Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2006

What’s New

ECWG members in the news

  • Ramon E. Gonzalez MN 93, has been exploring Ethiopia and Turkey for years but most recently spent three weeks in “the wilds” of Ethiopia studying the Mountain Nyla, Tragelaphus Bustoni, an animal that few scientists have ever seen let alone get close to in the wild. Ramon was able to do both with his expert guides in the often fog covered, high mountainous region. Ramon also observed the most beautiful Bushbuck in Africa, the Melenik or Tragelaphus scriptus Meleniki. This completes his 20 year effort to study the complete African Tragelaphus family of seven species to include four different species of the African bushbuck group! Ramon was also able to get close to several Persian Ibex in Turkey including one very large ram.
  • Michael Barrett MN 06, reported that he spent seven months in the South Pacific mapping locations of WWII era shipwrecks. Mike is investigating the impact that fuel spills and unstable munitions will have on the coral reefs and population of the Pacific Islands. Nearly 4,000 shipwrecks are spread across the Pacific floor and a number of them are already leaking fuel. His project was funded by the National Geographic Society’s Conservation Trust.
  • J. Craig Venter MN 94, was featured in The Wall Street Journal on October 18th, 2006 for his research to decipher his own “genetic code”. Dr. Venter is a biologist who is well known for his work to decipher the full sequence of the human genome. He hopes to be the first person to completely map an individuals “personal genome” using himself as the test subject.
  • Spencer Wells FN 05, who is also working in DNA mapping was mentioned in the December 10th Sunday New York Times. Dr. Wells is a population geneticist who directs the National Geographic Society’s research project known as the “Genographic Project”. The focus is to collect DNA samples from indigenous groups around the world, in the hopes of reconstructing humanity’s ancient migration which is also referred to as “tracing human history with genetics”.
  • Adam DuBrowa MN 03, reports that his aerial cinematography was featured in National Geographic TV “Explorer Presents Super Carriers” on December 13th.
  • Dr. Gregory Bledsoe MN 05, will be working in an emergency department in Doha, Qatar until October 2007, we wish him good luck!

ECWG Dinner Lectures this quarter included

  • Gordon Birkhimer FN 06, in October at The Army & Navy Club. Gordon who is VP of the National Speleological Society, spoke on rappelling techniques he has developed to improve caving safety. He also showed his documentary movie, “To the Edge”.
  • Ralph Naranjo FN 91, gave a wonderful presentation entitled “Across Three Oceans” in November. Ralph’s five year west-about voyage through trade wind latitudes with stops at locations off the beaten path with his family was remarkable.
  • In December for our black tie event we welcomed Dr. Martin Nweeia FN 99, his talk was entitled “The Ice Whale: Discoveries and Tales”. Dr. Nweeia who has carried The Explorers Club flag on four expeditions spoke about the elusive Narwhal Tusk Whale that has a legendary spiraled tusk or tooth.

The ECWG Joint Annual Holiday Party

The ECWG joint annual holiday party with The Society of Woman Geographers (SWG), was held on December 9th at the home of Robert E. Hyman FN 93 and his SWG wife Deborah Atwood. Over 100 attendees, including Wade Davis HON 87 and Jack Reilly LF 81, enjoyed food and beverages with friends and colleagues.

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