorers Club was founded in New York City 1904 by a group of the world’s leading explorers of the time. It is a multidisciplinary, not for profit (501c-3) organization dedicated to scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club’s members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon. With 3,000 members worldwide, the organization is headquartered at 46 East 70th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021. Tel. 212 628 8383;

Editor’s note

The black tie Explorers Club Annual Dinner is a sold-out fund-raiser. Media on assignment are invited to cover the pre-dinner cocktail reception and speaker presentations through prior arrangement with Jeff Blumenfeld, Director of Communications, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 203 655 1600

Published by : cyatsuk

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The Explorers Club ®, World Center for Exploration ®, The Flag and the Seal are registered trademarks of The Explorers Club. Use by others is strictly prohibited. Photographs appearing on this website are used by permission and may not be copied or re-used in any manner.

Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste