October 2022 – Volume Twenty-Eight, Number Ten
Celebrating our 28th 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.
"Travel Detective" Peter Greenberg

Greenberg Offers Travel Advice for Explorers

Without travel, there would be a whole lot less exploration in the world. That’s the rationale behind the invitation for travel expert Peter Greenberg to speak during a public lecture at The Explorers Club on Oct. 2, 2022.
Known in the travel industry as “The Travel Detective,” he is the travel editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday
Morning. And his national CBS Eye on Travel radio show is broadcast from a
different location around the world each week – reminiscent of the early days of Club member and benefactor Lowell Thomas himself.
For more than 20 years, Greenberg has produced and hosted for PBS The Royal Tour, historic, precedent-setting shows, where sitting heads of state become Greenberg's tour guide for very personal journeys to and through their countries, for one-hour global prime-time specials. The Royal Tours range from King Abdullah in Jordan to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the President of Mexico, the Prime Minister of Israel, the President of Rwanda, and many others. (www.petergreenberg.com)

Some gems from his talk titled, “Brave New World” of travel:

“There are two kinds of luggage: carry-on and lost,” he says.

“We’re not passengers. The airlines consider us self-loading cargo.”

“When people ask me if I had a nice flight, I tell them ‘it landed. I went from A to B and didn’t die.’”

“The airlines get together at 9 a.m. every morning to synchronize their stupidity. Their motto seems to be, ‘we are not happy until you’re not happy.’”
“Influencers? Influencers take selfies, they’re not explorers. The real explorers were trailblazers - they didn’t follow the trail. We’re in this room because people who came before were true explorers.”

Great advice, especially for those of us on the EN staff traumatized since age 10 by the scene in Twilight Zone of a gremlin prying off a wing.  
Know a Student with Perseverence?
The "You've Got Perseverance!" award from NASA is for students who have demonstrated perseverance in their academic pursuits. Teachers, educators, and community leaders are encouraged to nominate students who've shown that nothing will deter them from their educational journey. Selected students will: get a special message sent directly from the Perseverance rover on Mars; chat with the rover team members from mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and receive an award pack of materials with mission essentials.
Student must be currently enrolled in grades 6th through 12th (in a public, private or home school). The nominator must be an educator, principal, school counselor or community leader. Deadline: Oct. 31, 2022. For more information: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/participate/got-perseverance/
In a related story, a recent 2.5-billion-pixel mosaic, which combines 1,118 individual frames, is the most detailed landscape panorama ever returned from Mars. It shows intriguing Martian rocks surrounding NASA’s Perseverance rover in the ancient Jezero crater river delta, made from images captured by the Mastcam-Z camera system. See it here: https://tinyurl.com/MarsJezero

Mack Rutherford flew around the world at age 17.
Youngest Pilot Circumnavigates the World

Mack Rutherford, 17, a resident of Britain and Belgium, became the youngest pilot ever to fly around the world, a feat he achieved when he landed in Bulgaria last summer. He flew to 30 countries in five months. When he finally finished the journey, he reported he was “able to look at a problem and work through a solution,” according to the New York Times (Sept. 25). One touchy moment was in July when strong winds forced him to land on the uninhabited Attu Island in the Pacific Ocean where he slept alone in a shack.

Read the story here:

“As you begin to discover at the Kennedy Space Center – NASA’s primary launch facility for human exploration of space – another source of awe is the human enterprise that makes such visions possible. The project of space exploration has been so gargantuan in cost, so monumental in its creations, so ambitious in its management of talent and so unpredictable in its outcomes that when it succeeds we feel awe at what has been created.”
­– Edward Rothstein writing in the Wall Street Journal (Aug. 25) about the new Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex now open to visitors.
Giraffe tagging is no easy feat.
Field Researchers Stick Their Necks Out for Giraffe

“When I show photographs of giraffe, that’s my superpower to engage people. Giraffe are so charismatic and loveable,” says Michael B. Brown, Ph.D., a conservation ecologist and a joint fellow with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. He was in Boulder to address the Rocky Mountain chapter of The Explorers Club on Sept. 15, 2022.

Sadly, giraffe have suffered a decrease by almost 30% in just about 3-1/2 decades, necessitating a concerted conservation effort.

With only 117,000 individuals widely distributed in isolated populations across 21 different African countries, giraffe face diverse challenges throughout their range, including urbanization and habitat fragmentation, which require diverse solutions to address them.

The exotic, long-necked creatures, perhaps one of the most recognizable silhouettes in the animal kingdom, has captured human imagination through the ages, from the time of the Egyptians, to the 60-year-old Sophie la giraffe teething toy for babies. Its distinctive iconic image is used in advertising around to world to sell children’s apparel, wine and tourism destinations, yet it has been allowed to slip beneath the conservation radar.

GPS satellite tagging has become critical to understanding giraffe habitat use, seasonal movements, and home ranges. Brown explained GCF’s Twiga Tracker initiative is the largest GPS satellite tracking program ever conducted on giraffe.
The hard part is actually attaching the tags.

“Tracking collars don’t last more than a day on giraffe,” Brown says. We’ve had better luck with ear and tail tags, once we take them down by the legs like giant AT-AT walkers in The Empire Strikes Back.

Lest that sounds harsh, GCF works with wildlife veterinarians in Africa to ensure the safety of fitting the GPS units to giraffe. You can watch the process in this 3-1/2 min. video: https://youtu.be/0ixAq7H3hto

“The Twiga Tracker Initiative, an ambitious continental scale GPS tracking study of over 300 giraffe, is revolutionizing how we understand giraffe movement and habitat needs,” he says.

Brown also explained how they were able to follow a single giraffe for 12 hours to study what they ate through their fecal matter. Slides of giraffe feces wouldn’t normally be shown during a typical dinner presentation, except perhaps when the audience consists of Explorers Club members and guests doting on the presenter’s every word. Giraffe are also identified through their spot patterns which are as distinct as fingerprints on humans. Often researchers will scour Instagram to identify giraffe photographed by tourists. In fact, there are almost 4 million posts for just the #giraffe hashtag alone.

The tallest mammal in the world has its own World Giraffe Day (June 21), a #standtallforgiraffe hashtag, 38,000 Instagram followers and 50,000 on Facebook, so there is hope for their continued survival.

Combining advanced technology with ground-level understandings of giraffe ecology, Brown and others are turning science into meaningful conservation outcomes.

For more information: www.giraffeconservation.org

Alastair Humphreys suggests you go climb a tree.
Adventurer Alastair Humphreys, who cycled the world over four years and rowed the Atlantic, tells the Wall Street Journal’s Fall WSJ magazine, “if you persist at something long enough, eventually you do something extraordinary.” Yet he’s gravitated towards “’microadventures’ – short, simple, local, affordable adventures wherever people happen to live – climbing a tree in your lunch hour or finding a river to swim in.”
Each week he’s been hiking Ordinance Surveys in the UK, a grid of 20- by 20-kilometers. “It’s given me a completely new perspective on where I live. The hardest part of all these things is just starting.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson Wonders if the Earth is an Alien’s Snow Globe
American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson writes in the Wall Street Journal (Sept. 17) about The Power of a Cosmic Perspective. His new book, in Starry Messenger, Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization (Henry Holt & Co, 2022), postulates about the possible discovery that we are not alone in the universe.
“This could signal a change in the human condition that we cannot foresee or imagine. Taken to enticing yet frightening limits, we might exist in a computer simulation programmed by intelligent juvenile aliens still living in their parents’ basement. Or we might discover that planet Earth is a zoo – a literal terrarium and aquarium, constructed for the amusement of alien anthropologists.
“Perhaps our cosmos, complete with our hundred billion stars per galaxy and the hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe, is nothing more than a snow globe on some alien creature’s mantel.
“In these scenarios, the cosmic perspective morphs from the universe reminding us to become better shepherds of our own fate to the universe declaring that we’re playthings for high-level life-forms. A terrifying prospect, perhaps. But we take better care of our cats and dogs than we do of homeless humans in the street. If we serve as pets to aliens, might they take better care of us than we ever will of ourselves?” he asks.

Read more here:
Take care of those lips.
Can You Sunburn the Inside of Your Mouth?

Sure can, especially at altitude while climbing on reflective snow. Shannon Davis writes in Backpacker magazine (November/December 2021): “Snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays and any area of exposed skin can get sunburn. When I guided on Mt. Rainier, we’d make sure our rope teams applied sun protection regularly, even to their lips and the underside of their chins, noses and arms – and that they didn’t gape, slack-jawed, at the alpine grandeur too long, lest they risk the rare and unfortunate inner-mouth burn.”

Mike Duffy studies avalanche risk from a snow pit.
Snowmobilers Get By on Luck

Planning an expedition by snowmobile? Most snowmobilers new to the backcountry get by on luck rather than education about how to operate safely in avalanche zones. 

“When uneducated mountain snowmobilers tell me they’ve been riding in the backcountry for 20 years without an accident, I say, ‘well, you’ve been lucky for 20 years,’” says Mike Duffy, the Eagle, Colorado-based Certified American Avalanche Association course provider and instructor, and member of the Motorized Avalanche Professionals who has almost 30 years in avalanche education as founder of Avalanche1.com.

“The most common denominator in the motorized avalanche accidents I’ve studied is that not a single operator has taken an on-snow class from an experienced instructor.”      
There’s still a lot Duffy doesn’t know, especially after 2019, one of the biggest avalanche cycles in 500 years which accumulated 120 feet in spots and wiped out 100-year-old buildings. 

The backcountry skier, kayaker, dirt biker, snowmobiler and father of one son, adds, “Never stop learning, especially when traversing on or under 30 degree slopes, and never let down your guard. Safely navigating the backcountry on a motorized vehicle is a life-long learning process. The more you know, the better decisions you can make. The knowledge we have now about avalanches compared to 15 years ago is much better.”

Studies reveal that cell phones can adversely impact transceivers when used in search mode. “Many inexperienced searchers wouldn’t know that,” says Duffy who works with Backcountry Access. 

“Snow doesn’t provide the best feedback and can lead to a false sense of security. As we like to say in class, ‘Mother Nature always bats last.’” (Avalanche1.com)

Photo courtesy of Fjallraven
Apply for Fjällräven Field Grant
The Explorers Club and Fjällräven share a common goal of understanding the world by supporting and promoting a sustainable future through exploration and research. Fjällräven’s mission is to enable and inspire more people to spend time in nature by creating products that are of minimal impact to the environment and that will withstand a lifetime of use. 
If you are an explorer enrolled in a University degree program doing scientific fieldwork in conservation, the environment or the natural sciences, you may be eligible for a grant of $5,000.
Deadline: Nov. 15, 2022. For more information:

Callie Veelenturf in the field tagging an endangered green sea turtle at its nesting beach in the Pearl Islands. Photo: Michael Ryan Clark
Explorers Club Rolex Submariner is Watch of the Week

In a little-known Explorers Club program sponsored by Rolex, explorers can borrow a famed Submariner Date 126610 watch for their expeditions. Recently, a Submariner was named “Watch of the Week” on Hodinkee, the preeminent resource for modern and vintage wristwatch enthusiasts, founded in 2008. 

The traveling watch was worn by Callie Veelenturf, a marine conservation biologist and National Geographic Explorer who is dedicated to ocean preservation and is founder of The Leatherback Project, a nonprofit dedicated to leatherback sea turtle conservation. She wore the estimated $16,000 timepiece in the Pearl Islands Archipelago in Panama, collecting data on sea turtle habitat use.

“I have never owned a Rolex, but for a brief while, I wore this Submariner with pride, a totem reminding me of all the work that I hoped to accomplish and the faith people had in me to do so,” she tells Hodinkee.

“As I got accustomed to wearing the watch and looking around at the people I worked with, it dawned on me that watches aren't just timepieces, they're our adventure companions. They're always there, whether we're wearing a wetsuit diving with sharks, hiking through the dense, damp jungle, or even under the cuff of a formal suit at the United Nations. Eventually, they begin to feel like an extension of ourselves, metering out the moments of our lives.”

She continues, “Exploration is not just about reaching the tallest peaks and the deepest trenches of the ocean, being an explorer means much more now. We're in a new age of exploration. Exploration is about exploring new ways of doing things, questioning the status quo, and being open-minded about the endless possibilities that exploring this planet truly means.”

Read the story here:

New Book Focuses on the Gentle Goliaths of the Oceans

For centuries, the sperm whale has fascinated us – the world’s largest-toothed predator. Like many of our co-inhabitants on the planet, sperm whales were nearly hunted to the brink of extinction. While the most famous sperm whale of all is Moby Dick, it was a young male nicknamed Physty – who fell ill in the early 1980s and came ashore just off Long Island, New York, that captured the heart of Gaelin Rosenwaks and started her on a career in marine science – studying, protecting, and documenting the world’s most marvelous ocean species.

Sperm Whales: The Gentle Goliaths of the Oceans by Gaelin Rosenwaks (Rizzoli New York, 2022) looks at these magnificent animals. In the waters off Dominica, Rosenwaks observed - eye to eye – the close bond between mother and child firsthand. What she found is that these animals live in matriarchal family units made up of remarkable females that stay together for generations. Like elephants and humans, they take care of one another. She was able to document them sleeping, playing, nursing, and so much more about their vibrant lives both under the sea, and above it.
At one point, finding herself “locked in a gaze” with an adult female for half an hour, Rosenwaks feels less the observer than the observed. “There is nothing like looking into the eye of a sperm whale,” she says. “Their eyes are filled with wisdom that penetrates your soul,” according to the review of the book by Lauren Christensen in the New York Times (Sept. 30).
July 20, 1969: A Day in the Life of the United States
What were you doing the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon? Filmmaker Albert C. Waller Jr. took a concept never attempted before to CBS News: deploy 43 camera units to capture America shot entirely on the day man first landed on the moon, July 20, 1969.
Host Charles Kuralt greets us at first light on the tip of Maine and closes at sunset where America ends, 5,400 miles to the west in Hawai’i. In between we see a cross-section of America that day, intercut with humanity's first moments on another globe, a quarter of a million miles away. This rare postcard to future generations is shot and seen entirely in real elapsed time, as events occurred here and on the moon. It aired on Sept. 8, 1970. Source: Michael Aisner, Boulder, Colorado, who was part of the film crew.
Watch it here:

Hangar Queen
An aircraft that hasn’t been flown in more than 30 days, often due to mechanical issues. (Sources: Peter Greenberg and Laughlin Air Force Base News).
Ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson (1972-2022)

The climbing world is mourning the loss of Hilaree Nelson, 49, of Telluride, Colorado, who fell off the 8,163-meter (26,775-foot) summit of the world’s eighth-highest mountain, Mount Manaslu, while skiing down with her partner, Jim Morrison.

She disappeared on Sept. 26 and rescuers searching by helicopter located her body two days later and it was flown to Kathmandu. Bad weather had hampered the initial search.

She was given a traditional funeral at a Sherpa cremation ground as Buddhist monks officiated over a ceremony attended by family, friends and government officials.

With a career encompassing dozens of first descents through more than 40 expeditions to 16 different countries, Nelson is regarded as the most prolific ski mountaineer of her generation. The mother of two was the first female to link two 8000 m peaks, Everest and Lhotse, in one 24-hour push. In the fall of 2018, she returned to 27,940-foot Lhotse a second time to ski from the summit, linking turns down one of the most prized un-skied lines in the world.

Gypsum, Colorado climber Stefan Levinson, 31, remembers his first encounter with Nelson: “After a long day of climbing in Rifle (Colorado), and more than a decade of inspiration and admiration for the most bad-ass woman in the mountains, my wife and I found ourselves chatting with a kind, unassuming women we had only just met, her face and body silhouetted to darkness in front of the campfire. 

“As the conversation continued, she asked about our lives, and our climbing projects. I began to catch glimpses of firelight reflecting on her face, to realize only then who we were speaking with, one of my heroes. 

“Throughout the evening around the campfire with herself, her partner Jim Morrison,  and many other legends of the mountains, Hilaree continued to engage with my wife and I, simple weekend warriors, swapping climbing beta and life stories. She was not only an inspiration in the mountains, but, as a mentor in our community who will be forever breaking trail.”

Learn more about Nelson’s extraordinary career:

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: tinyurl.com/voluntourismbook @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:

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information: blumassoc@aol.com
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