August 2022 – Volume Twenty-Eight, Number Eight
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.

Brian Buma studies human southernmost expansion.
Expedition Studies Evidence of the
Southernmost Pre-industrial Human Expansion

Last time we wrote about Brian Buma of Boulder, Colorado (November 2021), it was about his book The Atlas of a Changing Climate (Timber Press, 2021), dealing with climate change, shrinking wildlife habitats, rising sea levels, and vanishing species.

Recently Buma was among the authors of a Cambridge University Press project gallery that examines what could possibly be the southernmost expansion of humans in pre-industrial times. The archaeological site, in the Cape Horn archipelago, consists of a campfire site, fragments of a weapon, and butchered bones. Radiocarbon dating places the site c. 260–460 years BP (Before Present – see Buzz Words).

He tells us, “There's really nowhere else for early peoples to go, so this was the true end of the road for our post-African growth, at least until the industrial age. We didn't have a lot of time to excavate, but hope to go back at some point.”

You can read the abstract here:

Endeavour poses for a beauty shot in Icy Bay with Mount Saint Elias in the background.
Alaskan Research Vessel Available
Non-profit Alaska Endeavour hosts natural history expeditions on their historic 72-foot research vessel the Endeavour throughout maritime Alaska. Based in Homer, the Endeavour is a former Army TBoat that was formerly the launch for Alcatraz. 
Rebuilt since, the boat sleeps six guests plus crew and has a range of 3,000 miles. Bill Urschel, an Explorers Club Fellow, has been the captain since 2007.
Past expeditions have measured the effect of global warming on glaciers on the Kenai Peninsula; expanded the fossil record of historical climate change on the Lost Coast; checked the health of humpbacks in Sitka Sound; found an important shipwreck off Coronation Island, and taken the temperature of salmon streams in Tenakee Inlet.
Upcoming expeditions will count breeding sea birds in the Aleutians; track brown bears on Admiralty Island; document sustainable fishing in Prince William Sound; and film a walrus haul-out in the Bering Sea.  
The ship also hosts birding and photography trips, submitting the results to scientific and conservation institutions.
Alaska Endeavor supports research and education in the belief that the more that’s understood and appreciated about the science of nature and the Alaskan wilderness, the more support there will be for its conservation and preservation. 
The day rate is $650 pp/day, which covers fuel for most trips in the six-day range. 
For more on the vessel and how to book an expedition, visit
Emma is ready to help out.
Need a Medical Volunteer?
Emma Shelby is a full-time medical assistant at the Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado and Advanced Vision Research Institute. Having graduated the University of Colorado Boulder in May, she is currently applying to medical school and performing volunteer work and research on the side.
Before matriculating into medical school, it is her dream to travel and volunteer with underserved patient communities both locally and abroad. Emma is particularly interested in ophthalmology and optometric volunteer opportunities due to her current medical assistant position and career aspirations.
Reach her at:
“We never know how high we are till we are called to rise; and then, if we are true to plan, our statures touch the skies.”
– Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886), an American poet.
Ken Lacovara, author of Why Dinosaurs Matter
(TED Books, 2017), addresses GLEX 2022.
The Global Exploration Summit (GLEX) 2022 
Lisbon and Azores, Portugal 
Special Report by Milbry Polk
Explorers from around the world gathered in Lisbon and the Azores, Portugal, for the third Global Exploration Summit (GLEX), a five-day event organized by The Explorers Club and Expanding World Portugal. 
The event was organized by Richard Wiese, President Emeritus of The Explorers Club, Milbry Polk and Manual Vaz, Founder and Director of Expanding World Portugal.
GLEX came about thanks to author and Magellan biographer Laurence Bergreen’s introduction of Manuel Vaz to The Explorers Club when Manuel was casting about for something special to do to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Magellan’s epic expedition around the world. So the collaboration was born. 
This year’s event kicked off in Lisbon with “Ignition” bringing together Portuguese, American, and other space legends, entrepreneurs, and the students of the Space Academy. The keynote speaker was the galvanizing NASA senior scientist James Garvin who discussed the exciting new DaVinci project, saying in part, “we are surfing the cosmic waves to go to Venus. The forever frontier awaits.”
The next four days were on the island of Sao Miguel, one of the islands in the Azores located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but just five hours away on a direct flight from Newark or Boston. Some 36 speakers from around the world representing a variety of initiatives came to make short presentations addressing the theme ‘What’s Next’ in exploration. The days were divided between presentations on Space, Land and Oceans and a special section featured EC 50 explorers: Fifty People Changing The World, The World Needs To Know About.  
Sponsors of the event included Rolex, Acores, Discovery, Visit Portugal, Government of the Azores, Portugal Space, Axiom Space, Lexus, Zero G, Magalhaes, TVI and CNN Portugal. 
Sunniva Sorby spoke about the role citizen science plays to
include more people in the conversation.
The Summit was opened by the President of the Azores, Jose Boliero and EC President Richard Garriott. Some of the highlights include Brian Cox on the importance of communicating science; Derek and Beverly Joubert talking about rewilding the Zambesi; Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher on their nearly half-century documenting disappearing cultures in Africa; Leela Hazzah talking about saving lions with the Maasai, and her new initiative We Africa uniting women conservationists in Africa; Jerome Chappelez on glaciers as the book of history of the planet and his efforts to save cores for future study once the ice is gone; Ken Lacovara discussing the great ages of extinction telling us it does not have to end this way – the future is up to us; Sunniva Sorby on the role citizen science plays to include more people in the conversation; and Josh Powell  on his project Rangers Without Borders and his work identifying little known species in critical conditions.
Natalie Schmitt spoke about the DNA revolution and creating accessible detection kits to combat wildlife trafficking; Bertrand Piccard inspiring us all to make a commitment to a better earth; Josh Simpson on his blown glass planets which he has hidden all over the world creating magic; Rachel Graham about her work with sharks; Asha de Vos involving the community in her work with whales in Sri Lanka; Austin Gallagher on his discovery of a vast expanse of sea grass around the Bahamas and why that is important for the planet; Cady Coleman on the importance of inclusion in space exploration; and Christian Rutz’s discovery of the clever crow’s ability to make fish hooks. 
The Summit closed with a riveting speech by Portuguese Minister of Economy, Antonio Costa Silva, who eloquently linked exploration and science to our hope for the future, saying, “we are at a difficult crossroads, we need a new generation with new ideas. Now is the right time to rethink what we are doing.”
The camaraderie that developed during GLEX is what The Explorers Club is all about. The generosity and vision of the Portuguese government made it possible and Manuel Vaz’s Expanding made it happen. 
All the talks will be available for free online soon. Check out for notices. 
Milbry Polk is a writer, photographer, lecturer, former Explorers Club board member and co-chair of GLEX. You can reach her at
Broad-spectrum Snakebite Antidote Receives FDA Fast Track Designation
Whenever we hike, snakes are an ever-present danger. Tragically in early July, a 6-year-old boy died after being bitten by a rattlesnake near the Colorado Springs Airport. 
A few months earlier, while doing yard work, actor Cary Elwes, known for his role in The Princess Bride, was bitten by a rattlesnake in Malibu, California, and recovered after medical treatment.
Under the current standard of care, a snakebite victim must quickly reach a hospital that has an antivenom matching the snake responsible for the bite — if the snake is identified, and if a matching antivenom even exists.
Of the more than 450 species of venomous snakes worldwide, fewer than half have a matched antivenom. Manufacturing antivenom is a labor-intensive process that involves “milking” specific snakes for venom, injecting the venom into large animals, and then collecting and purifying the antibodies the animals produce. Obtaining and stocking antivenom depends upon cold-chain logistics and storage. Administration, by IV, must take place in a hospital that can manage any potential side effects.
Any delays in initiating antivenom treatment can be devastating. Once the snakes’s venom has left the victim’s bloodstream and penetrated tissue, antivenom cannot reverse its toxic effects. The results often include paralysis or amputation, according to Ophirex, a public benefit biotechnology company, whose antivenom varespladib-methyl (“oral varespladib”) has been Fast Tracked by the FDA.
Ophirex is currently conducting a clinical trial of oral varespladib, its lead investigational drug candidate, as a broad-spectrum snakebite antidote in the United States and India.
“Each year, bites by venomous snakes kill or maim more than 500,000 people worldwide, many of whom are children. They also pose risks to U.S. military personnel at home and abroad. Our urgent mission is to develop more effective and more accessible treatments for snakebite victims,” said Nancy J. Koch, CEO of Ophirex. 
Adds Matthew Lewin, M.D., Ph.D., Ophirex’s Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, “A broad-spectrum, oral treatment for snakebite would bring unprecedented accessibility of treatment to those most in need, providing greatly needed modernization to the treatment of snakebite.” 
Says Michael J. Manyak, MD, FACS, Adjunct Professor of Urology and Engineering, George Washington University, Washington, DC, “This oral tablet is a game-changer for those at risk of venomous snake bite.

“Also available in intravenous form, it does not require stringent storage conditions. This means that explorers can carry the medication with them in the field and that smaller clinics with less resources can stock the medication. Its wide range of effects against even the most deadly snakes make this a global godsend for rural areas,” according to Manyak, co-author of Lizard Bites & Street Riots (WindRush Publishers, 2014).
Learn more:
Nice tries: one in 1954, the other in 2004
U.S. Postal Service Licks The Explorers Club
In anticipation of its 50th anniversary in 1954, The Explorers Club proposed to the United States Post Office Department that a stamp be issued to honor the organization and promote continued exploration. The proposed stamp, pictured at top, did not meet with success, but another attempt was made as the Club approached its 100th anniversary (2004), according to John M. Hotchner writing in Linn’s Stamp News (June 3).
Unfortunately for The Explorers Club, the U.S. Postal Service was not in the habit of honoring limited-membership organizations at this time, though it had done so in the 1950s. So once again, the Club’s stamp attempt was unsuccessful.
“The Club would have done better to propose something like ‘exploration for scientific advances’ as a theme, but even that would not have guaranteed acceptance given the large volume of requests for stamps that the Postal Service receives,” writes Hotchner.
As it was, the Postal Service did issue three 37¢ stamps in 2004 for the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, so there’s that.  
Read the story here:
Sir Ranulph Fiennes Profiled in Explorer Documentary
Explorer, a portrait of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, is a documentary that peels back the layers of Sir Ranulph’s life to go beyond his record-breaking achievements and reveal the man behind the myth. The documentary feature will be available on digital and on-demand on Aug. 30.
Fiennes is credited with the sensational title of being the World’s Greatest Living Explorer. Amongst his extraordinary achievements, he was the first to circumnavigate the world from pole to pole, crossed the Antarctic on foot, broke countless world records and discovered a lost city in Arabia. He has traveled to the most dangerous places on Earth, lost half his fingers to frostbite, raised millions of pounds for charity and was nearly cast as James Bond.
Explorer is a Good Productions film in association with the British Film Institute (BFI) and Universal Pictures Content Group. It is directed by Matt Dyas and produced by BAFTA and Emmy-nominated George Chignell (Citizen KSearching for Sugar ManI Am Ali).
Watch the trailer here:
Check your attic for valuable space collectibles.
Prices for Space Memorabilia are Astronomical
For collectors, space memorabilia opens up memories of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, or George Jetson flying to his in-the-sky home in a glass pod. Whether Apollo or Gemini program items, NASA memorabilia, moon rocks, meteors, space robots or items being sold from Elon Musk’s SpaceX flights, the opportunities are as vast as, well, outer space, according to, the authoritative collectibles and antique publication (July 20, 2022).
Space travel continues with the battle of the billionaires starting to explore tourism in space. The recent creation of a sixth independent U.S. military service branch, the Space Force, has brought it back to mainstream conversation.
The hottest space memorabilia today are:
Meteorites – A 70-pound meteorite from Arizona sold for $237,500 in 2018
Moon Dust – Moon dust from the Apollo 11 Lunar mission was misidentified and sold in a U.S. government forfeiture auction for $995. The lucky purchaser sold it a few years later for $1.8 million.
Gang of Five Robots – Any member of the gang of five robot sells for high prices. The mechanical robots were made in Japan in the 1950s and early ’60s by Masudaya. They include: Machine Man (pictured above), Radicon, Giant Sonic, Non Stop and Target. A mint-in-the-box Machine Man robot, found by a man while cleaning his mother’s attic, sold for $159,900 in 2020.
Apollo 11 Memorabilia – The actual Apollo 11 lunar module spacecraft identification plate sold in 2018 for $380,000.
Jetsons Collectibles – A vintage 1963 The Jetsons lunch box and thermos brought $3,500 in 2021, more than 7 times its high estimate. The lunch box is lithographed tin and made by Aladdin.
Read the full story here:
Pemba Sherpa continues to support the Khumbu region of Nepal.

Sherpa Restauranteur/Entrepreneur Bridges Worlds 
A disastrous earthquake strikes Nepal in 2015 and Boulder, Colorado, restaurateur, philanthropist, and businessman Pemba Sherpa, 50, springs into action, helping to restore a hydropower station, erect a suspension bridge, and rebuild homes. 
Today, his Sherpa Chai company and Sherpa’s Adventurer restaurant employs 50 people from numerous countries, donates food to the North Boulder homeless shelter, supports the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, and resettles newly-arrived Nepalis.
Born into poverty in the Himalayas, Pemba has come far since he arrived in the U.S. in 1991, starting as a restaurant dishwasher five days a week, and a stable hand shoveling horse manure the other two days. Later he would establish his own climbing and trekking company, Sherpa Ascent International, for 20 years, guiding clients around the world.
“I see my life as a journey of experiences both good and bad, with lessons learned along the way,” he says in his book written with James McVey called Bridging Worlds (Sherpa Publications, 2019).
“I believe the experiences of my childhood taught me survival skills that have served me well in life, instilling the values of hard work, resourcefulness, perseverance, and patience. I know the meaning of struggle and hardship.”
His success in business allows him to continue assisting the Khumbu region on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest.
A fixed-wing pilot, he wants to build a hospital in Nepal specializing in telemedicine, and qualify for his helicopter pilot’s license to conduct rescue work in the high-altitude world he calls home.
Pemba adds, “More people who are in a position to help like I am should lend their time, ideas and financial support to improve the lives of others in need.”
Contact Pemba Sherpa at
Learn more about his company and its small batch product here:

Watch the NASA Artemis I Sizzle Reel
Scheduled to take place as early as August 29, the much-anticipated Artemis I mission will usher in a new era of human space exploration that will involve returning astronauts to the lunar surface after a 50-year absence. NASA’s Artemis program is also aiming to establish a sustainable human presence on the moon and use it as stepping stone for the first crewed mission to Mars in the late 2030s.
Short and sweet, NASA’s Artemis: Launching to the Moon trailer depicts the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket launching the Orion capsule to space. Artemis I will involve sending the Orion on a flyby of the moon before bringing the spacecraft home.
If the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft perform as expected during the Artemis I mission, then Artemis II, currently set for 2024, will fly the same route but with astronauts on board. A successful crewed flight will pave the way for Artemis III, possibly in 2025, which will put the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface.
View the sizzle reel here:

Learn more here:
Still from video of Vanessa O’Brien’s journey above the Karman Line
aboard Blue Origin’s sixth space tourism mission. 
Explorers Extreme Trifecta
This is another one of those made-up records, like Seven Summits, but in this case, popularized by Guinness World Records. The first man – as well as the first person overall – to reach extremes on land, sea, and air is the American Victor Vescovo, who summited Mount Everest (the highest point on Earth) on May 24, 2010, dived into the Challenger Deep (the deepest point on Earth) on April 28, 2019, and ventured to space (crossing the 100-km-high Kármán Line) as part of the Blue Origin NS-21 mission on June 4, 2022.
This month, British-American explorer Vanessa O’Brien was aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle NS-22 along with five others, thus making her the first woman to complete the EET.
O’Brien summitted Mt. Everest on May 19, 2012, reached Challenger Deep on June 12, 2020, and joined Blue Origin’s NS-22, passing the Kármán line into suborbital space to reach an apogee of 351,232 feet (107 km) on August 4, 2022. O’Brien achieved this Explorer’s Trifecta over 10 years, 2 months, and 16 days 
O'Brien apparently paid her own way to space, but it's unclear how much it cost. Blue Origin has not revealed New Shepard ticket prices, according to O’Brien tells EN,Blue Origin has NDA's in place so the price is not released. One-third of our crewed capsule, however, was sponsor-funded and Space For Humanity just released that it is sponsoring its third seat on Blue Origin with applications open now.” (
She added, "A rising tide lifts all boats, so let this Blue Origin spaceflight, the first carrying two women, serve to inspire all of us to dream bigger than our current circumstances, and remind us of the work we have left to do as we continue to fight for women’s and girls’ rights to education and health, to decent work and safety, and to justice and peace," said O'Brien who carried the UN Women’s flag aloft.

Before Present (BP) years, or "years before present,” is a time scale used mainly in archaeology, geology and other scientific disciplines to specify when events occurred relative to the origin of practical radiocarbon dating in the 1950s. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use 1 January 1950 as the commencement date (epoch) of the age scale. (Source: Wikipedia)
Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield) by Jeff Blumenfeld ­– Travel has come roaring back and so has 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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