Past Events


St. Louis, Missouri

The Southern Florida Chapter of the Explorers Club’s Chapter Meeting

February 26, 2023

“Climbing to the Top: Achieving Success on Mount Everest”

Hunter Argenbright

Cox Science Center & Aquarium
5:00pm Cocktails & Hors D’oeuvres, Conversations & Science Center Exploration
6:00pm Presentation
7:00pm Dinner in the Aquarium

click on photo for larger view.
Judith Schrafft with Bruce
Welcome committee Hunter Argenbright, presenter,Rosemarie Twinam, Treasurer south Florida Chapter, The Explorers Club, Lotsie Holton, chair emeritus St. Louis chapter TEC, Frank Argenbright
Bruce Matheson, Chair of South Florida Chapter
Kelsey Murphy, Blythe Argenbright, Hunter Argenbright
Note some of Hunters climbing equipment on the stage and prayer flags behind him…
Clelia Zacharias, Christopher Walling, Tom Zacharias
Ulrike Schlafly with Hunter Argenbright
Janey Ylvisaker, Christy Holton Hubbard, Ulrike Schlafly
Ann Passer & Lotsie Holton
Hayes Griffin
Griff Smithgall & Frank Argenbright
Explorers Club coin given to Hunter by Bruce
Hunter & Missey Condie
Ulrike Schlafly, John Flanigan, Hunter Argenbright, Lotsie Holton, Rick Holton. 4 guests who have trekked to base camp. Hunter, center, who gave an amazing presentation of his summit of Mt Everest!
John Flanigan & Hunter
Kelsey & Hunter
Hunter & Ez Hubbard
Howard Cox welcomes the crowd!

February 21, 2023

“The Long Way Home”

Captain John Marshall

part 1 of 2 part series

The Deer Creek Club
5:00pm Members Meeting
5:15pm Cocktails (cash bar)
6:00pm Dinner (members $70 / non-members $75)
6:45pm Presentation

“It was December 7, 1941. While winging their way on the last leg of their Pacific crossing, the crew of Pan Am’s Pacific Clipper, a Boeing 314 flying boat, received the fateful message – the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, and the world was at war.”

Join former Pan Am Captain John Marshall on February 21 as he tells one of aviation’s most astounding stories of how the Pacific Clipper beat incredible odds and made it back to the US from New Zealand, flying into the unknown terrors of a world war.

John Marshall’s distinguished career began with Pan American World Airways in 1964, as a Flight Engineer based in Berlin, Germany, with Pan Am’s Internal German Service (IGS), flying Douglas DC-6 and Boeing 727 aircraft. After 11 years, Captain Marshall transferred to JFK as a First Officer on a Boeing 747, then upgraded to Captain on the Boeing 707.

With the introduction of the Lockheed L-1011 aircraft in 1980, Captain Marshall was initially named Manager of Flight Standards, then promoted to Chief Pilot of the L-1011 Honolulu base.

His subsequent assignments included Captain on the Boeing 747 and 747-SP aircraft at the San Francisco, Los Angeles and JFK bases, as well as on temporary assignments in Hong Kong and Sydney. While based at JFK, Captain Marshall received the civilian Desert Shield and Desert Storm medals for flying U.S. military troops and materiel in Pan Am’s effort to support Operation Desert Storm. On December 3,1991, Captain Marshall had the historic and poignant distinction of commanding the last revenue flight – PA211 – from JFK to Sao Paulo, Brazil. When Pan Am succumbed to bankruptcy, he served out the remainder of his career as a Captain with Korean Airlines.

Upon retiring from commercial flying, Captain Marshall joined the Federal Aviation Administration in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1996, as an Air Carrier Operations Inspector attached to the TWA and American Airline certificates. In 2007, the FAA presented him with the prestigious Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award signifying 50 continuous years of accident-free flying. He is a member of the Ancient and Secret Order of Quiet Birdmen, the Wings Club and the Explorer’s Club. He is also a published author, appearing in Smithsonian/Air & Space Magazine and was a masthead columnist for Airways Magazine.

Captain Marshall resides in St. Louis, Missouri and Sun Valley, Idaho, with his wife, Carla Marshall, who was also employed by Pan Am as a Flight Attendant/Purser and Recruiter. In his spare time, Captain Marshall keeps his flying skills sharp by piloting a WWII B-25 Bomber, “Show Me”, on behalf of the Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.

Jack Bader, Erik Lindbergh, Gregg Maryniak
Tom, Erik,& John Marshall presenter of excellent Pan Am presentation
Carla Marshall, Erik, Aimee Whitelaw, Lotsie
Tom Schlafly, chair, St. Louis Chapter The Explorers Club & Erik
Erik Lindbergh, Lotsie Holton( chair emeritus St. Louis chapter The Explorers Club), Gregg Maryniak, Jack Bader
“Friends” of explorers club, Charlie & Mimi Hiemenz
Rhonda K. Hamm-Niebruegge, President St. Louis Lambert Airport & Tom Schlafly
Lotsie, Dr Mabel Perkerson( chair emeritus explorers club St. Louis) Tom, John, Cindy Peters( chair emeritus St. Louis chapter the explorers club)
Rick Holton, Lotsie Holton, Jr, Erik, Missey Condie, Rick Holton, Jr
Duke Niedringhaus, Carla Marshall, Erik
Rhonda K. Hamm-Niebruegge, Airport Director & Erik
Alice Muckerman, Carolyn Hinges, Erik, Missey Condie
Jean Paul & Isabelle Montupet with Erik
John Wallace, Erik, Ellen Wallace
Lotsie & Bruce Coonan
Tom introducing John Marshall
John Marshall’s fantastic share of this Pan Am flight behind enemy lines….
John receiving Explorers Club Award for amazing research on this WWll flight!
Mr/Mrs William Behan lV with Erik.
3 generations of explorers Rick Holton, Lotsie Holton , Jr, Erik, Lotsie, Rick Holton, Jr
All of St. Louis Chapter is Invited!

Sunday, January 22, 2023


January Meeting

Location: 2135 Windsock Way, Wellington FL 33414

Half-Hour Verijet Plane Rides. Four passengers on each flight: 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, and 4:30 PM. Flights are gratis from Richard Kane and Verijet. Please sign up on the Response Sheet, and answer as quickly as possible, via email to or mail to Ms. Rosemarie Twinam, P.O. Box 324, Palm City, FL 34991-0324.

Verijet requests arrival an hour earlier than the flights, which gives the guests time to arrive leisurely and avoids schedule conflicts if they are delayed arriving due to traffic on the road.   Each flight needs to take off at the pre-set time, and every flight is 30 minutes. Please be punctual, flights need to be prescheduled and if you miss your flight, you might not be able take another.  FAA requires the following information preferably 24 hours prior to the flight and no later than 11:00 am the day of the event: Full Name, Date of Birth, and Body Weight.

If you want to attend the meeting, but not take flights, please arrive around 4:30 PM.  Dinner and Speaker’s Presentation will begin about 5:00 PM.

Presentation 5:00 PM by Richard Kane, Chairman and CEO of Verijet.

“ How Contests and Record Setting has Driven Innovation in Aeronautics.”

Verijet is increasing the effective speed of door-to-door travel and opening private aviation to more people with safe, carbon neutral flights.

Richard Kane, Chairman and CEO of Verijet

Richard Kane, Chairman and CEO of Verijet, began his career in the telecommunications industry, where he helped figure out how to route 100 million calls per hour in real time. He is also an accomplished pilot, holding seven world aviation speed records.

We need an accurate count of attendees by January 18, so please notify us by then.  Please send in your check, payable to Southern Florida Chapter of the Explorers Club, or cash, for $45 per person to Rosemarie Twinam, Treasurer, P.O. Box 324, Palm City, FL 34991-0324 Tel. 305-775-4812, email  You may also pay by check or cash at the door.

Goggle Maps Directions:  Take  I-95 or the Turnpike to I-98 / Southern Blvd., and turn west.  Drive west to Binks Forest Drive.  Turn left onto Binks Forest Drive.  Continue to Aero Club Drive, and turn right onto Aero Club Drive.  Turn right onto Take Off Place.  Turn right onto Greenbriar Blvd., and then left onto Windsock Way.  2135 will be on the right.

Nancy Evans, Rick Holton, Ulrike Schlafly
Bob Evans, Lotsie Holton, Nancy Evans, Rick Holton
Rick Holton, Ulrike Schlafly, Bob Evans
Richard Kane’s presentation included Erik Lindbergh's attempt to make aviation permanently sustainable
Richard & Allison Kane
Partner in XPRIZE with Peter Diamandis.

Bob Lawrence & Tee Baur

Monday, May 23, 2022

Commemorative Air Force Missouri Wing

Commemorative Air Force Missouri Wing, SMARTT Field (St. Charles County Smartt Airport, 6390 Grafton Ferry Road, Portage des Sioux, St. Charles County, MO  63373 Google Map)

The Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force invites you to an experience of a lifetime. Choose your adventure on either The Army Air Corp 1944 B-25 Mitchell “Show-Me” B-25 Show Me ( or The Navy’s 1944 TBM Avenger TBM-3 ( The 45-minute adventure will take you down the Mississippi River past the Gateway Arch, over Jefferson Barracks National Park and Cemetery while returning you to Smartt Field with a trip up the 270-corridor.

Bob Lawrence serves as Unit Leader for the Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force as well as held an elected position on the National Board of Directors.  The mission of the CAF is to educate, inspire, and honor through flight and living history experiences.

The CAF now ranks as one of the largest air forces in the world. With approximately 13,000 members and a fleet of more than 175 aircraft representing more than 60 different types—including planes from several foreign countries and other military conflicts since World War II.

In 2021 the National Aviation Education Center opened on the CAF National Airbase campus at Dallas Executive Airport. With the mission to Honor the Past, Empower the Future, and using our unparalleled access to flight, living history, and historical artifacts, we offer educationally rigorous and engaging programming for all ages and backgrounds. With formal and informal educational opportunities, the CAF NAEC focuses on hands-on experiential learning grounded in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

5:00 p.m. Tour WWII Museum

6:00 p.m. Cocktails AND Members Meeting – Announce new Board

6:30 p.m. Adjourn for buffet dinner AND silent auction.

Silent auction items will be on the website prior to the event.  Details coming soon.

7:15 p.m. Speaker – Bob Lawrence, Unit Leader, Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force


Left to Right: Missie Condie, John Wallace, Carla Marshall, Marcia Niedringhaus, Ellen Wallace, Carolyn Henges, Duke Niedringhaus Below: Captain John Marshall

 Thursday, January 27, 2022 via ZOOM


Justin Grubb

Science Communicator/Photographer/Filmaker

Director/Partner/Co-founder Running Wild Media
International Communications Coordinator: Planet Indonesia
Bachelor of Science: Bowling Green State University (Ohio)
Masters of Biology: Miami University (Ohio)

Access Passcode: 8P5+Qc3#

A Window on Dark Life

Friday, December 10, 2021

ZOOM webinar

Mike Taylor

Deep within an incompletely explored cave system in central Tennessee lies a shallow pool that cavers call “the Petroleum Passage,” because of both its strong smell and floating “tarballs” that rise from black “tar patches” on the sandy floor. Rather than a sign of pollution, this ancient, molecularly degraded petroleum emerges from deep within the Earth. It carries unusual microbes that appear to support a large population of cave insects and salamanders, creating a food chain based on chemical nutrients rising from below–rather than the familiar sunlight and photosynthesis of the surface world.

A research team co-led by new chapter member Michael Ray Taylor, FN 21, has discovered hundreds of strange species within this passage, including organisms previously found only in deep hydrothermal vents of the Pacific Ocean, in Antarctica’s Lake Vostok (beneath kilometers of polar ice), and emerging from volcanic hot springs. How did life from such diverse places wind up in Middle Tennessee? The answer, Taylor believes, may be a deep global biosphere, home to the most ancient life on Earth and a model for life that may exist today beneath the surfaces of Mars and the moons of Jupiter.

Michael Ray Taylor, a fellow of the National Speleology Society as well as The Explorers Club, is the author of Hidden NatureDark LifeCaves, and other nonfiction books. He has written about science and exploration for The New York TimesSports IllustratedHouston ChronicleWiredNOVA, and many other print and digital publications. He chairs the Communication and Theatre Arts department at Henderson State University in Arkansas. Although a journalist and nature writer, his personal enthusiasm for underground life has led him to collaborate with scientists from NASA and other major research centers in a variety of published scientific articles.

a tube of the oily water in the Petroleum Passage
One of the tar patches
a Nashville caver named Hal Love sampling microbes

 Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 5:00 PM


Robert Foster, Executive Director

The Lewis and Clark Boat House and Museum

Bob is a not-for-profit executive with 35 years’ experience in executive leadership, publishing, organizational development, and strategic communications. In addition to serving as executive director since January 2021 of The Lewis and Clark Boat House and Museum, Bob is enrolled as a graduate student in the University of Missouri-St. Louis program in Museums, Heritage and Public History. Previously, Bob served as Executive Director of the Missouri State Parks Foundation, Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of St. Louis, and Executive Director of the American Optometric Student Association. As a volunteer, he was founding chair of an alternative transportation not-for-profit and project manager for a federally funded bike parking program. He is certified as a Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Editor in the Life Sciences (ELS), speaks Mandarin conversationally (HSK2) and serves on the boards of Bilingual International Assistant Services and the Missouri State Parks Foundation.

The Lewis and Clark Boat House and Museum brings the remarkable journey of 1803-06 to life at our riverfront base of operations in historic St. Charles, Missouri. And we share the story of the Expedition at destinations throughout the Midwest via our unique traveling fleet of replica boats and our experienced corps of re-enactors, the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles.  Explore highlights of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Native American displays, various Missouri River habitats, and natural discoveries the Corps encountered during the expedition. The museum’s artwork, “Missouri River Walk,” is one of the largest indoor murals in the state.

A must-see destination on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, the Boat House and Museum features full-size operational replicas of the boats used by Lewis & Clark, displays focused on the expedition and local wildlife and has engaging activities for kids, including a scavenger hunt and quiz.  Visit again during normal hours and stay for awhile to enjoy their spectacular view of the Missouri River and the nature trail.  We are just steps from Historic Main Street St. Charles and the Katy Trail State Park.

The Lewis and Clark Boat House and Museum

The Lewis and Clark Boat House and Museum brings the remarkable journey of 1803-06 to life at our riverfront base of operations in historic St. Charles, Missouri. And we share the story of the Expedition at destinations throughout the Midwest via our unique traveling fleet of replica boats and our experienced corps of re-enactors, the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles.

click on the picture below to hear Peter Diamandis’ interesting presentation

(L to R) Lotsie Holton, XPrize Co-Founder Gregg Maryniak, Peter Diamandis, Cindy Peters

Explorer Club St. Louis Chapter welcomed Pater Diamandis, X Prize founder, to St. Louis on Tuesday, September 28 at the Ritz.

Peter Diamandis is the founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation. He earned degrees in Molecular Genetics and Aerospace Engineering from MIT and holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

In addition to founding the X Prize, Peter co founded and is the executive chairman of Singularity University, a graduate-level Silicon Valley institution that counsels the world’s leaders on exponentially growing technologies. He has started over 20 companies in the areas of longevity, space, and education and is also a a New York Times Bestselling author.

Fortune Magazine named him as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”.

St. Louis Explorers Chapter Co-Chairs Tom Schlafly and Lotsie Holton

(Left to right) Tom Schlafly, Tricia Schlafly, Ulrike Schlafly, David Holton, Kristen Peterson, Ted Bakewell

Beautiful Quilt just donated to Lewis & Clark museum with names of all men on voyage of discovery

Tom & Ulrike Schlafly, dinner hosts Schlafly Brewery, St. Charles , following tour of Lewis & Clark Museum

“The Activists,” our Fall 2021 installment of The Explorers 50 Speaker Series, supported by Rolex, was held on Wednesday, September 29th at 7pm.

This episode brought together experts from multiple disciplines who have forged new frontiers in their respective fields. As always, the panel discussion was moderated by EC 50 Chair Joe Rohde and dove into topics of expanding the idea of exploration, what it means to be an activist, and innovative methods for discovery and communication.

Streaming live on, our YouTube Channel, and our Facebook Live!

Meet the Activists: 

Dr. Justin Dunnavant is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University and will be joining UCLA’s Anthropology Department as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2021. Justin is co-founder and President of the Society of Black Archaeologists and consults for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Dr. Danielle N. Lee is an outreach scientist who studies animal behavior and works to increase minority participation in STEM fields. Danielle is currently researching the behavior and biology of wild-living nuisance rodents, such as landmine-sniffing African giant pouched rats, to better understand how we can use them to save lives.

Joshua Powell CF is a conservation biologist from the UK. Josh is the founder of Rangers Without Borders; a founding member and presenter for WWF International’s #WWFVoices campaign; and a PhD candidate at ZSL and UCL, focussed on conservation of the Amur tiger (Panthera tigris tigris).

Professor Ray Arvidson directs the Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory at Washington University where the focus is on terrestrial, Venusian, and Martian surface processes. The EPRSL is involved in many aspects of NASA’s planetary exploration program, including developing science objectives and plans for missions. Arvidson and laboratory personnel have participated in these NASA missions: Mars Viking Landers, Magellan Venus Orbiter, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Exploration Rovers (“Spirit” and “Opportunity”), Mars Phoenix Lander, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Science Laboratory (“Curiosity” rover), the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Orbiter, and the Mars 2020 Rover Mission. Professor Arvidson and his group have collaborated with colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to test prototype Mars rovers and other systems in Earth’s deserts and volcanoes.

Our St. Louis Explorers Club was featured on Explorer Club International’s Chapter Connect on December 3, 2020! Please view the video below.

Featuring special guests:

– Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson FN’11
– Dr. Bruce Chalker FN’18
– Dr. Jeffrey Bonner FN’03
– Dr. Sherman Silber MN’98
– Lotsie Holton MN’97
– Aaron Addison FN’15
– Marguerite Garrick MN’03

Wild Kingdom Host and Wildlife Conservationist and Educator, Stephanie Arne gave an inspiring talk recently in a joint program Co-hosted by The Explorers Club St. Louis Chapter, The St. Louis Zoo, and  The Academy of Science.

Stephanie Arne and St Louis Chapter Chair Marguerite Perkins Garrick

Christopher Alan Gordon

From the colonial period to the modern age St. Louis has seen its share of explorers and adventurers. This presentation will feature artifacts from the collections of the Missouri Historical Society that document those intrepid individuals and their discoveries. Presented by Christopher Alan Gordon, Director of Library and Collections.

Christopher Alan Gordon joined the staff of the Missouri Historical Society in 2002. He served as the MHS Archivist prior to becoming Director of Library and Archives in 2007. In 2010, Gordon transitioned responsibilities and became Director of Library and Collections. He is a former chairman of the St. Louis Area Archivists, a member of the Missouri Historic Records Advisory Board, and an ex-officio member of the St. Louis County Historic Buildings Commission. Prior to coming to MHS, Gordon was the Director of the Henry County Museum and Cultural Arts Center in Clinton, Missouri. In addition to his museum work, Gordon has taught at Lindenwood University and Jefferson College as an adjunct instructor. He is the author of Fire, Pestilence, and Death: St. Louis 1849 published in 2018. Gordon received his MA in history from Missouri State University in 1999.

Lindbergh’s Flight Suit

William Clark’s spy glass

On Thursday, October 4, we enjoyed a presentation by Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, President of The Missouri Botanical Garden, “Ireland’s Generous Nature: The Past and Present Uses of Wild Plants in Ireland” a never before heard in St. Louis.

Dr. Paradise, is a geomorphologist and professor of geosciences at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Arkansas. He is also a new Fellow in The Explorers Club, a member of our Chapter, and was the lead researcher and presenter on Petra: Lost City of Stone, broadcast by PBS in 2015.

The presentation will describe some of the pressing environmental and conservation issues in Bhutan, and what actions and programs are currently being undertaken to address them. This will include footage of the spectacular landscapes in Bhutan, as well as a description of regional issues and the opportunities for partnerships with international organizations.

CLICK HERE for a video of the first tiger collaring in Bhutan to increase their knowledge about the tigers range and whereabouts.

TEC-STL Chapter Chair Marguerite Perkins Garrick with Tshering Yangzom, Programs Manager of The Bhutan Foundation, and Tshewang Wangchuck, Executive Director of The Bhutan Foundation, and National Geographic Explorer. Tshering and Tshewang spoke about the inspiring conservation programs being developed and carried out in Bhutan where 60% of the land has been set aside to remain wild and undeveloped. In Bhutan which measures its success by the “gross national happiness” of their citizens, environmental quality is first on their list of national priorities.

Among the many members and guests in attendance were long time Chapter Friend Jeanne McClean, and Dr. Patricia Raven

On February 15, 2018 we were honored to have Dr. Patricia Parker, Des Lee Professor of Zoological Studies, UMSL, and Senior Scientist, Saint Louis Zoo entertained us all with her wonderful talk, “Protecting Eden, My 20 years in the Galapagos”by Dr. Patricia G. Parker. She spoke about her race against time to discover the vectors for diseases that could wipe out many unique and vulnerable species in the Galápagos Islands.

Join us November 2nd for an entertaining, educational, and fascinating evening with world renowned paleontologists and geologists Dr. Phil Manning, and his wife Dr. Victoria Egerton.

Besides being the host of several National Geographic series, and author of “Grave Secrets of Dinasaurs,” Dr Manning is currently a Professor of Paleontology at College of Charleston, and Director of the college’s Mace Brown Museum of Natural History. Dr Egerton is a Professor of Geology at College of Charleston. Both are also Extraordinary Visiting Scientists at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Drs. Manning and Egerton have conducted digs all over the world.

The Great St. Louis Eclipse

By Marguerite Garrick, MN03, St Louis Chapter Chair

To our considerable relief, August 21,2017 dawned clear and hot. All of us had been anxiously watching the rapidly changing weather forecasts, praying that no clouds would mar our once in a lifetime opportunity to view a total solar eclipse in our own backyard. This was the first total eclipse in St. Louis since 1422 and the next one won’t be until 2505 so we didn’t want to miss it!  Because of the worldwide interest in this eclipse we feared heavy traffic on the north/south highways and left early for our viewing destination. A good friend of many of our Chapter members had offered in January to let our Chapter watch the eclipse at her beautiful, historic home Greystone, on the banks of the Mississippi River just south of Pevely, Missouri, where totality would be 2 minutes and 31 seconds.

Dr. David Galbraith, a close friend and colleague of TEC, and St. Louis Chapter member Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson was already at Greystone setting up the telescopes with solar filters and other equipment he’d brought from Toronto where he is Director of Science at the Royal Botanical Garden. All of us greatly benefitted from, and were delighted by what we could see through the telescopes during and after the eclipse!

We’d brought boxed lunches which we ate spread out on the lawns and terrace overlooking the river waiting for it to begin. A huge cheer went up in the group of 60 when the first sliver of the sun disappeared. We all had solar glasses, but the best way to see the early stages other than through the telescopes, was in the cardboard pinhole viewers I’d made for Past Chapter Chair Benjamin, and Eileen Hulsey’s two grandchildren. Gradually it grew darker and crescent shaped shadows appeared on the terrace and on the umbrellas. It grew as dark as dusk. Cicadas and crickets began to sing, birds flew to roost, and a pale orange afterglow settled on the trees across the river. We were all staring at the sun through our glasses as totality approached when all at once it was gone! For 2 minutes and 31 seconds we stared at this miraculous celestial event with our naked eyes, all of us moved and awed by how beautiful it was.

One of our members recorded a 12 degree temperature drop at totality, and as it gradually became lighter and hotter we shared a champagne toast to this unforgettable experience.

Raymond E. Arvidson has been involved in development and implementation of both orbital and landed missions to the planets, including participation in the Magellan Radar Orbiter Mission to Venus, Team Leader for the Viking Lander Imaging System on Mars, Member of the Project Science Group for the Mars Global Surveyor Mission, Deputy Principal Investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Missions (Spirit and Opportunity), the Robotic Arm Investigator for the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission, Co-Investigator for the hyper-spectral mappers OMEGA (Mars Express orbiter) and CRISM (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter), and a Science Team Member for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover. He is also the Director of the NASA Planetary Data System Geosciences Node, making available ~300 terabytes of NASA data to the worldwide research community.

The Opportunity rover landed on the Meridiani plains of Mars in 2004 and has been exploring the rim of the ancient Endeavour Crater for the past several years. The Curiosity rover landed on the plains in Gale Crater in 2012 and is currently on the lower slopes of the ~5 km stack of Mount Sharp strata located in the crater’s center. Opportunity measurements show that the plains are underlain by sulfate-rich sandstones that originally formed in shallow acidic lakes, followed by reworking by wind and water to form the layered deposits found today. The rim of Endeavour, based on Opportunity’s measurements, has been subjected to repeated events in which ground water has corroded the crust, forming clays and sulfate minerals (e.g. epsomite), particularly along fractures. Curiosity measurements show that rocks underlying the lower portion of Mount Sharp formed in an ancient river and lake system, consistent with a long-lived lake that filled Gale Crater. Results for the two rover missions unequivocally show that the surface and interior of Mars were once warmer and wetter, and likely provided habitable zones for life.

Mike Clark, lifelong river explorer, author, and conservationist will speak about his adventures paddling the length of the Mississippi River several times over the last few years.

A retired computer lab, science, and history teacher at St. Ann of Normandy Catholic School and a self-proclaimed “river rat,” Clark, 55, is the owner of Big Muddy Adventures. He has guided canoe tours and explored the rivers around St. Louis since he moved here in 2001, logging over 10,000 river miles.

His first paddle down the length of the Mississippi was done as an online class. They pushed off September 4 from Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the river in Minnesota. “5,000 kids registered, (for the class) although we found out afterward that we had something like 20,000 kids following our trip.” They were on the river when 9/11 occurred and they didn’t find out about it until the 12th. They began figuring out how to get home. “We would write every night about our adventures of the day and when we wrote that we were going to end the trip teachers begged us not to do it.” “They said ‘Please give them something other than 24-hour horror.” “ That was what we had to communicate to those kids.” “It changed what we were doing in that moment and it changed me.” They ended at the Gulf of Mexico on November 21 having paddled 2,361 river miles. It was on this trip Mike Clark fell in love with the river, and he has been sharing that love with clients of Big Muddy Adventures, and conservation advocacy work ever since.

“Creation of Sustainable Eco-Lodge, Artists Retreat and Research Institute in the Alaskan Wilderness”
by Steven Silber

“Polar Bears and Global Warming, A Personal Account”
by Dr. Sherman Silber, MN’98

“Survival of an Inuit Village in the Artic”
by Dr. Joan Silber

The first program of the year will feature three talks by Dr. Sherman Silber, Dr. Joan Silber, and their son Steven Silber, all all about Alaskan and Arctic adventures. The Silber’s have a home in Alaska and have spent time there for years observing the natural world around them.

Join us for an exciting Explorers Club dinner program featuring conservationist and anti-poaching activist Damien Mander.

Damien used his life savings and liquidated his assets to fund the start-up and running costs of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation – an organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wildlife in some of the world’s most volatile regions.



Ulrike & Tom Schlafly

Damien Mander, center, presenter

Jeff Bonner, left

Please join Eileen and Benjamin Hulsey on Thursday, July 28, 2016 for a mid-summer picnic at their home. Dress is summer picnic casual. The Hulsey’s will provide the picnic; you bring your own adult beverages. Member’s spouses and significant others are welcome.

Our guests will be Lynn and Doug Soroka. Doug is the Chair of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Explorers Club.

Doug and Benjamin will discuss connections with Cuba and their Caving associations. Looking at joint ventures in restoration and protection of cave glyphs in their national parks and wild caves, along with neat old cars, trains, cigars and really good rum.

Based on the findings of the 2008 expedition, a return trip was planned to document other caves in the region. Aaron will provide an update of his field work.

About the Speaker:

Aaron currently holds the position of Director of Scholarly Services at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. In this role, his team of over 15 professionals assists students, faculty and staff in the design, implementation and documentation of Research | Data | GIS and related technologies. Their team also works with data management, data archiving, big data analytics, and storage of research data across the Danforth and Medical School campuses.

Specialties: Research Services, International research design and fieldwork, practitioner, GIS, digital data management, data modeling, web maps, spatial analysis, needs assessment.

“In the Footsteps of Marco Polo” premiered on public television in November 2008. It chronicled the journey of two ordinary guys – Belliveau, and Francis O’Donnell, an artist and former Marine – as they set out to follow Polo’s historic route. Equal parts travelogue, adventure story, and history trek, the 90-minute film weaves footage from the duo’s often perilous voyage with Marco Polo’s descriptions and experiences. Richly enhanced with Belliveau’s award-winning photographs, the program details their highs and lows as they retrace Polo’s path, trying to see what he saw and feel what he must have felt.

On their journey, the pair survives a deadly firefight and befriends a warlord in Afghanistan, cross the forbidding Taklamakan Desert in a Silk Road camel caravan, endure continuous interrogations from authorities, and live among cultures ranging from the expert horsemen of Mongolia to the tattooed tribes of Indonesia.

In the spirit of history’s great adventurers, the two make their way across the world’s largest land mass and back, securing – or, when necessary, forging – visas, surviving extreme temperatures, and talking their way out of jams brought on by Tajik soldiers, Chinese security officers, and an assortment of other bureaucrats, border guards and armed warriors.

“We made it the 13th century in our heads,” said Belliveau. “What was this like for Marco? How would it have been for him? We were going to try to make this whole journey like we were living in Marco Polo’s world.” Without the assistance of air travel, they made their way on foot, horseback, camel-back, in jeeps, trucks, boats and trains.

Join us on Tuesday, October 27th as Denis Belliveau shares highlights of his historic adventures with us!

Speaker Bio
Denis Belliveau is an American photographer, author and explorer who retraced Marco Polo’s route from Europe to Asia and back, a feat which became the publication of the documentary and book titled In the Footsteps of Marco Polo. The documentary has been used by Belliveau to create a unique interdisciplinary educational curriculum that he presents at schools and libraries across the United States and internationally.

Denis is also a scuba diver with over 600 dives on the Mesoamerican Reef, Belliveau’s photography was instrumental in establishing the definitive map for the coral reef of the Mexican island of Cozumel. Belliveau also participated in an historic archaeological dig in southwest France, unearthing a centuries-old Christian monastery, located at the current site of Abbatiale Saint-Maixent de Saint-Maixent-l’École. Belliveau’s photography and writing have been highlighted in numerous periodicals, magazines and books, including The New York Times, Petersen’s Photographic Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine and BBC’s Planet Earth.

In this beautifully illustrated presentation, veteran submarine commander Captain Alfred S. McLaren will describe the most significant events that occurred in the Arctic and other regions during the Cold War years, 1958 to 1973, on board five attack submarines: USS Greenfish (SS-351), USS Seadragon (SSN-584), USS Skipjack (SSN 585), USS Greenling (SSN-614), and USS Queenfish (SSN-651). His seven years aboard the first three boats are the subject of his most recent book, Silent and Unseen, and the remaining eight, the subject of an earlier book, Unknown Waters, and a third book yet to come.

This talk will focus on the development of attack-boat tactics, Cold War missions, and under-ice exploration techniques and achievements, such as surfacing at the North Pole and the historic first surveys of the Northwest Passage and the entire Siberian Continental Shelf.

The talk will also describe how the commanding officers that a young submarine officer served with will determine how well he is prepared to assume his own command years later, This was particularly true in attack submarines during the high-risk years of the Cold War, when attack submarines were continually at sea and each reconnaissance and intelligence collection mission was of potentially great, and sometimes extraordinary, value to the government of the United States of America. The missions more often than not required closing on a potential enemy to collect the intelligence required, generally within weapons range. They required, unlike a war patrol, the U.S. attack boat to remain completely undetected, and then to withdraw as silently and unseen as it approached.

There will be several copies of Fred’s new book Silent and Unseen for sale for $30 per copy (please have cash, or checks payable to Alfred S. McLaren). Fred will be at the event venue beginning at 5:00 pm to sign/inscribe each copy on June 20, 2015. Please come early to meet Fred and have your book signed.

About the Speaker:

Captain Alfred Scott McLaren, USN (Ret.), Ph.D., MED ’71, is a former President of The Explorers Club and currently President of the 80-year-old American Polar Society. He is also a Director of Sub Aviator Systems LLC and Senior Pilot of the Super Aviator submersible. As a career nuclear attack submarine officer, he made three Arctic expeditions: the first submerged transit of the Northwest Passage, a Baffin Bay expedition, and, as Commander of USS Queenfish (SSN-651), a North Pole expedition that completed the first survey of the entire Siberian Continental Shelf. Honors include The Explorers Club’s Lowell Thomas Medal for Ocean Exploration in 2000 and its highest honor, “The Explorers Club Medal” in 2012 for “His extraordinary contributions to Arctic exploration and deep sea research, including the first survey of the entire Siberian Continental Shelf.” He has also received “The Societe de Geographic Paris” Medal and La Medaille de La Ville De Paris for Polar exploration.

Awards as a Cold War Submarine Commander include: the Distinguished Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and four Navy Unit Commendations. A deep sea explorer and scientist, he completed dives to: RMS Titanic, Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal vents, and the first manned dives to the German battleship Bismarck. His first book, Unknown Waters: A First-Hand Account of the Historic Under-Ice Survey of the Siberian Continental Shelf by USS Queenfish (SSN-651) (University of Alabama Press, 2008), was judged a “Notable Naval Book of 2008” by the U.S. Naval Institute. His second book, Silent and Unseen, On Patrol in Three Cold War Attack Submarines (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2015) was released in May 2015. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Naval War College. He holds graduate degrees from George Washington, Cambridge, and Colorado Universities.

The Ra Expedition was to test the ocean crossing capability of the reed boats designed and built 4,000 years ago to see if they could possibly have transferred the capabilities of the Mediterranean civilization of that time to America. The people in America, until 3,000 years ago, lived in the Stone Age. With no prior indication, a spark ignited in the Yucatan Peninsula and flamed into the Olmec culture, bringing stone architecture, pyramids, cotton cloth, a written language, a calendar system, ability to operate on the living human skull right down to the brain, mummified kings and the worship of a sun god identical to the Egyptian sun god, Ra.

Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian scientist/sailor who had built and sailed the balsa wood raft Kon Tiki across the Pacific from South America to Polynesia to test that watercraft’s ability to introduce American culture to the South Pacific, faced the same ridicule about the ability of reed boats to cross the Atlantic with the same sort of inquiry in mind.

We didn’t make it. We broke up 500 miles short of America. It took eight days for a rescue vessel to find us. It didn’t take the sharks that long. Daunted? No. Stubborn, determined, confident we knew our errors in the building of our raft, we built another, smaller, faster, better, we thought. We reached the nearest American island in eight weeks, the reed boat sinking at the dock 12 hours after we arrived. But we proved the reed boats could have made that voyage and turned the skeptics on their heads.

About the Speaker:

Norman Baker’s adventures started early. He won a contest for taking flying lessons at the age of 13 and soloed on his 17th birthday. At Cornell University he played lightweight football, rowed on the crew that won the American Henley Championship, became president of the Cornell Pilots Club, learned to ski and won a number of ribbons riding in horse shows. Graduating with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree, Mr. Baker returned the next year to study creative writing, literature, philosophy and history, and to coach the lightweight crew.

His first job was in the gold mines of Alaska, initially as a laborer and later as an engineer for the same company. Mr. Baker’s second job was in the desert country of Colorado and New Mexico, staking out that last state boundary in the nation that had never before been surveyed. He was working on a pipeline being built between New Mexico and California when the Korean War broke out. He served two and a half years on a destroyer engaged in troop support and shore bombardment, all four ships in his destroyer division taking direct hits by shore battery fire.

After the war Mr. Baker earned a commercial multiengine pilot license but instead of flying airlines he sailed the Transpacific Yacht Race as a deck hand, rising to first mate and finally professional captain of the ship, sailing her from Honolulu to Seattle for the owner. He learned to scuba dive while working as underwater assistant and celestial navigator for a marine biologist on a research expedition that started in Hawaii and finished in the South Pacific. Mr. Baker later worked as first mate on a commercial schooner with a crew of 21, voyaging between Hawaii and the South Pacific Islands.

Returning to New York, he started a construction company with his brother, a Professional Engineer, attending Cooper Union College at night to become licensed by New York State as a Professional Engineer. That same year he took up skydiving.

Thor Heyerdahl, whom Mr. Baker met in Tahiti, engaged him as celestial navigator, radioman and second-in-command on his three reed boat expeditions, Ra, Ra II, and Tigris.

Richard Spener and Toni Armstrong Spener will be presenting regarding their travel by canoe, camping and photographing in the remote areas of Alaska as an adventure. It is a major expedition that they plan and execute themselves. Their typical group is 6 people. The many pallet loads of gear that must be shipped to the bush pilot in Alaska include canoes, paddles, food and camping gear for 2 weeks. In their presentation they have you join them on the journey from planning through the adventures on land and river as they explore three remote wild areas above the Arctic Circle.

Adventuring in Alaska is a passion for the Spencer’s: Toni has been to Alaska 18 times and Richard has been there 16. They have explored from the Arctic Ocean to Southeast Alaska on their own trips. They have become passionate advocates of wild Alaska and have over the years presented programs on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Western Arctic to various local universities, Canoeopia (Madison, Wisconsin), Rotary Club, Audubon, Sierra Club, MONEP and to the St. Louis Camera Club.

Toni and Richard Spener are avid outdoors people and environmentalists. They are both on the Board of the Alaska Wilderness League ( Toni serves on the executive committee of the Eastern Missouri group of the Sierra Club.  Richard is a dedicated whitewater kayaker and an active member of MONEP.

The two have spent more than two years photographing the eight wilderness areas in Missouri. Their photographs were developed into an exhibit “50 Years of Wilderness Through the Lens of Missouri’s 8 Wilderness Areas” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the wilderness act. The exhibit was on display at the Missouri History Museum through January 5, 2014. It is currently in Jefferson City and then on tour around the state.

Richard’s photographs have appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, The County Journal, National Wildlife Federation publications, on line publications of St. Louis Audubon, and Alaska Wilderness Leagues publications.  Richard has had several one-man photo exhibits in the St. Louis area. Toni won this year’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch travel photography contest with her photo of a buffalo at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Richard has a similar picture that is the header on the park’s website and in their 2014 calendar.

Join us for a “Behind the Scenes” Tour of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The tour will be hosted by James C. Solomon, Ph.D., Associate Curator and Curator of the Herbarium, and Doug Holland, Director of the Peter H. Raven Library. The tour will be followed by a cocktail reception at the home of Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson.

Feel free to bring “show and tell” items from your adventures to share with your fellow members at the cocktail reception.

“Battle for the Elephants” tells the ultimate animal story – how the earth’s most charismatic and majestic land animal today faces market forces as powerful as those that drive the value of gold. We go undercover to expose criminal operatives behind ivory’s supply – in Africa – and demand – in China. “Battle for the Elephants” makes clear that if present trends continue we may lose this colossal and emblematic species at the very moment when we are coming to perceive its essence. Living in a highly evolved society, with keen intelligence, protean memory, skill at communicating long distance, and capacity for love, the elephant has much to tell us humans. But there is a big “if:” only IF it is given a chance to survive – at present an unlikely prospect, in view of the voluminous buying power of middle class Chinese.

“Battle for the Elephants” continues to have impact, with its producers and its on-camera investigative reporter, Bryan Christy, lobbying for elephant protection at the C.I.T.E.S. conference in Bangkok. It has been shown in many branches of the U.S. Government to great impact. The State Department is distributing “Battle for the Elephants” to its embassies and consulates worldwide. It has been shown many times around the country and recently it premiered in Nairobi in the presence of Kenya’s First Lady. It has already won several awards, most recently Best Conservation Film at the 2013 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.


James S. Westerman, founder and current treasurer of the Chicago Great Lakes Chapter of the Explorers Club, will describe his scientific, technological and archeological research program in Abydos, Egypt lasting nearly three decades and which is still active. Jim has been awarded four Explorers Club Expedition Flags over the years for his work in Egypt.

Jim Westerman has been Director of the Abydos Research Project in Egypt since 1986. He is also Director of the Machu Picchu Research Project in The Condor Group. In both roles Jim has made important discoveries about ancient peoples in Africa and South America.

His exploration in Peru is described in his book, The Meaning of Machu Picchu. His archeology work in Egypt is now available on the innovative website, which presents a database of over a thousand multimedia historical records.

Mark “Sharky” Alexander, owner of Sharky’s Underwater Expeditions, has been busy exploring underwater wrecks in the depths of the oceans during this past year. In May, Sharky led an EC Flag Expedition to the Graf Zepelin in the Baltic Sea. In June, he led two expeditions to the U.S.S. Monitor off the coast of Hattaras, NC. In July, he an expedition to the Andrea Doria and the U-869 off the coast of New Jersey. Come hear about his underwater expeditions and learn more about the underwater world!

Honoring A.J. “Buddy” Obara, Jr., MN’08
for Lifetime Achievement in
Wildlife Sculptures in Bronze
and Presentation of a Bronze Emperor Penguin
to the Saint Louis Zoo.

Dr. Bonner, the Dana Brown President & CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo, will explore the emerging initiatives in conservation science at the Zoo. Two areas to be covered in depth include recent efforts in the field of conservation medicine and in the area of reproductive sciences and wildlife contraception. Finally, he will outline the specific efforts of the Saint Louis Zoo’s WildCare Institute and their impact on conservation science.

It’s February 2012, we’re in the Ndutu region of the Serengeti in East Africa and Northeast Tanzania in the middle of calving season and the migration. We’ve been to Africa for 20 years trumping through this wilderness, videoing and making myriads of journal entries of the wildlife, their habits, their mating patterns and their reproductive behavior, because this fits in with what I study in humans. Every time I come to this area of Africa I feel like I’m coming home. Of course it’s the Rift Valley, it’s Olduvai Gorge, it’s Lake Ndutu, it’s where humankind fossils were first found, it is where everybody assumes mankind had its origin. And it feels that way. It feels like the Garden of Eden. It feels like you’re home when you come to Africa. But this East African wilderness is being disastrously encroached upon. It’s being threatened by cell phones, advancing population and tourists and cars, and the wild areas are getting smaller and smaller. So as Douglas Adams said in his famous book, this is “your last chance to see.” It is February 2012 and the wild Africa that we treasure so much (our heart & home lives there), wild Africa does not have much longer and this is your “last chance to see.”

Steve Silber has spent the last 4 years in Alaska re-establishing Chulitna Lodge, a wilderness retreat 180 miles from the nearest road. See pictures and listen to tales of subsistence living in the Alaskan wilderness and the transformation of a piece of property on Lake Clark. From its St. Louis born homesteaders of the 1930’s who built the original cabin, through its reconstruction and present day ‘bush luxury state’ of a compound with over 18 buildings, old world charm still pervades. However, new technology, such as renewable energy systems, and more modern irrigation allow low environmental impact while increasing comfort, stability, and cost. A combination of non-profit and for-profit programing include, an artist-in-residence program, health and spiritual workshops, and one of a kind vacations for fishing hunting and flight-based photography. These are just part of Chulitna Lodge’s goal; sharing our love for exploration of our world’s most remote locations, and hopefully perpetuating an ethic of doing so responsibly.

Without healthy oceans we won’t have air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink. In short no ocean no earth – NONE – N. O. N. E.

The ocean represents many things to many people. To Ms. Doubilet as an artist it is the subject of her photography. And it is her office, her endless passion, her life’s work. During the course of her career she has had the privilege of witnessing and documenting many places on our blue planet. The changes observed over 40 years of diving in Earth’s seas have shocked her into ocean activism. Tonight she will take you on a personal journey in photographs and words from Papua New Guinea, Australia and the Red Sea to the Arctic and Antarctic – from coral to ice.

Using seven case studies from the Ancient Andes, “Venerated Ancestors” explores mummification and related practices in ancient South America. Using the deep time perspective of bioarchaeology, this lecture begins with the earliest prepared mummies in the world, the Chinchorro, and ends with Inka examples. Both methods of mummification and knowledge captured in the course of study are considered.

Anthropologist and bioarchaeologist Jane E. Buikstra is director of the Center for Bioarchaeological Research at Arizona State University. Buikstra is also president of the Board of Directors of the Center for American Archaeology in Kampsville, Illinois.

This Event is co-sponsored with the Archaeological Institute of America, St.Louis; The Missouri History Museum; and Academy of Science – St. Louis. A reception to meet the speaker will follow the lecture.
Additional information will be mailed in September by The Archaeological Institute of America St. Louis Society. There will be an RSVP Form at the bottom of that invitation that you must return to them if you wish to attend the dinner prior to the Presentation.

Corps’ Rivers Project Office
The Rivers Project Office (RPO) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ St. Louis District manages close to 100,000 acres of land and water along the Mississippi River. The land management objectives of the RPO include the preservation and restoration of important habitat to maintain and increase the diversity of species of birds and other wildlife along the river. These objectives, along with the significant acreage under Corps management, result in a vitally important land stewardship and wildlife preservation role within the Upper Mississippi Flyway system for the Rivers Project Office.

The Mississippi Flyway is one of the most significant migratory flyways on earth—more than 60% of all North American birds, close to 400 species—migrate along the flyway. The National Audubon Society has long been involved in conservation and education initiatives along the Mississippi Flyway. Audubon is an American non-profit environmental organization dedicated to conservation. Incorporated in 1905, it is one of the oldest conservation organizations in the world. Nature centers and wildlife sanctuaries have long been an important part of Audubon’s work to educate and inspire the public about the environment and conservation. Audubon’s national network currently includes more than 45 nature centers and 150 sanctuaries nationwide.

The Audubon Center at Riverlands is one of the more recent developments of the National Audubon Society and is a centerpiece of the National Audubon Society’s Mississippi River Initiative, which is focused on restoring and protecting habitat and water quality along the entire length of the Mississippi. The Center is located in the Corps of Engineers’ Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and co-located with the Corps’ Rivers Project Office. The Sanctuary—a 3700 acre prairie-wetland complex—is located on the Mississippi River, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.

Corps/Audubon Partnership
The Audubon Center at Riverlands represents a unique partnership between the National Audubon Society and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. By working together, each organization leverages its expertise in their shared goals of education, outreach, and habitat conservation. And by sharing physical and financial resources, both organizations maximize their investments. Audubon currently provides important outreach and community connections, educational outreach, and citizen science programming on-site at Riverlands. The Corps not only provides physical space for partnership programming, it also provides extraordinary expertise, and the opportunity to partner on landscape-based conservation initiatives.

Humanities’ robotic probes are currently ranging across the solar system exploring planets, asteroids, comets, moons, and the space in between. Their returned data provides a wide range of opportunities for scientists, hobbyists, and the general public to explore the solar system with them. This talk will first cover the state of solar system exploration including current and future missions such as the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission to the Moon, and the recently launched Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity), the next Mars rover. We’ll also discuss some of the recent discoveries including the presence of water on the Moon and the role of water on Mars. Finally, we’ll explore the wide range of planetary data and tools available and how one can use these to conduct their own “virtual planetary exploration.”

Please join the St. Louis Chapter of the Explorers Club for a behind-the-scenes tour of Shaw Nature Reserve.

St. Louis is one of very few metropolitan regions that can boast of a 2,441-acre natural asset such as Shaw Nature Reserve so near its city-based parent organization, the world-famous Missouri Botanical Garden. This proximity allows easy access for children and adults alike to not only experience the natural beauty of our region but also to learn sound environmental stewardship through the Reserve’s numerous educational programs.

At the Reserve, the replicated prairie evokes images of buffalo and Native Americans as breezes ripple the sea of native grasses and forbs. Each spring, abundant woodlands burst forth with a multitude of native wildflowers while, later in the year, the same woodlands offer lush green shade, oases from the summer sun.

Wetlands, known for their splendid array of species, offer a close-up look at aquatic plant and animal life. Visitors to this special environment include great blue and little green herons, dragonflies and other fascinating creatures. The slopes, which are the watershed of the wetlands, are cloaked in flowery reconstructed prairie.

The Missouri Botanical Garden’s land purchase in 1925 began the legacy of Shaw Nature Reserve. Originally set up as a safe refuge for the plant collection from the smoke pollution of the 1920s, its role in the community has evolved through the years. Shaw Nature Reserve has many roles—as a nature reserve, a place to walk and hike, and a good spot for relaxing and for studying nature. It has become a premier educational, research and habitat restoration and reconstruction site.

The Wilderness Wagon Holds 28 People, Van Towing Wagon seats 15. Seating is on a first-come- first-serve basis.

Also, please join us for lunch after the tour at Hawthorne Inn, 123 Front St., Labadie, MO 63055, (636) 451-0004. You will be responsible for ordering and paying for your own lunch at Hawthorne.

Widely regarded as the world’s leading cetacean photographer, Flip Nicklin grew up around his father’s small dive shop on the California coast. He went on to become National Geographic’s premiere whale photographer and marine mammal specialist. In the past 30 years, Flip has photographed more than thirty species of whales and dolphins, some so endangered their survival is in question. He has most recently been named North American Nature Photography Association’s (NANPA) Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year, 2012.

In 2001 Nicklin co-founded Whale Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to research and public education. The mission of Whale Trust is to promote, support, and conduct scientific research on whales and the marine environment and develop public education programs based directly on results of scientific research. Whale Trust is committed to promoting and fostering Maui as a unique living laboratory for whale research and the marine environment. For information, please visit

Flip Nicklin’s publications, including Among Giants: A Life with Whales and Face to Face with Whales,will be available for personalized signing.

This lecture is co-sponsored by Academy of Science St. Louis and the Saint Louis Zoo.

The lowland forests of the Congo Basin support an impressive array of primates, including the world’s largest concentrations of great apes. Although Northern Republic of Congo has long been considered a stronghold for the conservation of central chimpanzees and western lowland gorillas, the fact is that these apes reside in a rapidly changing landscape. Most great ape populations in this region are likely to experience alteration of their habitat, the pressures of commercial bushmeat hunting, and/or emergence of disease. Due to these threats and a lack of knowledge of sympatric chimpanzees and gorillas, the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project was initiated in the forestry concession adjacent to the southern portion of the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park.

The widespread coexistence of central chimpanzees and western lowland gorillas has intrigued scientists for decades, but the details characterizing their relationship have remained elusive to field primatologists. The Goualougo Triangle is currently the only site in the lowland forests of the Congo Basin where one can directly observe both of these great apes within the same forest. Researchers at the site have documented more inter-specific associations of these ape species than any other field study to-date. Field studies have also revealed a unique culture of complex tool using skills exhibited by chimpanzees in this region. This presentation will showcase recent scientific findings of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project’s research team and highlight their efforts to promote the long-term conservation of these endangered apes through applied conservation research, enhanced protection of important ape populations and their habitats, and strengthening of local capacity to implement conservation programs.

The Explorers Club St. Louis and the Academy of Science St. Louis are pleased to present two programs on February 2, 2011 featuring Janet Baum, AIA, founding partner of Health, Education and Research Associates, Inc. and the lead programmer and planner of Barrow Global Climate Change Research Lab. At 5:30 pm Ms. Baum will present a Science Briefing “Arctic Science Journeys” at the Academy of Science St. Louis. At 7:30 pm Ms. Baum will present “Left Out in the Cold: The Story of the Barrow Global Climate Change Research Lab in Barrow, Alaska” at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Living World.

Science Briefing: The process of designing the first Arctic-based laboratory facility for the study of global climate change, required listening to and learning from dozens of scientists and engineers from a broad range of disciplines. Many have worked decades in the Arctic, coming north for the summer, from their home institutions and government agencies, to put in as much time as possible on field explorations and studies while the sun is up and the temperatures are tolerable. Join Academy of Science St. Louis Trustee and retired founding partner of Health, Education + Research Associates, Inc., Janet Baum, AIA, for a fascinating talk on the challenges of scientific field work in the Arctic’s inhospitable and remote environments. Janet illustrates her talk with colorful slides from the scientists she met while designing the Barrow Global Climate Change Research Laboratory.

“Left Out in the Cold”: The Inupiat Native Americans have continuously inhabited the North Slope of Alaska for 10,000 years. Just a few summers ago, the permanent Arctic Sea ice-pack was only a few hundred yards off the coastline of Alaska. Now it lies over one hundred miles away, and the gap is increasing. For the Inupiat, traversing this gap for subsistence hunting in sealskin canoes poses great risk. Looking to find a way to provide steady occupations and income for their people (without resorting to oil drilling!), the Inupiat commissioned the building of the Barrow, Alaska laboratory to study climate change. Through this, the Inupiat tribe is working to ensure their survival and preserve the Arctic landscape upon which they depend. The project lead programmer and planner on this project, retired HERA founding partner Janet Baum, tells the remarkable story of place, people and environmental preservation in “Left Out in the Cold.”

“Left Out in the Cold” is a Science Seminar Series event, co-sponsored by Academy of Science St. Louis and the Saint Louis Zoo.

According to Sophie Binder, “In April of 2001, I quit my job, left my apartment in Saint Louis, put my belongings in storage and left on a solo bicycle on a trip around the world that would take me through 16 countries and 4 continents and see me pedal 14,000 miles for 14 months. I came back in June 2002 with 7 sketchbooks full of watercolors and stories. This presentation is an attempt to share moments and tales of this journey.”

To see photographs and artwork, visit Sophie Binder’s website at

Join Captain Mark “Sharky” Alexander (MN’10) as he shares his experience as a Dive Medical Officer and Deep Water Diver on the search for the aircraft wreckage of the P-51D Mustang piloted by Gertrude “Tommy” Tompkins Silver, the last missing member of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II.

Alexander began as a Public Safety diver for the Springfield/Sangamon County ESDA (Emergency Services Disaster Agency) Rescue Squad in Illinois. He then took up ocean diving and became a Divemaster and proceeded to become a PADI Master Instructor, IANDT Instructor, TDI Inspiration Classic/Vision CCR Instructor, Full Time Paramedic, EMT-Instructor, Paramedic-Instructor, Advanced Cardiac Life Support-Instructor, Pediatric Advanced Life Support-Instructor, Advanced Pre-Hospital Life Support-Instructor, Advanced Diver Medical Technician, and Hyperbaric Chamber Technician. In May 2007, Sharky started his own company, Sharky’s Underwater Expeditions, LLC which focuses on doing more advanced travel, exploration, and specialized training.

No Water No Life® founding director, Alison M. Jones, shares her video and still photography with audiences to raise awareness of the vulnerability of our freshwater resources. In Africa and North America, her No Water No Life (NWNL) expeditions have queried scientists and stewards on the impact of deforestation, pollution, infrastructure and climate change on the availability of clean freshwater. NWNL promotes today’s urgent need for reduced consumption of this vital commodity and more sustainable watershed management.

For more information about No Water No Life, visit the NWNL website.

Selected by NASA in April 1996, Dr. Magnus reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. She completed two years of training and evaluation and is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. From January 1997 through May 1998 Dr. Magnus worked in the Astronaut Office Payloads/Habitability Branch. Her duties involved working with ESA, NASDA and Brazil on science freezers, glove boxes and other facility type payloads. In May 1998, Dr. Magnus was assigned as a “Russian Crusader” which involved traveling to Russia in support of hardware testing and operational products development. In August 2000, she served as a CAPCOM for the International Space Station. In August 2001, she was assigned to STS-112. In October 2002, Dr. Magnus flew aboard STS-112. In completing her first space flight she logged a total of 10 days, 19 hours, and 58 minutes in space. Following STS-112, Dr. Magnus was assigned to work with the Canadian Space Agency to prepare the Special Dexterous Manipulator robot for installation on the ISS. She was also involved in return to flight activities. In July 2005, Dr. Magnus was assigned to the ISS Expedition Corps and began training for a future space station long duration mission. She flew to the space station with the crew of STS-126, launching on November 14, and arriving at the station on November 16, 2008. On her second flight, Dr. Magnus spent 4.5 months aboard the space station and returned to earth with the crew of STS-119 on March 28, 2009.

Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) comprise a powerful set of tools designed for the storage, retrieval, mapping, and analysis of geographic and other spatial data. Although GIS has found numerous applications in numerous and diverse studies – from hunting Osama bin Laden to studying the landscape of Mars, its application to paleontological exploration has been underutilized. In this presentation Conroy will show just a few of its many potential applications for paleontological explorations in remote badland areas. For example, interactive paleontological site maps can be easily generated based on attribute tables that can be queried by individual explorers based on any combination of fossil locality attributes; hyperlinked to relevant PDF and/or URL references for immediate retrieval of further detailed information about fossil specimens and/or localities; used to plan field logistics by mapping the accessibility of fossil localities; and used to characterize topographic features of sites of paleontological interest on both regional and local scales.

In 2006, field reconnaissance revealed a massive limestone cave in the Khammouane Province of central Laos. An international team of explorers returned in early 2008 to document this world-class river cave system. Over 11 kilometers of cave passages were surveyed and photographed in just nine days. A better understanding of the region and its people was also achieved. Much of central Laos has been closed to outside visitors for almost 50 years. Based on the findings of the 2008 expedition,a return trip is planned to document other caves in the region.

Washington University professor of Anatomy and professor of Anthropology Jane Phillips-Conroy, Ph.D. will be joined by anthropology graduate student Anna Weyher to speak about the little known “kinda” baboon of Zambi. Anna was the recent recipient of an Explorer’s Club grant that helped fund her summer visit to Zambia with Dr. Phillips-Conroy. The presentation will explore both what Phillips-Conroy and Weyher know about the “kinda” baboon at present, and what they seek to learn in the future.

Dr. Peter Raven is a botanist and environmentalist. He has been with the Missouri Botanical Garden since 1971. He is also a tenured faculty member of Washington University in St. Louis where he is the Engelmann Professor of Botany. Dr. Raven will speak about the Garden’s program overseas, stressing Nicaragua and Madagascar, where the zoo is also active. His team is engaged in cataloging and describing plant life throughout the world and working with citizens of the countries where they are active, in order to advance global sustainability.

Dr. Jeffrey Bonner was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the St. Louis Zoo in April 2002. Dr. Bonner received his B.A., M.A. and M. Phil in anthropology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He chairs the Madagascar Fauna Group, an international consortium of 39 zoos and related institutions, and is a council member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Dr. Bonner will speak on the role of zoos as field conservation organizations with special reference to the St. Louis Zoo and its programs in Madagascar and Nicaragua.

James E. Martin, Executive Curator at the Museum of Geology, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, will present “Giant Fossil Reptiles from Antarctica.”

Recent expeditions to the southernmost continent have resulted in discoveries of fossil reptiles, including mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and dinosaurs. Weather, distances, equipment, and limited personnel made recovery of these fossil reptiles exceedingly difficult. High winds, ice, and snow nearly stopped the recovery, but numerous specimens provided important glimpses into the Age of Dinosaurs on the Antarctic Peninsula. A variety of mosasaurs and plesiosaurs indicate, that even in the marine realm, endemism occurred during the late Cretaceous time, approximately 65 to 70 million years ago.

At the age of 22, Art Davidson made the first winter ascent of Mount McKinley – it was a huge feat and something that has not been repeated many times. No one had lived on North America’s highest ridges in the winter twilight. With the combination of cold, wind, darkness and altitude, the climb would entail the severest conditions ever encountered by man.; Read more about his expedition and much more in the Mountaineering classic Minus 148°: The First Winter Ascent of Mt. McKinley.

John J. Wall (MN ’07) will be featured as program speaker for the next St. Louis Chapter/Explorers Club meeting. His topic will be “The Relationship of Risk to Adventure and Exploration.”

John might best be described as a “renaissance man for the spirit of exploration.” He is an accomplished mountain climber and has led several mountain climbing expeditions, summiting many of the greatest peaks in the western hemisphere. He has also served as a member of many advanced field expeditions. Last summer he spent some time in Iraq working with a private contracting firm there.

On the remote and wild Peninsula Valdes along the coast of Argentina, Gretchen Freund has witnessed and recorded what few people have ever seen: the rare and extraordinary sight of Orca whales strategically stalking and targeting sea lions and elephant seals from offshore and then abruptly beaching themselves to devour their unsuspecting prey.

As a principal researcher for Punta Norte Orca Research and a highly talented and experienced nature photographer, Gretchen has documented this rare and revealing behavior over the course of ten dedicated years. She will be sharing her exquisite photographs and insightful observations of these illusive “Wolves of the Sea.”

This program is co-sponsored by The Academy of Science of St. Louis.

Additional photographs from Argentina are available on Ms. Freund’s website –

Bo Parfet, one of only 80 people to have successfully climbed all eight of the world’s tallest mountains, will relate his tales of conquering the “Seven Summits.”

For more information about Parfet and his soon-to-be-published book, Die Trying, visit

Our speaker following dinner is Dr. Eric Miller, Senior Vice President of Zoological Operations and Director of The Wildcare Institute for The St. Louis Zoo. The title of Dr. Miller’s talk is “The St. Louis Zoo’s The Wildcare Institute – Zoos working together to rescue, save, and restore endangered species and their natural habitats.” This is the inspiring and fascinating story of the creative and collaborative political, social, and biological work being conducted by the Zoo and its partners to conserve endangered species and their habitats, in 12 “conservation centers” both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Miller is a graduate of the Ohio State University (BS, DVM), and in 1981 came to the Saint Louis Zoo and the University of Missouri Columbia where he completed a residency in Zoo Animal Medicine. He has served as the president of American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM), and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV). In 2003 he received the AAZV’s Dolensek Award for “exceptional contributions to the conservation, care and understanding of zoo and free-ranging wildlife.” Dr. Miller has served on the Board of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). He has authored/co-authored over 60 scientific articles and textbook chapters, and with Dr. Murray Fowler he has served as co-editor of the 4th, 5th and 6th editions of Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine. He has worked on biomedical surveys of captive South China tigers and giant pandas, and free-ranging Galapagos avifauna.

Join us for the premiere of the film Meramec River – Miracles and Milestones. This film was produced and directed by John Baker and Jim Karpowicz, in association with the St. Louis Open Space Council and Operation Clean Stream, now celebrating 40 years of land and water conservation success in the St. Louis region.

This movie premiere night is co-sponsored by The St. Louis Open Space Council. For more information regarding Meramec River initiatives, please contact the following Project Directors: Ron Coleman, Executive Director, Open Space Council, 636-451-6090; or Steve Nagle, Director of Community Planning, East-West Gateway Council, 314-421-4220.

Members share photos and memories of their recent journeys and explorations.

Dr. John Lautenschlager will share his movie of his 7 month-long, 2,600 mile journey along the Niger River in West Africa.

Mr. Jim Thompson will share information about the NASA studies in which he is cooperating. Jim uses a hot air balloon to negotiate getting the heat-seeking infrared device close to identify and study cave openings. His work has application to one of NASA’s Mars projects.

Dr. Sherman Silber will share an overview of his trip to Mongolia to study dinosaur relics to try to advance his theory on the dinosaur’s extinction.

The topic of his exciting presentation will be the use of remote sensing for detecting archeological sites which until now were completely hidden. The techniques Sever uses have also found application for state-of-the-art climate analysis. Sever has modeled the manner in which the Maya destroyed their landscape and changed their climate, ultimately causing collapse of their civilization and their disappearance from the region.

This is the greatest known ecological and social disaster in human-prehistory.

Abstract of Sever’s research: The goal of this research is to understand the effects of human activity upon the Central American landscape in order to forecast ecological changes and climatic effects for decision making by scientists, educators, and policy-makers. This investigation uses satellite and airborne imagery to understand the dynamics of human adaptation and interaction upon the Central American landscape, and the role of natural and human-induced past and present changes to climate variability in the region. These two subjects are highly interrelated since human-induced landscape changes can have strong impacts on climate, while natural climate variability can in turn exert strong pressures on the landscape, potentially exacerbating human-induced effects. Special emphasis will be placed upon the northern Peten of Guatemala, an area that contains the largest protected park in Central America but which is threatened by current deforestation and land use changes. It was in this region that the ancient Maya civilization began, flourished, and abruptly disappeared beginning around AD 800. This incident, known as the Maya Collapse, is considered to be one of the worst demographic disasters in human history. Preliminary research suggests that the destruction of the landscape by human activity contributed to this collapse. This project also uses NASA remote sensing products and other observations to understand mechanisms driving past, present, and potential future climate variability over Central America. This understanding is critical for the current population in the region that is experiencing rapid population growth and destroying the landscape through non-traditional farming and grazing techniques, resulting in socio-economic problems, as well as potential consequences for climate.

St. Louis Chapter Member John J. Wall will conduct an all-day course on Wilderness First Aid. Mr. Wall has EMT/First Responder Certification and has led and participated in many expeditions in remote parts of the world. Maximum number of participants: 25. Minimum number: 5.

Join us May 8th for our Annual Chapter dinner at the rustic, yet elegant Deer Creek Club. We are very pleased to have Dr. Michael Gunn as our speaker for the evening. Dr. Gunn is the Curator of Oceanic Archives for the St. Louis Art Museum. A native of New Zealand, the very entertaining Dr. Gunn has made several collecting trips to New Guinea. You will enjoy the exciting and amusing highlights of his adventures as he regales us with tales of his travels with warring groups of headhunters in New Guinea.

Back this year, by popular demand, as an activity desired by our Chapter members. St. Louis Chapter of the Explorers Club Members and Circle Friends will recount some of their adventures and narrow escapes as Explorers.

Captain Norman Baker was the second-in-command, radioman, and celestial navigator for legendary anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl on all three of his reed boat expeditions, the two RA voyages and the Tigris. Here are just a few highlights from his life so far.

Captain Baker met Thor Heyerdahl in Tahiti after a lifetime of adventure. Mr Baker began flying lessons at the age of 13 and flew his first solo at 17. After graduating from Cornell with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree, Norman’s first job was in the gold mines of Alaska, initially as a laborer and later as an engineer. His second job was in the desert country of Colorado and New Mexico where he staked out that last state boundary in the nation that had never before been surveyed.

He served two and a half years in the Korean War on a destroyer.

After the war Mr. Baker earned a commercial multiengine pilot license, but instead of flying airlines, he sailed the Trans-Pacific Yacht Race as a deck hand, rising to first mate and finally professional captain of the ship. He sailed her from Honolulu to Seattle for the owner. He learned to scuba dive while working as underwater assistant and celestial navigator for a marine biologist on a research expedition that started in Hawaii and finished in the South Pacific islands. It was here he and Dr. Heyerdahl met.

Mr. Baker returned to New York where he started a construction company with his brother, also a Professional Civil Engineer. That same year he took up skydiving.

Dr. Baker is a Fellow and Ex-Director of the Explorers Club.

Join expert caver, Jim Thompson, on a 4 hour joint expedition with the Middle Mississippi Valley Grotto and The Explorers Club to Berome Moore cave in Perry County, Missouri. Berome Moore is home to fossilized Sabre Tooth Tiger tracks. This expedition entails mostly hiking with one area of crawling. Limited to 15 individuals.

In 2002, in one of the boldest actions for conservation in a generation, President Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon created a new network of 13 national parks, comprising just over 10% of the nation’s land area. Up to this point, Gabon had no national parks, despite one of the highest levels of biodiversity in Africa. Playing a critical role in persuading President Bongo Ondimba to make such a momentous decision was Dr. Lee White, a WCS conservation scientist and director of the WCS Gabon Program, whose research played a key role in identifying the priority areas for conservation. Since 2003, Dr. White has been working with the Gabon National Parks Office to manage a number of these protected areas and to plan strategically for eco-tourism development in the country.

Dr. White grew up in Uganda bouncing regularly on the knees of various WCS staffers. At age 14, he surveyed rare monkeys in Sierra Leone with WCS scientists and when he was 18, worked for WCS surveying pygmy hippos, also in Sierra Leone. His Ph.D. on the impacts of logging on wildlife in Gabon was funded by WCS, and he joined the staff in 1992 when he was hired to establish the WCS Gabon Program. Under his guidance, the Gabon Program has grown from a research project to a conservation program employing 200 people and active in the 13 national parks. Dr. White has also published and contributed to many books and articles regarding conservation in Gabon and has been collaborating with the Missouri Botanical Garden for 15 years, and even described a new species of rare rainforest tree with Dr. Gordon McPherson of the Garden. Dr. White epitomizes the spirit of adventure and field science that characterizes these two great institutions and has shown that even in the modern world individuals can make a difference.

Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D. is Professor of Physical Anthropology and Environmental Sciences at Washington University. Professor Sussman is a specialist in the ecology and social structure of primates (human and nonhuman) and ways in which the study of primates can help us understand the biological basis of the evolution of human behavior. He has conducted research in Madagascar, Mauritius, Costa Rica and Guyana, Of particular interest in Madagascar has been a long-term study (now more than 30 years) of the demography, ecology and social organization of two species of ring-tailed lemurs (the subject of Marlin Perkins’ documentary “Lemurs of Madagascar” in 1981). He co-founded the Beza Mahafaly Reserve in Madagascar where current studies involve monitoring deforestation with satellite images, attempting to determine its causes, and consequences on the lemurs of the region.

His topic for the May 2nd program will be “Man the Hunted,” which is also the title of his latest book (with his former graduate student, Donna Hart, “Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution”). In this book, the anthropologists’ position is that our hominid ancestors were more hunted by predators than they were hunters and that it was by adapting skills such as learning to walk upright, living in social groups that provided protection, etc., that improved the odds of man’s survival.

Join us as Dr. Raymond Arvidson, Chairman and James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University, discusses the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers that explore Mars. After the talk, Dr. Arvidson will be offering a private tour of his laboratory at Washington University. We hope you will join us for a wonderful evening as we learn about Dr. Arvidson’s fascinating research.

Dr. Glenn Conroy, Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Professor, Department of Anthropology at Washington University will speak and show a documentary DVD. The DVD is a documentary film of his paleoanthropological expedition to this region of Ethiopia several years ago. This interesting and entertaining film highlights many of the challenges encountered in conducting anthropological research in foreign countries – as well as many of its rewards.

On October 25th we are honored to present Rachel and Dwight Crandell, who will share their adventures and experiences in Belize, Panama and Costa Rica where they have been working for years on both Rainforest and Native Cultural conservation projects.

Rachel Crandell, has won several awards for her first children’s book, “The Hands Of The Maya,” which she researched during a sabbatical she took from teaching at Principia Lower School. Now retired, she and her husband Dwight live in Costa Rica in a cabin that is right next to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (which Rachel was closely involved with starting, enlarging and increasing). Rachel is currently the President of The Monteverde Conservation League, U.S. and working on two books about the Embera people of Panama, which she will tell us about.

Dwight Crandell serves as Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Monteverde Conservation League U.S., Inc. He retired on June 30, 2001 after serving 15 years as Executive Vice President of the St. Louis Science Center and 5 years as Assistant Director and Executive Director of the Museum of Science and Natural History in St. Louis. With Rachel, he has enjoyed traveling in Central and South America since 1990 and supporting educational/conservation activities in Belize, Ecuador, Bolivia and Costa Rica as well as numerous conservation and cultural organizations within the United States.

You’re invited to venture on the most dangerous expedition since Everest. Dare to navigate the world’s greatest and deadliest river through Mystery of the Nile. Let the OMNIMAX Theater take you on an epic journey. For the first time in history, a team of explorers navigates the Nile River from its source in Sakala Springs, Ethiopia to the river’s mouth in the Mediterranean. The Saint Louis Science Center kicks off the event with a private screening.

Presentation by Gordon Brown, lead kayaker and cinematographer of the expedition, and co-author of the book, Mystery of the Nile.

Sheldon Breiner, FN, ‘76, a native of University City, now a member of San Francisco Chapter of the Explorers Club, will present an illustrated talk on the discovery, in August, 2003, of a Spanish galleon, “El San Felipe,” and its valuable cargo – run aground offshore Baja California, Mexico in 1576.

The first meeting of The Explorers Club St. Louis Chapter for 2005-2006 will be September 7. Our own members will recount some of their adventures and narrow escapes as Explorers!

The St. Louis Chapter of The Explorers Club, Inc. will have its Annual Meeting on Tuesday May 3rd. It will be held at The Deer Creek Club. We are honored to announce that X PRIZE Executive Director, Peter Diamandis will be our dinner speaker.

This will be a joint presentation with the YPO ’49ers and will sure to be a sellout, so please make reservations early.

Dr. Peter Diamandis is a pioneer and leader in the commercial space arena. He is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation (, which awarded a $10,000,000 prize for private spaceflight won in October 2004 by Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne. Dr. Diamandis is also the CEO of Zero Gravity Corporation ( a commercial space company that offers FAA-certified weightless flights utilizing a specially modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft.

Peter is a Founder and Trustee of the International Space University ( where he served as the University’s first Managing Director. He is also co-Founder and Director of Space Adventures (, the company which brokered Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth’s flight to the International Space Station. Diamandis also founded Students for the Exploration and Development of Space ( the world’s large student space organization.

Dr. Diamandis received an undergraduate and graduate degree in aerospace engineering from MIT and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He has won numerous awards including the Konstantine Tsiolkovsky Award, the Aviation & Space Technology Laurel, and the 2003 World Technology Award for Space. In 8th grade, while living in New York, Dr. Diamandis won first place in the Estes rocket design contest.

In August, St. Louis Chapter member Gretchen Freund returned to the northwest corner of Greenland to accompany a Polar Inuit hunter, named Ilannquag, on a narwhal whale hunt. This social whale is known for the very long tooth that grows through the upper lip of the male, in the form of a tusk. The tusk of an adult male can be 1/3 or more as long as the total body and can weigh up to 10 kilos.

It was an incredible privilege to be allowed to accompany the hunters and their families. Gretchen spent two weeks traveling on the fjords in a small boat with the hunters and camped at a different site each night. The narwhal is hunted from handmade kayaks with harpoons – a job that is both difficult and dangerous. She was able to observe a successful narwhal hunt. This fascinating experience allowed her an appreciation for the Polar Inuit culture and traditions. Every part of the narwhal is used for one purpose or another. One narwhal will provide a family of four enough food for half a year.

She has posted the images on her website under the Greenland section.

An Inside Look at Current Conservation of Africa’s Flora and Fauna with Cherri Briggs (FI 01) at the St. Louis Zoo.

During the evening, there will be an opportunity for pre-holiday shopping from Cherri’s collection of unique gift items. The proceeds of her sales help tribal people in a number of countries.

Come and bring guests. Everyone is promised an entertaining program and exciting evening when Cherri Briggs visits with us at River Camp. We look forward to seeing you on December 2nd.

Join us as we welcome the world traveler, Gig Gwin, while he recounts some of his wildest journeys around the world.

Speaker for the evening will be G. Keith Garman ( Explorers Club Life Member ’63)

Subject: The High Plateau Expedition – 2004 to 2008

G. Keith Garman is a geographer and historian with an extensive and innovative engineering background who lives in Fell’s Point, Maryland. He plans to lead a four-year expedition to research the geographical, geophysical and geological history of the High Plateau of China (Tibet) – The Roof of the World. The expedition will begin in Shanghai, navigate the Yangtze River by ship & barge to the Three Gorges Dam, then travel overland to the first location and proceed to crisscross the High Plateau. The expedition’s purpose will be investigation of the geological progression of the tectonic collision of India with Eurasia; formation of the Himalayas, Karakorums and Kunluns – sources of nine rivers. The party will exit Tibet and travel via Pakistan’s Indus Valley, to Karachi prior to the return voyage to the U.S. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Keith Garman. His goal is the speak about the project before every U.S. Explorers Club chapter.

In addition, Landon Jones will be speaking on his new book, William Clark and The Shaping of The West.

Dr. Silber will use both video and PowerPoint slides along with his talk about the migrations and mating behavior of salmon and grizzly bear of Alaska, from his own personal experience at his lodge over the last 20 some years. He will interweave his findings on the reproduction, sex life, and fertility of the wildlife. Then Dr. Silber will go into his research in sex chromosomes from the genome project, and how it explains the extinction of the dinosaurs, and in fact most mass extinctions. This talk will go into Dr. Silber’s experience with wildlife in the wilderness, his genetic research here at home, and also with what will be breaking news in May 2004 from his paper on extinction. Dr. Silber can also answer questions on his experience with Aboriginal peoples as unfolding drama of cultures and conflict related to his last Explorers Club talk.

Join us as we welcome Pam Flowers to our lecture series. Pam Flowers and her dog team followed the route of the Fifth Thule Expedition as closely as possible, traveling west to east. Anarulunguaq was the first woman to complete this entire route. Pam Flowers hoped to become the second woman known to have completed the entire route, the first woman and first American to do it solo. You may visit her website at

Join us as we welcome Captain Fred McLaren, the President Emeritus and a Director of The Explorers Club. As a naval officer, Captain McLaren made three Arctic expeditions on nuclear attack submarines, one on board the USS Seadragon during the first submerged transit of the Northwest Passage; two others were on the USS Queenfish: a Baffin Bay cruise and a North Pole expedition that included the first and only survey under ice of the entire Siberian Continental Shelf (2,600 nm).

During June 2001, Captain McLaren participated as a diver in “The First Manned Dives to the German battleship Bismarck,” using the deep-diving Russian MIR submersibles to depths of almost 4,800 meters beneath the sea. He returned to the Bismarck wreck site during July/early August 2002, making a second dive as part of an “Operation Bismarck” team, which thoroughly filmed the warship wreck site using high definition cameras. He is scheduled in early February 2003 to be one of the first ten deep-sea explorers to train on and be licensed to pilot submarine designer Graham Hawkes’ new “Deep Flight Aviator” submersible at world’s first Underwater Flight School in the Bahamas.

We would also like to welcome Bonita Chamberlin to our St. Louis Annual Dinner. Bonita has just returned from Afghanistan and is bringing with her local Afghani jewelry.

In addition to our speakers, we will be holding our annual silent auction.

Silent Auction Items this year include:

6 Box Tickets to The Full Monty at The Fox Theater on Sunday April 27, at 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by Bank of America Private Bank
Trophy Room Dinner for 8 with Dr. and Mrs. Sherman Silber
A Catered Lunch and Tour of The Wolf Sanctuary
Books About Africa
A Beautifully Decorated Rhinestone Turtle Box

We will be treated to a special occasion when famed zoologist/naturalist Jim Fowler, speaks at our meeting. Mr. Fowler, Executive Director of Mutual of Omaha’s Wildlife Heritage Center, is known to millions of TV viewers for his participation in “Wild Planet” and earlier “Wild Kingdom” with our famed Marlin Perkins. The program is sponsored jointly by Explorers Club – St. Louis Chapter and St. Louis Zoological Park Friends.

Join us on a journey to the Peninsula Valdez, as nature photographer Gretchen Freund and her son, Christopher Curran, share their photographs of the unique strand feeding habits of Orca whales. We will also explore the waters off Norway as Gretchen describes her recent adventure photographing the Orcas with celebrated Underwater photographer, Amos Nachoum.

Visit Gretchen’s Website at

Erik Lindbergh will be joining us to speak about his solo flight across the Atlantic.

Join us in welcoming Richard Wiese, President of The Explorers Club, as he tells about some of his greatest travels around the world.

In addition, we welcome Jim Solomon, Curator of the Herbarium, as as he discusses his adventures as a field botanist in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia.

Contact Us

The Explorers Club Saint Louis
c/o Thomas Schlafly
Thompson Coburn LLP
One US Bank Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101