The Philadelphia Chapter had a Canoe trip to the Pine Barrens of NJ. Twenty of us met at Wharton State Forest for a brief orientation of the Wading River. We were joined by Chapter members Peter Hess and his son, Ben; Chapter President, Doug Soroka; Chapter Treasurer, Tim Stevens, Christine, his wife and his two sons, Harison, and Philip Events Chairman, Christopher Gervais and our fearless leader, Captain Joel S. Fogel, Chairman of Environmental Affairs.
On Monday, April 12 Dr. Peter Dodson of the University of Pennsylvania spoke to 35 members and guests at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Dr. Dodson recently returned from China where he is a co-leader of an ongoing joint China and USA led field expedition. Dr. Dodson has published numerous papers and several books and is considered the world’s experts in dinosaur paleontology. His field and research over the years has included ceratopsian, and sauropod dinosaurs in North & South America and for the past decade in China.
On Monday, May 10 world famous oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle spoke to over 415 Explorer Club members and guests at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Not a seat remained as people listened to Dr. Earle discuss her thought on marine science conservation and threats to our world’s oceans including the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A VIP reception took place for Explorer club and Academy of Natural Sciences Board Members in the museum library followed by a general reception for EC members and the public. Dr. Earle spoke for over an hour and showed several video clips and was then kind enough to answer questions and do a book signing for everyone that waited in line for over an hour to meet her. Dr. Earle then attended a private dinner with both Explorer Club Chapter Board members and museum staff. The evening was an eventful one.
The Philadelphia Chapter had on Tuesday, February 16 a diving lecture on the WILHELM GUSTLOFF by Mike Boring of Chester, Virginia. In May of 2003 a team of American and English divers led by led a US/UK/Polish technical diving expedition to explore the site of history’s greatest maritime catastrophe, the shipwreck of the WILHELM GUSTLOFF, a Nazi refugee ship overcrowded with Germans and their allies fleeing the vengeful Soviet army. In the closing months of WW II, the ship was torpedoed and sunk in the icy Baltic Sea with the loss of nearly 10,000 souls. The team faced many daunting physical challenges in diving and photo-documenting this icon of WW II history in the deep and frigid waters of the Baltic. These obstacles were matched only by the difficulty in navigating the obstreperous Polish bureaucracy in seeking permission to conduct the first expedition to explore the ghostly remains of this shipwreck..
Up Coming events are Ships to Reefs lecture with Explorer Club Members Bonita Chamberlain and Dick Long on March 24. Dinosaur Paleontology with Dr. Peter Dodson, one of the world’s experts on Dinosaur paleontology will be discussing his most recent trip to China and the new species identified on this and past research expeditions at the Academy of Natural Sciences on April 12. Also at the Academy on May 10 Dr. Sylvia Earle, one of the world’s most respected Oceanographer’s and Marine Conservationist shall be discussing her latest book: “The World is Blue: How are Fate and the Oceans Are One”. Dr. Earle will speak about her book, latest research and show a short film. There will be a book signing and reception for Explorer Club members and VIP’s from the Academy of Natural Sciences.
The Philadelphia Chapter will be hosting the 1st Annual Marine Science Symposium the weekend of October 15-17. this year’s topic is Ocean Conservation. On Friday participants can take part in several field trips that are being planned at local National Wildlife Refuges to hike, bird watch and kayak. The symposium will run on Saturday from 9:00 am-5:00 PM and will feature marine conservationists and scientists from across the country to discuss their research and field work covering Ocean Bio diversity and Conservation. Each speaker will have a 45 minute block of time, 30 for presentation and 15 for questions & answers. A reception will take place on Saturday evening at the host motel. The schedule on Sunday will include a morning field trip to the Edwin Forsyth National Wildlife refuge followed by additional presentations in the afternoon. Overall there will be 12-15 speakers over the weekend. There will be a fee to attend for both students and adults, price yet to be determined.
Facebook page (Marine Science Symposium) describing the event and listing the speakers that have presently signed on.
Christopher J. Gervais a Board member of the Philadelphia Chapter spent a week diving in the Cooper River of South Carolina conducting his underwater vertebrate paleontology research and field work. Having to bare treacherous currents, poor visibility, debris and the occasional ill temper alligator, Christopher has spent years in the field of both Florida and South Carolina exploring some of the worlds richest fossil deposits of Pleistocene marine and terrestrial fauna. On a recent trip Christopher recovered a 6.5 inch tooth of an extinct Carcharodon megalodon. His field work and research has been published in various paleontology bulletins and journals and he plans to complete a book on the subject in the near future.
Philadelphia Chapter Chair Doug Soroka MN06 took advantage of the east coast record snow falls by exploring some of trails of Jim Thorpe PA and took advantage of the cold weather to visit the Glen Onoko Falls which develop spectacular ice formations.
Christopher J. Gervais, Board member of the Philadelphia Chapter spent several days in March at Ano Nuevo State Park in California for a photographic expedition and to conduct research for an upcoming book. Ano Nuevo is located in central California in San Mateo County. This state park is a protected pinniped rookery for seals, sea lions and sea otters. among a rich bio diversity of plants and terrestrial animals. This area is home to the largest mainland breeding colony in the world of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris). Today there are 160,000 thousand animals of this population remaining.The breeding season for these animals are December through March, weaned pups remain through April. Some animals return in the spring and summer months to molt. Access to this area is restricted to protect this species. Christopher plans to publish a book on the bio diversity of this region
Peter Hess, FN-88 continued the underwater archaeological documentation
of the so-called “Dunkirk Schooner” in Lake Erie. This remarkably
pristine shipwreck, lying in 170 frigid feet near the Canadian border,
is apparently the former CALEDONIA, which played a key role in the
United States’ decisive victory in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.
Plans are to raise the historic vessel intact for museum display.
Chapter Chair Doug Soroka led a Flag Expedition to repair Floyd Collins Crystal Cave in KY, USA. This restoration project is expected to take over five years to complete. With the National Park Service and the National Speleological Society this is a reconstruction of cave formations that were damaged in 1980. Flag was returned to President Karnath in Philadelphia and report was submitted to the NY office.
Tuesday – December 8, 2009
Haverford College, Haverford, PA
Program – “Detecting Habitable Exoplanets: The Small Star Opportunity”
by David Charbonneau, Associate Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University
David Charbonneau joined the faculty in the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University in August 2004. His research focuses on the development of novel techniques for the detection and characterization of planets orbiting nearby, Sun-like stars.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Villanova University, Philadelphia PA
Program – “Looking East’ By Steve McCurray
World famous National Geographic photographer Steve McCurray was present for his opening show “Looking East” at the Villanova University Art Gallery at Connelly Hall. Among the many color photographs on display through December 13 are the “Afghan Girl” which was the cover shot of the June 1985 edition of National Geographic Magazine.
Thursday – November 12, 2009
Academy of Natural Sciences,Philadelphia, PA
Program by Dr Daniel Otte
Dr. Daniel Otte, the world’s foremost authority in Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets), has served a curator of Entomology at the Academy of Natural Sciences since 1975. He has conducted research on grasshoppers and crickets around the world with emphases on faunal origins and diversification, and the evolution of their systems of acoustic communication and territoriality. He has authored several books and numerous other scientific publications, served as editor for the Journal of Orthoptera Research, Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences and Transactions of the American Entomological Society, and has contributed illustrations for a range of natural history and scientific publications. In honor of his distinguished career and numerous scientific contributions, the Academy is awarding Daniel Otte with the Joseph Leidy Medal. Following the ceremony, Dr. Otte will relate his many travels and adventures throughout Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, North America and the islands of the Pacific.
Tuesday – November 17 , 2009
Academy of Natural Sciences,Philadelphia, PA
Speaker: Lonnie Dupree Polar Explorer and Explorer Club member residing in Minnesotta
Earlier this year, Lonnie Dupre, Maxime Chaya and Stewart Smith undertook a 54-day Arctic trek to commemorate the 1909 expedition in which Robert Peary, Matthew Henson and a small team of Inuit first set foot at the North Pole. In addition to celebrating this epic adventure, Dupre and his colleagues seek to highlight the impact of global warming on the Arctic and the consequences this has on the Inuit.
Wednesday – October 28, 2009
Cosmopolitan Club, Philadelphia, PA
Speaker: Art Mortvedt, who shall be receiving a Lowell Thomas Award at the Explorers Club Headquaters on October 15. Art is a member of the Alaska Chapter of the EC and will give a presentation about his solo flight to both the North and South Poles in his “Polar Pumpkin”, a Cessna 185, N90SN.
Thursday – October 15, 2009
Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA
An Excursion to The Rocky Mountains: The Life & Travels of John Kirk Townsend an illustrated talk by senior ACNS Fellow Robert Peck
John Kirk Townsend (1809-1851) was a Philadelphia Quaker who helped shape American science and American history with a pioneering trip across North America on behalf of the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1834. His narrative of that trip, published in 1839, is considered a classic of American travel literature. Leaving Philadelphia at the age of 24, he returned three years later with a remarkable number of natural history discoveries which were greeted with enthusiasm by the members of the Academy and were used as models by John James Audubon in The Birds of America and The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.
Thursday – September 24, 2009
Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
Program Richard Wiese
Richard Wiese, author of Born to Explore: How To Be a Backyard Adventurer, has led quite an exciting life! In 2002, he became the youngest president in the 100-year history of the Explorers Club. As an Emmy-winning journalist, outdoorsman, and respected field scientist, Wiese has traveled to all seven continents. He has tagged jaguars in the Yucatan jungles, led an expedition to the Northern Territory of Australia to probe the Aboriginal myth of the Rainbow Serpent, co-discovered 202 new forms of life in the first microbial survey of Central Park in NYC, and founded the Central Park “Bio Blitz.”
Salt Spring Island BC Canada
Chairman Doug Soroka presented Caves of Oman at formal lecture program. Two after hour programs were presented – Current work at Floyd Collins Crystal Cave Restoration Project and the Booty Clean up at Lost River Caverns.
Blue Rocks Baseball game in Wilmington De.
Philadelphia Chapter day at the ball park, AAA minor league game with free parking just off I95.
Chairman’s Barbeque and Canal boat ride
Chairman’s annual get together in Perkasie PA combined this year with a visit to the Canal Boat History Museum in Easton PA. We had a private voyage on a canal barge with excellent interpretive program followed by an afternoon at the Chairman’s home.
Tuesday, May 26th
Poles Apart: Trekking Unsupported to the North and South Poles”
Jeff Mantel, a veteran of Arctic exploration, recounts his expeditions
across the Polar Ice Cap to the planet’s northern apex. Todd Carmichael, a veteran of Antarctica, tells of his own 2008 epic solo expedition to the South Pole.
As an added bonus, the Philly Explorers welcome newly-elected Explorers
Club President Lorie Karnath making her first appearance at a Chapter
meeting. Lorie will update us on the news from headquarters and some
of the new initiatives for and by the Club’s regional chapters.
April 30, 2009
Trevos Fire-house, Trevos PA
Speaker Doug Soroka presented his work on the Sulfur Caves in Tabasco Mexico – Cava de Villa Luz. This high hydrogen sulfide atmosphere cave has analogs with the current search for life on Mars.
April 6, 2009
Mathew Henson statue dedication
The dedication is at noon this Monday in Camden NJ at the Camden maritime museum. Web site has address just off the Walt bridge. I get 5 minutes to speak and be aware that it is in the bad section of the city. There is supposed to be a big police presence to protect all of us outsiders.
February 24, 2009,
Program by Robert Zimmerman
The Story of the Hubble Space Telescope
Zimmerman’s new book, The Universe in a Mirror: The Saga of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Visionaries Who Built It, tells a story of many near deaths and amazing saves as the compelling force of the unknown triumphed over every form of opposition or skepticism and drove the Hubble’s supporters to make sacrifices surprising even to themselves.