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World’s Largest Gathering Of Explorers Coming To New York

March 20-22, 2015

The world’s largest gathering of pioneers of exploration in space, in the oceans and on land will join together at one of the world’s most famous venues for exploration—the American Museum of Natural History—on March 21 for the 111th Explorers Club Annual Dinner. The Dinner highlights a weekend that includes special events and panel discussions featuring many of the world’s most famous and distinguished explorers.

Notable honorees include:

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, who will receive the top award, the Explorers Medal, joining an illustrious group of legendary explorers, including Sir Edmund Hillary, Neil Armstrong, Jane Goodall and James Cameron. Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, host of Fox Television’s Cosmos:  A Space Odyssey, host of an upcoming National Geographic late night television show StarTalk, and a powerful voice for the next generation of explorers.

David Hempleman-Adams will receive the Finn Ronne Award. He was previously awarded the Polar Medal by Queen Elizabeth, and is the first person to conquer both the North and South Poles, as well as summit the highest peaks on all seven continents.

Citations of Merit will be awarded to renowned mountaineer Mandip Singh Soin and cave explorer Bill Steele; and Bruce Blanchard will receive the Sweeney Medal for service to the Explorers Club. All will share their stories at the dinner.

The evening begins with cocktails and specialty hors d’oeuvres in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda and the Akeley Hall of African Mammals, prepared by famed “Bug Chef” David George Gordon, who will highlight future sustainable eating practices. A seated, “black tie and decorations”/“native dress” dinner in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, under the famous Blue Whale, will honor the organization’s 2015 Medalists. Explorers Club President Alan Nichols will preside.

The “Spirit of Exploration” themed weekend kicks off with a polar panel and cocktail reception on the USS Intrepid on Friday March 20th where special guests will be joined by members of Team Rubicon, an organization that partners veterans with first responders to provide disaster relief around the world. The weekend continues at the United Nations and the Explorers Club headquarters in Manhattan with various panels on exploration.  Featured presenters include Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, Tim Jarvis, Don Walsh, Eric Larsen, Frederik Paulsen, Randi Skaug, Joe Kittinger, and Alan Eustace, who set a new record with his 26-mile free fall from the edge of space, breaking the sound barrier with his body.

“This year’s spirit of exploration theme captures the universal aspect of our organization,” Nichols says. “From dinosaurs to the stars, from deep oceans to the highest mountains, our members explore the frontiers of the physical world. But we also recognize the importance of human traits like curiosity, tenacity, imagination, respect for diversity, service and mindfulness that are essential to exploration in the twenty-first century.”

Published by : EC Staff

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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