Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2009

Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2009

Welcome to our new members, Basha O’Reilly FN’09, CuChullaine O’Reilly FN’09, Curt J. Westergard MN’09 and Jonah N. Choiniere SM’09.

Our April presentation was by Robert Hyman LF’93 and Lew Toulmin MN’04 on “The Search for Steve Fossett.” They revealed details never made public before, including their team’s contribution to closing the case. A member of their expedition team, alerted to the fact that the Fossett plane fuselage had been found on a mountainside by a hiker, went up to the area and a half mile from the fuselage found a tennis shoe and animal den. He relayed this information and GPS coordinates to authorities which searched that area and found the bones that were proven by DNA testing to be Fossett’s. Toulmin and Hyman also noted that members of the Fossett Expedition later founded a private voluntary group called the Missing Aircraft Search Team (MAST), which recently achieved its first organizational success by finding a Cessna which went missing near Sedona, Arizona in 2006, see

In May we welcomed Spenser Wells Ph.D. FN’05 director of The Genographic Project, which is a global effort to further our understanding of the migratory history of our species. In partnership with National Geographic and IBM, the project uses genetic and computational cutting-edge technology to discern historical patterns in the DNA of people from around the world. During June we visited the nation’s only wildlife refuge created to support wildlife research. The Patuxent Research Refuge was established in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The National Wildlife Visitor Center is the largest science and environmental education center in the Department of the Interior. This unique U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facility within the Patuxent Refuge is designed to provide visitors with knowledge and appreciation of the role of wildlife research in preserving the earth’s vital resources.

ECWG members in the news include Keith Cowing FN’07 who was a member of the successful Everest team along with astronaut Dr. Scott E. Parazynski. Jim Corry FN’92 and Dave McGee MN’99 who participated in the International Submarine Races held at The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, David Taylor Model Basin. Each team must develop a one or two-person “Wet” submarine. Two-person subs must have one person providing the propulsion and the other navigating and steering. Both crew members breathe SCUBA from the air supply carried aboard.

Dr. Craig Cook MN’01 was recently involved with NOAA as the diving medical officer in a multi-group effort to research and document German U-boats that were lost during the WWII Battle of the Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina.

Dr. Joyce Johnson FN’03 just returned from a Flag Expedition in Secondi-Takoradi, Ghana. Her research revolves around how to plan short-term volunteer medical missions in developing countries.

The recent publication of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine by ECWG authors Kristin Larson FN’02, Dr. Craig Cook MN’01, Dr. Joyce Johnson FN’03, Christian Macedonia FN’98, Dr. Michael Manyak MED’92 and Richard Williams FN’03 was favorably reviewed by the New England Journal of Medicine.

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