Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2007

The Washington Group, www.explorersclubdc.org welcomes our new members: Mary Catherine Aime, Gordon Bare, Mary Louise Cleave, Leslie Cockburn, Kathie Olsen, Christine Drake, Ronald Ritter and Karen Tupek.

Chapter events

  • Our January dinner meeting featured Phillip Lawyer Ph.D. who is an expert on infectious diseases. He discussed practical prevention and control that explorers can practice while working in the field.
  • February’s speaker was Michael Mueller who explained the connection between King Kong and The Explorers Club. This story was featured in the winter 2005 Explorers Journal.
  • The March luncheon presentation was given by Frank Power and entitled “Exploring the French & Indian War”. Over 30 members of our chapter were undeterred by the snow storm that complicated travel plans for many and used all their travel skills to attend this years ECAD in New York.

Members in the news included

  • J. Craig Venter‘s work studying the microbial life of the worlds oceans and DNA collected from their cells. Caroline Baker who while caving with friends discovered an almost complete skull and associated parts of a Pleistocene Tapir.
  • Robert Hyman recently coordinated the survey to formally identify and mark the highest naturally occurring elevation in Washington, D.C. This relative point survey used GPS technology to triangulate the highpoint located in Fort Reno Park for the first time.
  • Bob Atwater and Robert Hyman represented The Explorers Club at the Boy Scouts, Order of The Arrow annual banquet. Robert was the featured speaker to 450 scouts on how they are the explorers of the future. Student member and Eagle Boy Scout James Calderwood Jr. was featured in The Washington Times and Washington Post newspapers for his accomplishment of earning all 122 merit badges available in scouting!

Flag expeditions

  • ECWG Chairman Dr. Lee Talbot and his wife Marty Talbot carried flag # 109 on their successful Laotian 2007 Nam On-Annamite Expedition. They surveyed a previously unexplored mountainous region and documented 12 rare and endangered mammal species, a forest type new to Laos with 11 mostly new species of conifer trees and were responsible for the capture of four groups of illegal poachers!
  • Robert E. Hyman and his wife Deborah Atwood led the Honduran Emerald Conservation Expedition (HECE) with flag # 51. The Honduran Emerald hummingbird is the most critically endangered bird species in Central America. Their expedition used small aircraft to quickly indentify and collect GPS coordinates of the bird’s unique dry, thorn – forest habitat so that they could return in 4×4 vehicles and on foot to determine if the habitat could sustain this rapidly disappearing bird. The expedition was the first to conduct such reconnaissance flights in two valleys documenting previously unrecorded locations of habitat and finding the hummingbird in areas where it was previously unknown to exist. The team’s habitat data will be included in a Honduran ecosystem mapping project currently being conducted. Several species of plants new to Honduras were documented and one rare orchid was found by expedition botanist, Dr. Paul House.
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