Month: September 2014

Photographer’s ECWG dinner talk was on encounters with sharks

Photographer’s ECWG dinner talk was on encounters with sharks

Noted underwater photographer Nick Caloyianis talked about, “Close Encounters with the Supersharks: Great Whites, Basking Sharks and the Greenland Shark” at the Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 ECWG dinner at the Cosmos Club.

Nick Caloyianis

Over a span of 30 years, Caloyianis’ artistry has been honored with numerous awards, including an Oscar, Primetime Emmys and a NOGI in the Arts.

He has directed and produced films for National Geographic and Discovery Channels and has filmed for IMAX and Hollywood screens. He continues to collaborate with marine scientists, not only to record their work, but to help them make their groundbreaking discoveries.

He was the first to film the bizarre Greenland shark in Arctic waters. At the time (1995), not much was known about this polar creature.

Caloyianis is also an accomplished underwater photographer with his still pictures appearing in hundreds of national and international publications. He is photographer for the highly popular summer read, “The Shark Handbook”, by Greg Skomal.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland in 1973, and thereafter began his Post-graduate work with Eugenie Clark, the legendry ichthyologist who was a pioneer in scuba diving for research. She is often referred to as “The Shark Lady.”

In 1974 Caloyianis was awarded his first grant to study and film “sleeping” shark behavior with Clark off Isla Mujeres, Mexico. During his research there, he befriended a renowned filmmaker, Ramon Bravo, who taught him the finer aspects of filming marine life and wild pelagic sharks for documentaries and Hollywood.

These initial experiences would later inspire Caloyianis in his career as an extraordinary underwater filmmaker.

An avid conservationist, Caloyianis has used his visuals to help in lobbying for the protection of sharks, the creation of undersea parks (e.g. Ras Mohammed Park in the Red Sea), as well as sanctuaries (for nurse shark mating areas in the Dry Tortugas).

Additionally, his company has been instrumental in raising awareness and much needed funding for the highly successful Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative to help restore marine habitats  in denuded areas through placement of low-lying cleaned structures in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean waters.

More recently, his visuals have helped raise awareness for much needed Federal protection of vital natural reefs, located in our mid-Atlantic waters offshore.

News briefs, 3rd Quarter 2014

News briefs, 3rd Quarter 2014

This page includes brief looks at activities of Explorers Club Washington Group members during the third quarter of 2014  or reported during this quarter. ECWG members want to know what you’re up to, including awards, honors, or news stories. Click here to send in your news.

Explorers Club headquarters notified the ECWG on Sept. 2 that the Club’s Board of Directors approved two new members in the Washington Group’s geographic at its July 31 meeting. They are: Barbara L. Schoeberl, FN 14 and Huan Cui, TM 14.

Full story

Sarah Yeomans,  FN 07 will give a talk on “Doctors, Diseases and Deities: Epidemic Crises and Medicine in Ancient Rome” on Monday, Oct. 27 at The Explorers Club headquarters, at 46 E 70th Street, New York, N.Y., 10021. A reception begins at 6 p.m. and her lecture at 7 p.m.  More information.

Betsy Stewart with her painting at the Odgen Museum

The Odgen Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans has acquired “Bioverse  No 3” by Betsy Stewart, MN 05 for its permanent collection.

Kathleen C. Benison, FN’10, published a paper in the international journal Geologyentitled “Could microorganisms be preserved in Mars gypsum? Insights from terrestrial examples” based on field work at Mars-analog acid salars in the high Andes of northern Chile.

The National Geographic published a Web story by John N. Maclean FN 02 about the twin anniversaries in June 2014 of two fatal western wildfires, and how the lessons of the older fire failed to prevent a similar tragic outcome two decades later. Full story.

Sarah Yeomans,  FN 07, spent the summer of 2014 doing archeological research in Turkey and Italy. In July she and a group of friends chartered a small ship to identify and survey previously undocumented Greek and Roman sites that can be accessed only by sea. In Rome she spent a month in Rome, researching ancient Roman medicine for her dissertation prospectus research on the Antonine Plague in the 2nd century. Full story.

Arnella Trent, MN 01, spent much of May 2014 helping the State of

A red knot. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service photo

Delaware and the British Trust for Ornithology with banding and monitoring red knots on the Delaware Bay. The data collected will be used for shorebird monitoring and conservation on the bay. Red Knots feed along the shores of Delaware Bay during their migrations between the tip of South America and their Arctic nesting grounds.

Joyce Johnson FN 03 and James Calderwood, Jr FN 04 led an expedition with EC Flag 112 to Tacloban, The Philippines, from July 3-20, 2014.  

The purpose of the expedition was to assess changes in the eight months since Typhoon Haiyan, one of the world’s strongest typhoons that ravaged the area on November 8, 2013.

They found much of the storm’s destruction remains, but extraordinary resilience continues among the people. Coincidentally, during the expedition, they also experienced the winds and rain of the first typhoon of the 2014 season,  Typhoon Rammasun.

At a ceremony at Clemson University on October 7, 2013, Dr. Lee Talbot, MED 57, received the 2013 Benton H. Box Award for recognition as a teacher “who by precept and example inspires in students the quest for knowledge and encourages curriculum innovation to inculcate an environmental ethic as the rule of conduct.”

On Oct. 26, 2013 The Explorers Club honored Lee’s wife, Marty Talbot  FN 04, with a Lowell Thomas Award.

Ralph Davidson MED 72, died on August 1, 2014. In addition to being the Chairman of TIME and the Kennedy Center, “he was a loyal member of TEC and ECWG,” says Bruce Blanchard, MN 78. “Unfortunately, he has been confined to home for at least the past 7 or 8 years. He and his wife Lou have been strong supporters of Washington theater for many years.” His obituary ran in the Aug. 3 Washington Post.

Frederick, “Fred,” Ordway, FE ’79, a NASA scientist who was a technical advisor  to the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” died on July 1, 2014, at his home in Huntsville, Ala., the New York Times reported on July 14. Mr. Ordway described his role in ensuring  the scientific accuracy of “2001: A Space Odyssey” at the ECWG’s Sept. 21, 2013 Cosmos Club dinner.

Norman Cherkis, FN ’91 attended a conference of the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO)-Subcommittee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) in Monaco June 16-20, 2014. The organization is under UNESCO auspices, and has a direct connection to the International Hydrographic Bureau (IHB). Cherkis has been a member of the GEBCO organization since 1984.

From left: Norman Cherkis, Capt. Robert Ward, Royal Australian Navy (retired) and President of the IHB, and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

In concert with International Hydrography Day, the IHB held a reception attended by His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco. During the meeting, Cherkis explained the role of GEBCO’s present programs in modern mapping of the seafloor. Prince Albert II’s great grandfather and namesake, HSH Prince Albert I, was instrumental in establishing the first GEBCO in 1903.

EC Board approves 2 new ECWG members

EC Board approves 2 new ECWG members

Explorers Club headquarters notified the ECWG in early September that the EC Board of Directors had approved the membership applications of Barbara Schoeberl, FN 10, and Huan Cui, FT 10, both of whom live in the ECWG’s geographic area, which makes them ECWG members.

Barbara Schoeberl

Several ECWG members met Schoeberl at the Feb. 8, 2014 ECWG Cosmos Club luncheon honoring the life and work of Bob Simpson, FE ’79. She set up photo displays on various aspects of Dr. Simpson’s career and talked about working with him and his late wife, Joanne Simpson, who was also a notable atmospheric scientist.

Her career has focused on producing scientific illustration, movies, and posters. This work includes the Earth Today exhibit, which is an affordable and flexible museum display system. She has produced movies and associated movie elements including a nine-minute High Definition movie “Earth Science Vision 2030” and Earth Observation 2030. She also produced several movies in support of the joint Japan-U.S. Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission satellite explaining rainfall, the water-energy cycle, hurricanes, and El Niño. Her other activities include SCUBA diving, and extensive travel with a focus on the environment.

Huan Cui, who was born in China, is a graduate student in the Department of Geology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is a Ph.D. Candidate in  Paleobiogeochemistry. His personal Web page has a unique biography that that uses maps of China and Maryland.

He was one of five awardees of 2014 ECWG Exploration Grants. His research is “Searching for Early Animal Skeletons and Reconstructing the Biogeochemical Fuse to the Cambrian Explosion from the Ediacaran Dengying Formation, South China.”

Huan Cui in Tawney’s Cave in Giles County, Va, during a University of Maryland Geology Department field trip.

In his application Cui said: “The sudden diversification of animal life in the Cambrian Explosion around 530 million years ago is arguably one of the most important biological watersheds in Earth’s long history. The driving mechanisms that lead to the evolutionary big bang, however, are still incompletely understood. One thrust of my research in geobiology is in understanding the fossil record and possible environmental drivers for this biological revolution.

“The field site I want to investigate is a rock unit called Dengying Formation in Three Gorges Area of South China. Previous study reveals that this rock unit was deposited between 551 and 541 million years ago, in the dawn of the animal life Cambrian Explosion. Numerous fossils have been discovered in this rock unit, representing the earliest group of animals with skeletons evolved in Earth history.

EC Term Membership is open to full-time graduate students and teaching instructors that meet the same standards/qualifications that exist for regular Members. Details on the EC Headquarters Web site.