THE EXPLORERS CLUB AND DISCOVERY CELEBRATE THEIR FIRST YEAR OF PARTNERSHIP BY ANNOUNCING NEW GRANTS, DIVERSITY INITIATIVES, AND A BRAND-NEW SERIES TO HONOR EXPLORATION AND FIELD SCIENCES
Plans for 2022 include a new round of Expedition Grants, as well as the Greenlight of a new series, TALES FROM THE EXPLORERS CLUB, hosted by club member Josh Gates.
(New York, NY) – April 21, 2022 – On the eve of the return of the historic Explorers Club Annual Dinner on April 23 in New York City, The Explorers Club and Discovery are pleased to announce an expanded partnership with the new series TALES FROM THE EXPLORERS CLUB and a commitment to diversity with The Explorers Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World that the World Needs to Know About. This comes as The Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grants enters its second year with its commitment to advance and showcase new expeditions, cutting-edge research, and scientific achievements to audiences worldwide.
“Our fearless adventurer Josh Gates is the perfect explorer to highlight the amazing work of the club members who have pushed boundaries in science and exploration. With TALES FROM THE EXPLORERS CLUB, we have an opportunity to introduce people to the journeys of the men and women who paved the way for scientific discovery. As we continue to support the work of explorers through the grant program, we are proud to have the opportunity to highlight their ground-breaking work through all of Discovery’s platforms,” says Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery and Factual.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be working with Discovery, as we grow our Membership, challenge the way we have traditionally thought about exploration, and expand our mission – to explore by all means possible,” said Richard Garriott, President of The Explorers Club. “A founding tenet of the Club is to communicate scientific discovery to the public, and we couldn’t have a better partner to bring that ideal into the future than Discovery.”
With Expedition Unknown’s Josh Gates as guide, TALES FROM THE EXPLORERS CLUB will take viewers inside the headquarters of the legendary Explorers Club to relive the epic adventures of members who have pushed the bounds of human possibility venturing to Earth’s highest peaks, deepest ocean trenches, the North and South poles, and even into outer space. With exclusive access to the Club’s storied archives, the series will profile the accomplishments of real-life action heroes including Ernest Shackleton, Gertrude Bell, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jim Lovell, and Jeff Bezos among others.
“To me, The Explorers Club is a temple. I’ve often wandered through its history-filled rooms and thought, ‘if these walls could talk.’ In TALES FROM THE EXPLORERS CLUB, I’m thrilled to peel back the past and highlight the true adventure and inspirational accomplishments of our daring members,” says Josh Gates, series host and executive producer.
TALES FROM THE EXPLORERS CLUB is produced by Ping Pong Productions for Discovery where Josh Gates, Brad Kuhlman and Casey Brumels are executive producers. John H. Kelleher and Lee Farber are co-executive producers for Ping Pong Productions. Michael Gara is executive producer and Emily Krakowski is coordinating producer for Discovery.
In 2021, The Explorers Club with support from Discovery, launched another important new program — The Explorers Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World that the World Needs to Know About. This program was established to reflect the great diversity of individuals on the cutting edge of exploration and to help amplify the voices of these trailblazers. Among the many fields covered in the EC50, the honorees have led groundbreaking conservation efforts in Iraq, promoted environmental stewardship to facilitate inter-tribal relations in Africa, produced leading research on orbital debris and space junk, decoded the secrets of Egyptian animal mummies, organized efforts to conserve large parts of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, and studied the pre-Hispanic Maya and contemporary perceptions of self-identity on Maya communities.
Launched in mid-2020, The Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grants (ECDEG) were created to support exceptional field-based exploration and science that has strong storytelling potential for The Explorers Club and Discovery’s many media platforms. In its first year, the program awarded 21 grants at nearly US $1 million to recipients from around the globe. Countries represented include: The United States, Indonesia, Madagascar, Ecuador, Italy, Bosnia, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania, and the projects combined include some 100 team members representing 17 additional nations.
The first class of grantees are undertaking a broad range of innovative projects:
Anggra Alfian is a young Indonesian biologist conducting a botanical survey around Mt. Latimojong, which is the highest mountain in Sulawesi.
Dr. Seheno Andriantsaralza is studying seed dispersal of the Baobab tree in Madagascar. The massive tree, whose trunk holds 1,200 gallons of water (its fruit is also a nutritious food source and is used as well for medicinal purposes), serves as a literal lifeline to the people of this island nation, currently undergoing its worst drought in 40 years.
Venezuelan herpetologist Alejandra Arteaga searched for the colorful Lost Harlequin Toads of Ecuador—a species thought to be extinct.
Dr. Roman Dial led a super hi-res survey—dubbed “pixel-walking”—in Alaska’s Brooks Range, to accurately assess how quickly the tree line is moving north to a zone where it hasn’t existed since the last Ice Age.
Marine biologist Dr. Francisco Ferretti and his team ventured out to locate and study great white sharks in the Mediterranean off the coast of southern Italy.
Bosnian marine biologist Andrej Gajic is studying the effects of marine-based microplastics on the health of sharks in the eastern Adriatic Sea off the coast of Bosnia.
Linguist Dr. David Harrison studies how the essential migration and lifeways of indigenous peoples are threatened by a warming climate.
Evan Kovacs led unprecedented interior studies of the HMHS Britannic, the larger sister ship to the Titanic, which sank off of Greece in the Aegean Sea in November 1916.
Max Lowe partnered with and filmed Dr. Denver Holt of the Owl Research Center in Bozeman, MT, as he returned for his 30th year to study the Arctic Snowy Owls in northern Alaska, documenting the hatching of their young.
Dr. Ed Lu, former NASA astronaut and physicist, and his B612 Foundation, are mapping our solar system for asteroids to help avoid potential impacts on Earth
Dr. Nina Lanza, who is developing a planetary mission concept, is leading an all-female team searching for the chemistry of life on Mars. Nina and her team will advance their autonomous planetary drone through testing in a Mars-like environment on Baffin Island in Canada.
Conservationist Dr. Laurie Marker is working with a team in Somaliland to track cheetahs, which are highly threatened in this region by poachers. Dr. Marker and her team aim to help in governmental planning to help protect the fastest big cat on the planet.
Dr. Edgard David Mason and his team are exploring and documenting the immense El Salitre bat cave in Morelos, Mexico to examine the social and ecological dynamics of various bats within this ecosystem. They aim to uncover the reasons behind the decrease in number of bat species.
Dr. Dara Orbach is a marine biologist who will research the energetics of free-swimming dusky dolphins near Kaikoura, New Zealand, in a first of its kind study conducted on dolphins in the wild.
Veteran shipwreck explorer John Stella partnered with a largely Greek team led by Dr. George Koutsouflakis, to document ancient wrecks off of Fournoi, Greece where they have identified 58 shipwrecks in recent years. Their latest wreck off of Fournoi Island dates to the 4th century CE and contains a unique cargo of amphorae that will shed new light on trade during the late Roman period.
Australian shark conservation advocate Madison Stewart, through her “Project Hiu”, is working with local fishing communities in Lombok, Indonesia to develop alternative incomes through tourism for shark fishermen, in an effort to save sharks and other marine life.
Asha Stuart is an anthropologist and filmmaker who documents cultures on the edge and marginalized peoples. For her project, she is looking at the influence of climate change on the migration of the Himba people of Namibia, particularly the women, from an agricultural life in the countryside, to an urban environment in stark contrast to their traditional lifestyle.
Guglethu Tarakini is studying and documenting native bees and foraging dynamics in Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe.
Tanzanian Deo Tarimo’s aims to study human-carnivore conflict in Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania, as he and his teamwork with local communities to develop effective and culturally appropriate interventions to facilitate peaceful coexistence between major predators, carnivores, and humans.
Shipwreck salvager Peter Tattersfield is partnering with Mexico’s Institute of Anthropology and History to locate and excavate the 19th century Steamship Independence, which sank off Baja California in 1853. The ship, which was San Francisco bound during the California Goldrush years, carried a passenger by the name of Tom Sawyer who rescued many people on that fateful night. Sawyer would later meet Mark Twain in San Francisco and inspire his classic American novel.
Dr. Davide Zori is returning to excavate the buried tombs and lost towns of Etruria in San Giuliano, Italy. Zori and his team have already excavated 450 looted Etruscan chamber tombs on this site, which was occupied by the Etruscans between 70 and 300 BCE.
The program is now into its second year and more exciting projects will be announced in the coming months.
To learn more about The Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grants and how to apply, please visit: www.explorers.org/grants. You can also visit Discovery’s website to view content regarding these explorers and their projects: Discovery.com/ExpeditionGrant.
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