March 2022 – Volume Twenty-Eight, Number Three
Celebrating our 27th year.
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.
No better proof than the ship’s name on its transom.

The Endurance is Found

We’ve been talking about the search for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Endurance almost since Expedition News was founded in 1994. We’ve written about Shackleton’s leadership, his individual crew, his official photographer, the ship’s cat (Mrs. Chippy) and dogs, and previous attempts to locate his 114-ft. vessel which was trapped in sea ice in the Weddell Sea in 1915 and has been lost for 106 years. (see EN, February 2022).

“She’s going, boys,” a crewmember reportedly cried in October 1915 as the hull was rent to pieces. “It’s time to get off.” The ship eventually slipped beneath the surface on November 21,1915.
Thus you can imagine our thrill to see that the wooden three-masted ship was found in 9,842 feet below the surface of the Weddell Sea, a pocket of the Southern Ocean east of the Antarctic Peninsula. The site where Endurance eventually sank turned out to be just four miles south of where New Zealand sailor Frank Worsley, the ship’s captain, using a sextant and a theodolite, had predicted it lay. Announced in early March by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, the exciting discovery puts an end to a century-old maritime mystery.
“We have made polar history with the discovery of Endurance, and successfully completed the world’s most challenging shipwreck search,” said Endurance 22 expedition leader John Shears.
Researchers used two submersible crafts to scan the Antarctic sea floor for signs of the shipwreck. From left, John Shears, the expedition’s leader; Mensun Bound, director of exploration; and Nico Vincent, expedition subsea manager. (Photo by Esther Horvath)
The hunt for the wreck, which cost more than $10 million, provided by a donor who wished to remain anonymous, was conducted from a South African icebreaker, S.A. Agulhas II, that left Cape Town in early February. Aside from a few technical glitches involving the two submersibles, and part of a day spent icebound when operations were suspended, the search proceeded relatively smoothly.
Marine biogeographer Huw Griffiths posted a crowdsourced thread on Twitter where he identified Antarctic deep-sea creatures visible in the photos of the wreck. Now captaining the ship are large Antarctic sea anemones, sea squirts, sea stars, and rare for that region:  yeti crabs.
According to field researcher Ulyana N. Horodyskyj, Ph.D., of, “… climate change is starting to impact the region. It’s starting to see stronger storms with warmer air and faster winds that can push the ice out further into warmer waters. These changing conditions allowed for easier (though still challenging) passage for a modern-day icebreaking ship to punch through the sea ice and finally locate the resting spot of the historic Endurance.”
Armchair explorers everywhere are fascinated by well-told, edge-of-seat tales of exploration and adventure. Passion and interest in Shackleton, Scott and the polar expeditions of a century ago continues to be strong, and not just among scientists.
Read the official announcement from the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust:
The Explorers Club 2021 & 2022 Annual Awards
The Explorers Club Annual Dinner will finally be held on April 23, 2022, after being postponed by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Themed The New Golden Age of Exploration, the event is sold out except for some high priced tickets and will be held at The Glasshouse in New York City. Find more details at Briefly, here are the honorees:
Dereck and Beverly Joubert
• The 2021 Explorers Club Medal ­ – Dereck and Beverly Joubert
Dereck and Beverly Joubert are world famous, award-winning filmmakers, conservationists, and explorers from Botswana. They are the founders of the Big Cats Initiative, which now has over 150 projects across 29 countries focused on the protection of large cats. One of their most recent films, Birth of a Pride, highlights the vision of the Initiative and has won 19 awards in multiple countries. (See the trailer:
• The 2022 Explorers Club Medal – Rick Ridgeway
Rick Ridgeway has dedicated his life to the preservation of wild places, intact ecosystems, and open lands. He has been the guardian of places that inspire all of us to roam and explore. Rick is both an accomplished explorer and an effective advocate for the setting aside and preservation of wildlife corridors.
Ridgeway is recognized as one of the world’s foremost mountaineers. He originally coined the now famous phrase “Seven Summits” when he was guiding Dick Bass during Bass’ successful quest to be the first to summit the highest point on each of the Seven Continents. He has a new book out called Life Lived Wild (Patagonia, 2021)
• The 2021 Citation of Merit – Steve Elkins
In 1994, while filming in Honduras, explorer Steve Elkins became fascinated by the legend of La Ciudad Blanca, also known as the White City. Guided by cutting-edge LIDAR data, and leading a team of archaeologists, anthropologists, scientists and filmmakers, Elkins' Lost City of the Monkey God Expedition revealed complex archaeological sites under the rainforest cover that confirmed the existence of an ancient city. (See his TEDxPasadena talk here:
• The 2022 Citation of Merit – The ChemCam Curiosity Mars Rover Engineering Team
The Chemistry and Camera tool, known as ChemCam, has been operating on Curiosity since the rover landed on Mars in 2012. In January 2021, ChemCam sent state-of-health data indicating that the high voltage (HV) required for firing the instrument's laser was not as stable as usual. This initiated a laser recovery effort, which was accomplished by the coordinated efforts of an international team of engineers located separately in the U.S. and France.
• The 2021 Sweeney Medal – Marcelo Méndez
Since joining The Explorers Club in 1992, Marcelo Méndez, a native of Argentina, has been an extraordinary example of a most dedicated, determined and focused Explorers Club member, never seeking recognition or reward.   
Mr. Méndez has participated in more than a dozen Flag Expeditions. His most recent and most notable – created with the Spanish Government – was Flag 1519, dedicated to commemorating the first Circumnavigation of the World by Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano.   
• The 2022 Sweeney Medal – Robert Atwater
Bob Atwater has dedicated and served with distinction and leadership of The Explorers Club for many years. First serving as the Membership Director and Life Fellow of The Explorers Club Washington Group, Bob was later elected to the Club's overall board of directors in 2012.
He has carried the Club Flag on 10 scientific field expeditions to Mongolia, India, Egypt, the Western Pacific, the Yucatan, Belize, Guatemala, the Marshall Islands, and Japan - and he has participated in 53 expeditions in 48 countries since 1968.

Watch the TEC President’s Fireside Chat for more details on the award program: 

I’d Like to Be Under the Sea
As part of its annual World Oceans Week (June 5-11), The Explorers Club and OctoNation, the world’s largest octopus fan club (who knew?), announced a global octopus photo competition. The Octographer awards aim to amplify octopuses, and ultimately ocean, education and awareness.
Winning images will be recognized during World Oceans Week and displayed physically at Explorers Club Headquarters in New York and virtually.
This open and free photo competition will help broaden and achieve World Oceans Week goal of "sailing the five C's: Creativity, Conservation, Collaboration, Community, and Celebration.”
The photo competition has thematic categories open for photographic submissions: Behavior, Details, Photo Techniques, and Portrait.
Deadline for submissions is Friday, April 1 at 5:00 pm ET. For inquiries:

Get your hands dirty in Utah.
Dig This
The Prehistoric Museum at Utah State University Eastern in Price, Utah, is looking for volunteers to participate in a number of digs this summer.
Its location in eastern Utah is within less than two hours – in every direction – of some of the most important fossiliferous rocks in the United States. These are rocks that span the entire Age of Dinosaurs (Triassic - Cretaceous) as well as rocks from Eocene. In 2022, they will be excavating a prolific therizinosaur quarry, a new sauropod site, a phytosaur locality, and a site preserving the rare species Torosaurus utahensis.

Volunteers of all experience levels who are 18 years or older are welcome to apply. “If you can get yourself to Price or our field localities, love paleontology, and are ready to prospect some of the most remote areas of Utah for ancient life, you can join us,” says Josh Lively, Curator of Paleontology for the Prehistoric Museum.  

Due to state regulations, all volunteer applicants must undergo a background check and verify they are responsible for their own medical expenses. There is no cost to volunteer, food and water will be provided, but donations are appreciated. For more information and to request a volunteer application, contact Joshua Lively, Ph.D.,
Attend Tropical Biology Field School in Belize
July 15 – 28, 2022

Open to non-North Arizona University undergraduate students, this field intensive course will be focused on tropical plant and wildlife sampling techniques in the newly established Maya Forest Corridor of Central Belize. Students will learn about the importance of wildlife corridors, how to identify tropical plants and press plant samples, as well as how to survey for birds, primates, crocodiles, and other wildlife species, according to J. Judson Wynne, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor, Northern Arizona University.
Participants will experience and examine the tropical pine savanna, cohune palm ridges, and broad-leaf forests, including an overnight excursion at Runaway Creek. They will also tour wildlife rehabilitation facilities and Maya archaeological sites, collect cave-dwelling insects, and conclude the field school with two days at Tobacco Caye.
Students will learn how conservation biologists study biodiversity in one of the most expansively protected countries in Central America. Presentations and training will be delivered by conservation biologists, government officials, community leaders, and cultural experts. This course will be fast-paced and physically demanding. Students will learn, hike, kayak, swim, and camp across much of the country.
Application deadline: April 1, 2022
CIE Application Page:
For more information:
J. Judson Wynne, Ph.D.,


“The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

“Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (Random House; 1st edition (November 8, 1994). His writing continues to resonate in our troubled world.
Traveling in the WindSled is a breeze.
Wind-powered Exploration Sled Slides Across the Polar Regions
To move across the ice without carbon emissions, a polar vehicle that looks like a wind-powered barge, with a maximum load of two tons, was designed to make environmentally sustainable and economically efficient scientific explorations in the most inaccessible areas of the polar regions.
The Inuit WindSled Project uses a set of kites of different sizes (from 30 to 150 square meters) that slide across the ice sheet, making it a zero-emissions moving scientific platform. It offers scientists the possibility of transporting an active laboratory on ice while traveling at about 13 mph, transporting all the essential equipment for the completion of scientific projects in the field.
According to its creators who created the first prototype in 2000, it is the most economical, sustainable and simple way to research the Arctic (territories such as Greenland), and the Antarctic. The Inuit WindSled Project involves the participation of scientists from different fields, instrumentation and technicians. To date, 10 expeditions have taken place using the concept.
Creator Ramon Larramendi, a polar explorer based in Reykjavik, calls it the first zero-emissions vehicle that can efficiently traverse the plateaus of Greenland and Antarctica.
The WindSled has covered more than 15,500 miles (25,000 km) across Greenland and Antarctic plateaus, including reportedly the first navigation across Antarctica with a zero-emission vehicle (2005-06), first to the South Pole also by wind-powered vehicle (2011), and first scientific Antarctic traverse with a zero-emission vehicle (2018-19).   
Larramendi tells EN, “In May we will be doing a triangulation of the south Greenland ice cap, further developing the scientific and cargo capabilities of the concept. We plan to do some 1500 km (32-miles) in 35 days, with the heaviest cargo the WindSled has ever transported – 2,500 kilos (5,500 lbs.) and a team of seven people.”

See the WindSled in action in this promotion video: 

For more information, including an explanation of its past expeditions, view:  

ShelterBox USA Seeks Adventurers 
ShelterBox USA, a global disaster relief organization based in the UK with an office in Santa Barbara, California, launched a campaign to support adventure seekers taking on life-changing challenges to help the world’s most vulnerable who have been forced from their homes.
ShelterBox “Adventurers” are ordinary people taking on extraordinary challenges. They raise awareness and funding for ShelterBox’s mission to provide shelter and living essentials to families around the world displaced by disaster or conflict.
The “Adventurers” program began and grew organically, fueled by ShelterBox’s volunteers who go the extra mile for those in need. This year, ShelterBox has developed a program to support their efforts, including with ShelterBox gear, media outreach and training, as well as support for their fundraising goals.
All types of adventurers are welcome and encouraged to sign up – from runners, to cyclists, to rowers, mountaineers and climbers. Unlike other nonprofit fundraisers, ShelterBox adventurers set their own objectives; ShelterBox stands ready to help. In April 2021, ShelterBox surpassed providing support to two million people since 2000, responding to more than 300 disasters in nearly 100 countries.
Brittney Woodrum of Leadville, Colo., conceived her project during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Woodrum would go on to summit all 58 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks with a ShelterBox strapped to her back. (Not an easy feat once you consider the size of each box.)
Previous ShelterBox Adventurers have included:
·       Jesse Pine of Denver, who cycled more than 3,700 miles from California to Alaska.
ShelterBox was Erik Elsea’s constant companion.
·       Erik Elsea of Cape Coral, Fla., who paddled the entire Mississippi River with a ShelterBox in his canoe.
·       Jasmine Harrison, of North Yorkshire, UK, who, at 21 years old, became the youngest woman to solo row the Atlantic Ocean.
For more information and to register:
This $500 Watch Was Worn on the First Everest Expedition…Sort Of
Everest Watch is Coming Back
Back in the early 1950s, many of the big watch brands were working on watches that didn’t just tell time and look nice, but could tell time and look nice in some of the most extreme environments on the planet, from the deep sea to the Arctic tundra. Foremost among these was Rolex, whose Submariner and Explorer models earned the brand a reputation for extreme ruggedness and reliability they’ve been building on ever since.
When mountaineers Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were prepping for their historic summit of Mount Everest in 1953, Rolex provided them with a prototype to wear on their expedition. That watch was the Rolex Explorer, and it’s been riding high on that adventurous legacy ever since.
Rolex, however, wasn’t the only watch brand represented on that Everest expedition. English watchmaker Smiths also provided a watch to Hillary and Norgay (and depending on who you believe, it may have been the only watch they actually carried to the summit). In the years that followed, however, Rolex would become the biggest name in the watch world, while Smiths would fall into obscurity. Until that is, a British watch retailer named Eddie Platts, decided to bring it back.
Read more about this fascinating story by Jeremy Freed on (posted Feb. 18, 2022):

The Steger Homestead Kitchen: Simple Recipes for an Abundant Life
Yeah, But What Can You Do with Pemmican?
In this new cookbook published by University Of Minnesota Press, polar explorer Will Steger collaborates with his niece Rita Mae Steger, 27, chef at the Steger Wilderness Center, Ely, Minnesota, and accomplished food writer Beth Dooley. Interwoven with dozens of recipes ­– for simple, hearty meals shared around home chefs’ own homestead tables – are Steger’s stories of epic adventures exploring the planet’s most remote regions.
The dozens of mouth-watering recipes include those for generous breakfasts (Almond Berry Griddlecakes), warming lunches (Northwoods Mushroom Wild Rice Soup), elegant dinners (Spatchcock Chicken with Blueberry Maple Glaze), desserts (Very Carrot Cake), and snacks (Steger Wilderness Bars).
Steger, who claims he hasn’t eaten anything out of box in 50 years, tells Sharyn Jackson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Feb. 23), “In Antarctica, it really looked like we were going to perish, and I think anytime anybody starves, your perspective of life changes.
“It really puts you in touch with our fragility, and with those that don’t have the privileges that we all do here in America … food is a little different to me. It’s something I never take for granted.”
Founded in 1988, the Steger Wilderness Center was established to model viable carbon-neutral solutions, teach ecological stewardship, and address climate change.  
For more information:

Remorseful Returns
Parcels of rocks and other artifacts received by Petrified Forest and other national parks over the years. Gwenn Gallenstein, the museum curator for Flagstaff, Arizona-area national monuments, first encountered the phenomenon in the early 1990s at the Museum of Northern Arizona where people anonymously left artifacts outside the doors.

One tourist named Tracie attached a note to her remorseful return: “We all decided to send these small pieces of nature back, before our bad luck streak escalated. PLEASE return them to their rightful place.” – Source: National Parks magazine story by Jacob Baynham, Winter 2022.
Boomerang Bag
An emergency bag packed by scientists on their way from Christchurch, New Zealand, to Antarctica. It’s packed at the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) center and contains Extreme Cold Weather (EWC) clothing, including Big Red, the huge down parka issued to each person with their names on the front pocket (nice touch). 
Departing scientists get to take one carry-on, one checked bag, and the “boomerang bag,” so named because sometimes the plane will fly nearly all the way to McMurdo before the crew determines that conditions aren’t right to land. The plane will "boomerang" back to Christchurch, and only the boomerang bag will be unloaded once arriving in Christchurch, not the larger checked bag. So, people deploying will pack it with whatever might be needed for up to three days. – Source:
View the 2024 Total Eclipse From Texas
On April 8, 2024, a total eclipse of the sun will cross the U.S. Did you see the TOTAL eclipse in Wyoming in 2017? If you did, you’ll remember it your whole life! A TOTAL eclipse (not partial; not 99%) is incredible: pink flames at the edge of the sun, silver streamers stretching across the sky. It gets cold. People scream. Animals respond. Don’t miss out on 2024!

Explorers Club Fellow Dr. Doug Duncan will lead a trip to “Totality Over Texas,” where the total eclipse will be twice as long as in 2017. Dr. Duncan’s trips are very popular and often fill up well in advance.

Sign-up here:

Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield) by Jeff Blumenfeld ­– Covid-19 has practically put the brakes on travel, but once we get through the pandemic, travel will come roaring back and so will voluntourism. Be ready to lend a hand wherever you go. How to travel and make a difference while you see the world? Read excerpts and “Look Inside” at: @purpose_book
Get Sponsored! – Need money for your next project? Read about proven techniques that will help you find both cash and in-kind sponsors. If the trip is bigger than you, and is designed to help others, well, that’s half the game right there. Read Jeff Blumenfeld’s "Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers." (Skyhorse Publishing).
Buy it here:

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