Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2008

The Explorers Club Washington DC Group is pleased to welcome several new members. Matthew Kline SM’08, Gregory Kovacs FN’01, Michael Levin MR’97, Kim Levine AN’08, William Readdy FN’97, Margaret Walsh FN’08, Bart Walter FN’08 and Sharon Wyrick AN’08.

Our chapter’s fall programs included a presentation by Robert E. Hyman LF’93 on his 2005 flag expedition to document ancient petroglyphs in the Darien Jungle of Panama and a presentation by William Sladen MED‘78 introducing a new TV film, Return to Penguin City, produced and directed by Lloyd Fales FR‘04, that was judged Best Science Exploration Film at The Sixth Annual Explorers Club Film Festival. Both events had 100 people attend!

Our chapter elected new members to its board of directors, class of 2011, they are; Robert Craig Cook MN’01, Nancy Maynard FN’99, Ralph Naranjo FN’91, Betsy Stewart MN’05 and Lew Toulmin MN’04.

Tony K. Meunier FN’84, former President of the Antarctican Society, was awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Award of the Department of Interior for exceptional achievement over 40 years of service. Of particular note is Tony’s contribution to scientific research and mapping of Antarctica. Among his honors are the Congressional Antarctic Service Medal of the United States; U.S. Air Force Good Conduct Medal (1963-1967); Elected Fellow of the Explorers Club; and the naming of a feature for him, Mount Meunier, Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica in recognition of his contributions to Antarctic Science.

Last month a team of American and Honduran researchers and conservationists, led by Robert E. Hyman LF’93, re-discovered a hummingbird long thought to be extinct in six sites in western Honduras. The Honduran Emerald Hummingbird (Amazilia luciae), is listed as critically endangered and “Red Listed” by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The principal cause of its decline is habitat destruction, with approximately 90% of its original habitat lost, and the remaining habitat occurring in isolated patches of arid thorn-forest and scrub. Despite previous efforts to find the species in western Honduras, it has not been detected there since 1935 (Underwood). The expedition team conducted searches in Santa Barbara and Cortés and found the Emerald in patches of forest measuring 5 to 60 hectares along a 33-km long transect. Rediscovering the species in western Honduras gives hope for the conservation of the species, because the discovery increases both the known distributional range and population size of the species. Because of its status as critically endangered and the fragmented nature of its habitat, finding any additional populations is of major conservation importance.

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine edited by Drs. Gregory Bledsoe MN 05, Michael Manyak MED 92, and David Townes. Published by Cambridge Press, it is designed for remote medical practitioners and written by extreme medicine experts. Its unique range covers topics from aerospace medicine to the deep ocean, traversing mountain, desert, jungle, and polar regions. Other contributing authors from The Explorers Club include Jim Fowler MED 66 and Drs. Craig Cook MN 01, Blair Erb FN 03, Tim Erickson FN 03, William Forgey FN 75, Bill Hamilton FR 94, Randy Hyer FN 98, Joyce Johnson FN 03, Ken Kamler FR 84, Kristin Larson FN 02, Desmond Lugg FE 80, Christian Macedonia FN 98, Martin Nweeia FN 99, Stan Spielman FN 96, Mike VanRooyen FN 01, Richard Williams FN 03.

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