Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2008

The Explorers Club Washington group welcomes student member Rachel V. Jernigan, SM ‘08. On April 22nd Chris Kerzich MN ‘06 and Robert Atwater LF ‘05 attended the “Steve Fossett Memorial Event” at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

The Explorers Club Washington group welcomes student member Rachel V. Jernigan, SM ‘08. On April 22nd Chris Kerzich MN ‘06 and Robert Atwater LF ‘05 attended the “Steve Fossett Memorial Event” at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

Gordon Bare, MN ‘07, kayaked what may be the last descent of the Great Bend of the Yangtze with a Chinese-American group sponsored by the China Rivers Project, an affiliate of the Earth Island Institute. The trip, which included a China Travel TV crew, China National Geography Magazine and one of the Chinese who took part in the river’s first descent in 1986, was intended to promote awareness of China’s river resources which are quickly being lost to dam construction. Putting in just below Tiger Leaping Gorge, the group descended some 120 miles of river with Grand Canyon-sized rapids and marble walls several thousand feet high. The group passed through two dam construction sites which will preclude future trips and conducted field geology at locations which will soon be underwater.

Robert Hyman LF ’93 and his wife Deb Atwood traveled with a non profit board of directors delegation to Bogota Colombia to inspect, advise and gain familiarity with a new USAID-funded project, the Coffee Alliance for the Expansion of Specialty Coffees (CAFES). They met with USAID Mission Director and visited federal and local government officials, cooperative staff, other partners and growers. They participated in the signing of a new agreement with SENA, a Colombian government organization that trains 5 million Colombians per year in specialty and organic coffee cultivation. The group also traveled to the coffee growing department of Cauca, where coffee was first planted in 1537, to learn how the project works from the ground up and why it matters. Over 3 million Colombians depend on coffee production for a living, after recent gains in stability and economic growth the country is in position to capitalize on improved coffee quality. They participated in a “cupping,” a rigorous lab-based tasting process designed to evaluate and compare various coffees. Besides providing direct economic benefit, the project builds social capital by promoting women’s equity, childhood education and family health. One co-op has a mobile low-cost dental clinic that is towed by the fertilizer delivery truck.

Capt. George W. Martin USNR (Ret) FN’97 celebrated his 75th birthday at the US Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard by showing family and friends the highlight of the Undersea Exploration exhibit, the deep submergence bathyscaphe Trieste that he piloted in 1963 in a search for the wreckage of the submarine USS THRESHER which had sunk in the Atlantic Ocean with all hands. George was also in U.S. Navy Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin during its 1966 search for a lost hydrogen bomb off the coast of Spain.

ECWG chapter events this quarter included a presentation by Lincoln Brower on the annual round trip migration of the monarch butterfly in North America and photographer Justin Guariglia who earned the full trust and collaboration of the legendary warrior monks of the Shaolin Temple – the official birthplace of Zen Buddhism and kung fu.

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