EXPEDITION NEWS, founded in 1994, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.
October 2015 - Volume Twenty-Two, Number Ten
Celebrating Our 21st Year!
THE BORNEO MEGATRANSECT
Trevor Wallace, 25, an explorer and filmmaker from Boston, will travel to Borneo in spring 2016 to chart unmapped lands belonging to the Dayak tribes of the vast jungles of the Sarawak. He will lead a group of scientists and explorers across the oldest and most vulnerable rainforests on the planet controlled by what is commonly referred to as the "logging mafia." What was once logging operations is now a mix of extractive industries including palm oil, poaching, and large-scale hydro dams.
Trevor Wallace has ambitious plans for a 25-year-old
In this fight of tribesman's poison blow darts versus the bullets of mafia hit men, the explorers will weigh in with the first maps, scientific data, and visual documentation of the overlapping effects of these industries. Over the course of three months the team will attempt an exploration first of an all human-powered (kayak, mountain bike, on foot) trans-Borneo expedition of over 1,000 miles. Wallace will lead the charge crossing from the East and linking up with each member documenting their project which investigates the conservation status of the rainforest in some form.
Wallace in Sipti, Western Nepal
This so-called MegaTransect Expedition, lasting an estimated 90 days, will cross long distances and measure the status of conservation, with the goal of establishing protection for the land surveyed. Members of the team include Dr. S. Hatfill, eminent researcher of life-saving compounds hidden in the depths of the rainforest, and prominent wildlife artist Bart Walter who will follow several legs of the journey stopping to sculpt orangutans and endangered pygmy elephants.
Wallace is currently seeking sponsors, in-country interpreters, and guides.
For more information: email@example.com, 415 860 4816
Honduran Emerald Hummingbird Added to U.S. Endangered Species List
Robert E. Hyman, and his wife Deborah Atwood, were recently interviewed by a reporter for Audubon Magazine regarding the approval of their petition before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Honduran Emerald Hummingbird under the Endangered Species Act (see EN, January 2009).
Hyman's previous expeditions to Honduras have focused on the destruction of this endemic birds habitat. Both have been involved in biodiversity conservation in Honduras for more than a decade.
To learn more about their efforts visit www.honduranconservationcoalition.com
The Audubon Magazine interview can be read at https://www.audubon.org/news/hope-honduran-emerald-hummingbird
The press release issued by USFWS can be seen here: http://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID=D5394B01-5056-AF00-5B9E773EBDBDA77B
Sport Climbing is a Pitch Closer to the Olympics
Last month, Sport Climbing was officially proposed as a new sport for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by the Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel.
"It is a great honor to have been chosen," said Marco Scolaris, president of the International Federation of Sport Climbing. "Of course, there is still a long way to go, and all of us at the IFSC are deeply committed to meeting the challenges ahead. Together with our athletes and the National Federations, we are reaching new heights."
It is also recognition of the tremendous growth of Sport Climbing in recent years. Worldwide, the sport counted 25 million climbers in 2013, while in 2015, figures are estimated at 35 million. Half of participants are under 25 years of age.
Sport Climbing can be practiced anywhere, says the group. It's a worldwide sport - enthusiasts are present in a huge number of countries. It's a popular sport for the young, and also good for developing strength, flexibility and analytical skills. As a competitive sport, events can be held in spectacular venues for breathtaking shows, inciting intense emotions in the spectators. Last but not least, it represents the only basic human movement not yet included in the Olympic Games, says IFSC.
"Sport Climbing brings the missing vertical dimension to the world's most prestigious sport event."
Jane Packs the House
Jane Goodall came to Boulder with her stuffed mascots, Mr. H and Cow.
It was an amazing sight on Oct. 1. Here was Jane Goodall, the pioneering primatologist-turned-environmental rock star, who at age 81 travels 300 days a year to every corner of the planet, speaking in Boulder, Colo., about her 55-year career.
If that wasn't amazing enough, consider the fact that she packed an 8,700-seat basketball arena. We're talking ticket collectors, security checkpoints, police officers directing traffic, and long waits both into and out of the University of Colorado Boulder campus. In fact, it was the largest talk in the 50-year history of CU's annual George Gamow Memorial Lecture, so named for the late CU-Boulder physics professor and author George Gamow.
As a sidenote, Gamow's son, Dr. Igor Gamow, is inventor of the Gamow ("Gam-Off") bag, an inflatable pressure bag large enough to accommodate a climber. By inflating the bag with a foot pump, the effective altitude can be decreased by 1,000 to as much as 3,000 meters.
Goodall, whose landmark study of chimpanzees in Tanzania began in 1960, laid the foundation for research and redefined the relationship between humans and animals.
Her lecture covered a wide range of topics, from her childhood to her years observing and living among chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park of Tanzania, to her hopes for the future of a planet she believes must rescue itself from total environmental devastation.
8,700 turned out to hear the rock star of primatologists
She spoke of her beginnings as a poor, precocious girl in England who liked to bring earthworms to bed and devour every book about animals she could get her hands on. When she was 10, she walked into a secondhand bookstore and, with the little cash she'd saved, purchased a copy of Tarzan of the Apes.
"I fell passionately in love with Tarzan," she said. "What did he do? He married the wrong Jane."
She is the author of 27 books and has been featured in countless documentary films. Her honors include the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania and Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize. In 2002, she was appointed to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and in 2003, she was named a Dame of the British Empire.
Toward the end of her 75-minute talk at the University of Colorado's Coors Events Center, she said:
"There's no sharp line dividing us from the animal kingdom. It's a very blurry line. ... We should share spaces with animals with whom we share the planet."
She admits that traveling 300 days a year in gas guzzling airplanes is not something she wants to be doing, "I want to be out in the field. The chimpanzee gave the world so much, gave science so much, I wanted to do something for them."
Goodall continued, "When I look at a child and see how we've harmed the planet since I was their age, I feel ashamed of our species."
Goodall founded Roots & Shoots with a group of Tanzanian students in 1991, through which she has connected hundreds of thousands of students in more than 130 countries who take action to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment.
"How can I slow down when there's so much to do out there and my days are numbered? I need to speed up."
For more information: www.rootsandshoots.org
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"Nature and all her beauty and mystery have captivated my spirit. That's why I became an explorer."
- Gabriel Bonvalot in Race to Tibet by Sophie Schiller (Tradewinds Publishing, 2015)
The book is about the obscure real-life expedition of French explorers Gabriel Bonvalot and Prince Henri d'Orléans in their quest to be the first Westerners to see Lhasa and meet the Dalai Lama.
By 1889 Tibet is the last great unexplored country in the world. Gabriel Bonvalot is determined to win the race to Lhasa, but lacks a sponsor. When the Duke of Chartres promises to pay his expenses Bonvalot agrees, even after he learns he must bring along the Duke's wayward son, Prince Henri d'Orléans, a drinker, gambler, and womanizer whose reckless behavior threatens to derail the entire expedition.
Elsewhere in the book, Prince Henri d'Orleans says, "For me exploration is as natural as breathing. I never desired the life of a dilettante. My spirit seeks novelty and adventure, the call of the open road. I pity those who do not travel. They are doomed to monotony."
Learn more at:
David Letterman: Explorer?
Former Late Night Host to Tackle Climate Change for National Geographic
Letterman already has the John Burroughs thing happening. This is called an "achievement beard" by The New Yorker. See the story here: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/all-hail-the-achievement-beard
The veteran late-night comedian will in 2016 journey to India to examine how that nation is trying to bring solar power to its entire population within the next decade. It's a far cry from rattling off the popular Top Ten Lists and Stupid Pet Tricks that were so much a part of his more than three decades of wee-hours television for CBS and NBC. But it's a chance for Letterman to give voice to the issue of climate change on a new, albeit temporary, home: National Geographic Channel.
Letterman will join Jack Black, Ty Burrell, James Cameron, Thomas Friedman, Joshua Jackson , Aasif Mandvi, Olivia Munn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ian Somerhalder and Cecily Strong in the second season of the documentary series "Years of Living Dangerously," which explores the issue of climate change and won a 2014 Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series. The project is the first Letterman has announced since leaving "The Late Show" on CBS last May.
Read more here: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/letterman-india-climate-change-national-geographic/2015/09/17/id/692103/
Death in the Clouds
Rachel Nuwer writes for the BBC (Oct. 9) about the problem of the 200-plus bodies that litter Everest.
"War zones aside, the high mountains are the only places on Earth where it is expected and even normal to encounter exposed human remains. And of all the mountains where climbers have lost their lives, Everest likely carries the highest risk of coming across bodies simply because there are so many," Nuwer writes.
Mountaineer Ed Viesturs tells her, "You'll be walking along, it's a beautiful day, and all of a sudden there's someone there.
"It's like, wow - it's a wakeup call."
Says Billi Bierling, a Kathmandu-based journalist and climber, "Somebody once said that climbing Everest is a challenge, but the bigger challenge would be to climb it and not tell anybody." Bierling is a personal assistant for Elizabeth Hawley, a former journalist, now 91, who has been chronicling Himalayan expeditions since the 1960s.
"Some, however, do get their fill," Nuwer continues. "Seaborn Beck Weathers, a pathologist in Dallas who lost his nose and parts of his hands and feet - and very nearly his life - on Everest in 1996, was originally attracted to climbing precisely because of a paralyzing fear of heights.
"As he described in his book, Left for Dead, facing off in the mountains with that fear proved to be an effective (albeit temporary) antidote for his severe depression. Everest was his last mountaineering experience, though, and that close call with death saved his marriage by causing him to realize what was truly important in life. Because of that, he does not regret it. But at the same time, he would not recommend anyone to climb Everest.
"My view has changed on this fairly dramatically," he says. "If you don't have anyone who cares about you or is dependent on you, if you have no friends or colleagues, and if you're willing to put a single round in the chamber of a revolver and put it in your mouth and pull the trigger, then yeah, it's a pretty good idea to climb Everest."
Read the entire story here:
The Akelely 35mm Pancake Camera Changed How We View Expeditions
The GoPro of its day
During a recent visit to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, we lingered longest at the "Pancake" movie camera designed by Carl Akeley, curator at the American Museum of Natural History for use in African field expeditions.
Its design made it easier to photograph moving objects from a distance.
The single handle enabled rapid tilting and panning. A gyroscopically-controlled tripod head made the movement extremely fluid. The Akeley camera would go on to become a favorite of newsreel photographers. A camera like this was used to film the Hindenburg disaster of 1937 in Lakehurst, N.J., and numerous editions of Fox Movietone News and other newsreel services.
Learn about the Museum of the Moving Image here: www.movingimage.us
This kind of stuff is like catnip to the exploration geeks on our staff.
"Never Stop," says The North Face
Paige Claassen climbing the Rostrum in Yosemite (Photo: Andy Bardon)
The North Face unveiled its first-ever global brand campaign, "Never Stop," which represents a refreshed approach for the brand. The campaign aims to broaden the definition of exploration - inspiring people to discover the outer edge of their physical and intellectual limitations.
"Never Stop" features The North Face athletes Conrad Anker, Paige Claassen, Xavier De Le Rue and Tom Wallisch pushing their physical boundaries climbing, mountaineering, skiing and snowboarding - blended with cultural, creative and emotional scenes of a photographer, marine biologist and scientist to generate a narrative of exploration.
"Building on our previous U.S.-based campaign, 'Never Stop' features people who embody the spirit of exploration. It also celebrates the heroes of the U.S. Department of the Interior's 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) who represent the spirit of 'Never Stop,'" said Todd Spaletto, president of The North Face.
For more information: www.thenorthface.com
ON THE HORIZON
American Polar Society Symposium, Nov. 3-6, 2015, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif.
The American Polar Society hosts its 80th anniversary meeting and symposium, titled, "The Polar Oceans and Global Climate Change," Nov. 3-6, 2015. The APS was founded by Admiral Richard Byrd and other Antarctic explorers during the early 1930s. Eighteen of the world's top authorities are scheduled to speak. The gala awards banquet speaker will be Norman Augustine, retired CEO of Lockheed-Martin, who formerly headed the U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel and now heads the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee. He is the author of 52 Augustine's Laws including:
No. 6 A hungry dog hunts best. A hungrier dog hunts even better.
No. 21 It's easy to get a loan unless you need it.
No. 43 Hardware works best when it matters the least.
For more information: http://www.americanpolar.org
Read all Augustine's Laws here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine%27s_laws
American Alpine Club - New York Section 35th Annual Dinner, Nov. 14, 2015
Union Club, New York
Professional Mountain Guide Melissa Arnot, who most famously de-escalated the volatile situation on Everest in 2013, will share her story of learning the ropes, a journey from Mount Rainier to the summit of Everest five times. Dominic Metcalf will start things off with a presentation on his trip to the Alps and Dolomites in preparation for his goal of climbing all six of the great North Faces of the Alps.
The Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley, Royal Geographical Society - IBG, London, Opens Nov. 21, 2015
Opening on 21 Nov. 21, 2015, to mark the centenary of the crushed Endurance sinking below the sea ice of Antarctica on Nov. 21, 1915, the exhibition at the RGS will be inspired by glass plate negatives of the expedition, selected and saved from the ice by expedition photographer Frank Hurley and Sir Ernest Shackleton, and never previously seen by the public.
The Endurance, whose whereabouts remain unknown
These fragile glass plates vividly capture the feelings of men in extreme circumstances and tell Shackleton and his team's story of extreme adventure, team spirit, trust, difficult judgements and an audacious plan to sail 800 miles in little more than a rowing boat as the only possible chance of rescue.
The exhibition will focus on Hurley's work and his critical role in the expedition.
For more information:
Get Sponsored! - Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the new book from Skyhorse Publishing called: "Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers."
Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands' End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.
Buy it here:
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