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The Explorers Club at the Beach: Sunset Speaker Series with Andy Stern & Colleen Henn - Thursday, August 23

Dr. Andrew Stern is the founder of Smartfin, an initiative of the arts-based environmental nonprofit Lost Bird. Recently retired from his Neurology practice, Andy now devotes himself fully to raising awareness about our environment. Discovering a need in the scientific community for near-shore ocean data to better understand the effects of climate change on coastal systems, Andy began imagining a data-collecting device deployed on surfboards that would essentially turn surfers into citizen scientists. After enlisting the help of San Diego based engineers, the Smartfin took shape and is currently being tested by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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The Explorers Club at the Beach: Sunset Speaker Series with Ryan Chadwick - Thursday, August 30

Ryan Chadwick, an entrepreneur and restaurateur, is making it his mission to protect our waters from the Lionfish invasion. His mission began four years ago when he returned to an island in the Bahamas, where he had lived many years ago. He saw first-hand the havoc this fish was wreaking on the ecosystem by preying on native species. At the time, Ryan was in the process of opening a Caribbean-themed restaurant in New York City. He decided that he could help beat this problem by offering the invasive predator as a flagship dish at his new establishment. Eating this delicious fish, he thought, is a start in eradicating or reducing this problem.

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Public Lecture Series with Dr. Charles Peters - Monday, Sept. 17

Managing the Wild: Stories of People and Plants and Tropical Forests - For the past thirty-five years, Dr. Charles Peters has been involved in a variety of projects focused on the management of tropical forests in collaboration with local communities. This work has taken him to Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and tropical Africa, and to some of the largest and most remote tracts of tropical forest on the planet. In this lecture, he’ll be sharing the results from some of these projects and highlighting the utility of involving indigenous communities in the conservation and management of tropical forests.

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World Premiere "Born to Explore" Special - Namibia: Land of the Cheetah - Thursday, September 27

In this one-hour world premiere, Born to Explore travels to Namibia for an in-depth look at the most endangered cat in Africa - the cheetah. Explorer Richard Wiese discovers why Namibia is known as the cheetah capital of the world. He meets Dr. Laurie Marker, founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund to see what’s being done to save these cats from extinction. Loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict and the illegal wildlife trade have impacted cheetah populations worldwide and there are now less than 8,000 left in the wild. Join us in Namibia: Land of the Cheetah.

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Exploring the Past with New Technology - Monday, Oct. 15

Exploring the Past with New Technology: Climate, Epidemics and the Fall of an Empire - At its height, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain to Egypt, from Spain to Iraq. The western Roman Empire lasted almost a thousand years. How such a mighty civilization fell – and why – has been a preoccupation of historians since at least the 18th century. But today, as new technology develops that can be applied to the field science of archaeology, we are able to understand more about the past than ever before.

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Chinese Turkestan - Monday, October 22

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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Public Lecture Series with David Grann - “The White Darkness” - Monday, November 26

“The White Darkness” is a powerful true story of adventure and obsession in the Antarctic. Henry Worsley was a devoted husband and father and a decorated British special forces officer who believed in honor and sacrifice. He was also a man obsessed with Ernest Shackleton. In 2008, Worsley set out across Antarctica with two other descendants of Shackleton’s crew, battling the freezing, desolate landscape, life-threatening physical exhaustion, and hidden crevasses. Yet when he returned home he felt compelled to go back. On November 2015, at age 55, Worsley bid farewell to his family and embarked on his most perilous quest: to walk across Antarctica alone. David Grann is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker magazine.

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Public Lecture Series with Anthony Watts - "Mountains in the Sea" - Monday, Dec. 3

The oceans make up 76% of Earth’s surface, yet we know little of the nature of the seafloor that lies beneath. This lecture will trace the history of seafloor exploration, from the 19th century, through World War II, to the present-day. Dr. Watts will show that mountains, the majority of which are volcanic in origin, litter the seafloor. He’ll use acoustic imagery to illustrate these mountains and the role they play as a recorder of tectonic plate movement and Earth’s magmatic pulse, then discussing their scientific and societal significance.

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Public Lecture Series with Dr. Patrick Hunt - "Tracking Hannibal" - Monday, December 17

Tracking Hannibal: From Carthage through Spain to the Alps, Italy and Beyond - Hannibal Barca's legendary march to wage the Second Punic War serves as the foundation of his historical legacy as Rome's greatest foe, yet the true route trod by his war elephants had never been confirmed. This lecture is not from an “armchair historian” but instead from “feet on the ground,” where Dr. Patrick Hunt led a ten-year National Geographic-sponsored field expedition to identify Hannibal’s actual trail.

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Get your tickets now for the 2018 Lowell Thomas Awards in Boston!

Saturday, October 27

Click here to purchase tickets online

Ticketing is now open for the 2018 Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner at the Museum of Science in Boston, MA. We are also offering a special block of discounted early-bird tickets, available to all guests before Saturday, September 1!

The Lowell Thomas Awards were first presented on the occasion of The Explorers Club’s 75th anniversary, October 17, 1980, to a group of outstanding explorers including Carl Sagan,  Isaac Asimov,  Sylvia Earle,  and Lowell Thomas himself. Since that time, the honor has been bestowed upon Buzz Aldrin, Sir Edmund Hillary,  Jim Lovell, Mae Jemison, Sir David Attenborough, Chuck Yaeger, and many more.

As a community dedicated to preserving the instinct to explore, we have always valued curiosity, determination, and ingenuity. For our 2018 Lowell Thomas Awards, we celebrate individuals who have demonstrated the skills necessary to engineer groundbreaking expeditions and expeditionary science.

Our 2018 Awardees are an incredible group, including Organismic & Evolutionary Biologist Peter Girguis, Aerospace biomedical engineer and space suit designer Dava Newman, groundbreaking Egyptologist Sarah Parcak, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons Pluto Mission Alan Stern, and Nobel prize-winning physicist Rainer Weiss.​

Held at the venerable Boston Museum of Science and featuring a weekend of events at incredible cultural institutions across the “cradle of liberty,” the 2018 Lowell Thomas Awards promises to be an event guests won’t soon forget.

Click here for schedule and hotel information

The Latest from the Field - Thai Cave Rescue

Since June 23rd, the world has been fixated on the 12 young Thai soccer players and their “Wild Boars” coach, trapped by flood waters more than 2 miles inside the Tham Luang Nang Non Cave in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province.

After 10 days, the boys were finally located grouped together on a ledge just above the water line.  At this point, heroic efforts to rescue them began.  SEAL Teams from around the world joined the highly skilled Thai SEALS who were already at the scene.  They were joined by some of the world’s top caving experts who mapped out and executed one of the most intricate and dangerous cave rescues ever attempted.

We are privileged to share with you that Explorers Club Australia/New Zealand Chapter member Dr. Richard Harris FI’09, one of the world’s most distinguished and recognized caving experts, was summoned by both Thai and British rescue leaders to join them in Mae Sai, Thailand.

Dr. Harris immediately departed Adelaide for Thailand and played an instrumental and leading role in the rescue planning and execution.

As one of the first into the cave to reach the boys, Dr. Harris was also the last one out, after the successful rescue was complete.  The enormity of his contribution was critical to the successful return of the 12 boys and their coach.

We couldn’t be more proud of Dr. Harris’ work. Additionally, we are proud of the Club members who are caving and diving experts that shared their expertise and guidance with worldwide media:

  •    Dr. Richard Harris FI’09 speaks with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the rescue, via CNN
  •    Australian Report on the mission of Dr. Richard Harris FI’09, via
  •    Bill Steele FE’79 penned a special OP-ED piece on caving for the Washington Post
  •    Tim Taylor FN’04 appeared on a special NBC Today Show report
  •    Christine Dennison FR’03 appeared from New York on CNN Worldwide

The anxiety surrounding the rescue was felt worldwide.
The relief in its success was shared worldwide.
The pride of The Explorers Club in the roles played by our members is a lasting honor.

On a sad note - as Dr. Harris emerged from the cave following the heroic rescue of the last boy and his coach, he learned from his trusted colleagues that his father had passed away. We all join in extending our very deepest and most profound sympathy to Dr. Harris and his entire family.

Wishing you a most successful and safe summer of expeditions.

Most Cordially,
Bill Liss

Communications Chair
Member of The Explorers Club Board of Directors

World Oceans Week 2018 - A Historic Week at The Explorers Club

We join in extending a hearty “Explorers Club” thank you to our more than 2,000 members and guests who joined us at Club Headquarters; to the thousands who joined our worldwide live stream audience; and to our sponsors and partners, for making World Oceans Week a memorable and historic experience. It was a week of discovery, education, and action around critical concerns and solutions for our oceans.

True to our mission, Explorers Club Headquarters was the “World Center for Ocean Exploration” with World Oceans Week featuring 22 lectures, presentations and panels, including such notables as Sylvia Earle; Carl Safina; NASA’s Scott Bolton; Lisa Truitt of the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey; David Shaw of the Aspen High Seas Initiative; Megan Cook and Nicole Raineault from E/V Nautilius “live” at sea; Dava Newman of M.I.T.; and Professor David Gruber, among others.

Additionally, the Club’s activities were complemented by a series of major ocean presentations at the United Nations on World Oceans Day - Friday, June 8.

We want to offer special thanks to our incredible sponsor Rolex, a long-time advocate of The Explorers Club, ocean research, exploration, and conservation.

Special thanks also to the vision of our partner Parley for the Oceans, for transforming Club Headquarters, transporting guests under the waves, and curating expert programs.

Also, our thanks to Ayana Johnson ​and Ocean Collectiv for guidance and counsel in organizing such wonderful panels, Vice President Ann Passer for her tireless efforts, the Club’s staff, as well as all other donors who helped make the week a success - from sustainable seafood to surfboards!

This was our second annual World Oceans Week, and we look forward to many more! Enjoy your summer and “THINK OCEANS.”

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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