Category: Events

ECWG Dec. 5th dinner speaker’s new book published.

ECWG Dec. 5th dinner speaker’s new book published.

This late note from our speaker for the Dec. 5,2015 dinner meeting, Chris Palmer:

“I’m excited to announce that my new book will be published this week by Rowman & Littlefield.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 9.08.27 AMIt’s called Now What, Grad? Your Path To Success After College, and it’s about what students (and the rest of us) need to do to thrive in the real world, including how to find a job, how to manage time effectively, how to network, and dozens of other life skills that are the keys to success and fulfillment both professionally and personally.
I warmly invite you to the book launch party on Tuesday, December 15 from 6:30 to 8 pm on the American University Main Campus, McKinley Building Media Innovation Laboratory, Room 100.  (Directions below)
If you can’t make it to the book launch on December 15, but are interested in the book either for yourself or as a gift for someone else, here is the link to the book on And here is the video book trailer.
Chris Palmer short clip

Chris Palmer, American University
Chris Palmer, American University
 All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to fund scholarships for AU students.
I hope to see you at the event on December 15, where you can enjoy wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres. I’ll happily sign books for anyone. To RSVP, please click on this link. Thanks.
For a preview of the book, please check out this 10-part companion video series:  
Best, Chris
Dec. 5 Annual black tie dinner with Chris Palmer: Confessions of a wildlife filmmaker.

Dec. 5 Annual black tie dinner with Chris Palmer: Confessions of a wildlife filmmaker.

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Washington Group

 ECWG members and guests enjoyed a lively presentation by Chris Palmer at the Annual Gala Black Tie Dinner Meeting on Dec. 5th at the Cosmos Club. 

Film producer Chris Palmer talked about stories from his  provocative and newly published memoir, Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings Are King, challenges broadcasters to raise their game.

Chris Palmer
Chris Palmer

Illustrating his remarks with compelling clips, Professor Palmer  provided a thought-provoking perspective on wildlife filmmaking. He took us behind the scenes of wildlife films, exposing an industry undermined by sensationalism, fabrication, and sometimes even animal abuse. He described how, over the course of producing many films, he became haunted by the measures sometimes taken by broadcasters and filmmakers to capture compelling images. Are filmmakers doing more harm than good by staging “money shots” to capture more dramatic footage and achieve higher ratings at the expense of the animals and truly natural behaviors? Chris Palmer’s new book is available on

During the social hour ECWG members elected the officers for 2016.


Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 9.10.27 AMChris Palmer Chris Palmer is a professor, speaker, author, and environmental/wildlife film producer who has swum with dolphins and whales, come face-to-face with sharks and Kodiak bears, camped with wolf packs, and waded hip deep through the Everglade swamps.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.31.32 AMOver the past thirty years, Chris has spearheaded the production of more than 300 hours of original programming for prime time television and the giant screen IMAX film industry. His films have been broadcast on numerous channels, including the Disney Channel, TBS, Animal Planet, and PBS. His IMAX films include Whales, Wolves, Dolphins, Bears, Coral Reef Adventure, and Grand Canyon Adventure. In the course of his career, he has worked with the likes of Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Jane Fonda, Ted Turner, and Ted Danson. Chris serves as president of One World One Ocean Foundation and the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, which produce and fund IMAX films on conservation issues. MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s largest and most successful producer of IMAX films.

ECWG Palmer Prof.Chris also serves on American University’s full time faculty as Distinguished Film Producer in Residence at the School of Communication. In 2004, he founded AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, which seeks to inspire a new generation of filmmakers and media experts to produce informative, ethically sound, and entertaining creative work that makes a difference.


His new 2015 memoir, Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings Are King (Bluefield Publishing) criticizes mainstream television networks for producing wildlife films which harass animals, deceive audiences, and harm conservation efforts. Jean-Michel Cousteau called Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker “fascinating reading,” and Ted Danson described it as a “must-read for all who care about the natural world.” In the Foreword, Jane Goodall describes the book as “courageous.” Chris and his colleagues have won numerous awards, including two Emmys and an Oscar nomination. Chris has also been honored with the Frank G. Wells Award from the Environmental Media Association, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Media at the 2009 International Wildlife Film Festival. In 2010, he was honored at the Green Globe Awards in Los Angeles with the award for Environmental Film Educator of the Decade. In 2011, he received the IWFF Wildlife Hero of the Year Award for his “determined campaign to reform the wildlife filmmaking industry,” and in 2012, he was named the recipient of the Ronald B. Tobias Award for Achievement in Science and Natural History Filmmaking Education. He received the 2014 University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching at AU, the 2015 University Film and Video Association Teaching Award, and the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Wildlife Film Festival. Chris holds a B.S. with First Class Honors in Mechanical Engineering from University College London, an M.S. in Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture also from University College London, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University where he was a Kennedy Scholar and received a Harkness Fellowship. Born in Hong Kong, Chris grew up in England and immigrated to the United States in 1972. He is married to Gail Shearer and is the father of three grown daughters: Kim, Christina, and Jenny. He is currently writing a book about how to be an effective father. He and Gail have endowed a scholarship for environmental film students at AU to honor Chris’s parents and to encourage the next generation of storytellers to save the planet.

ECWG Nov 21 meeting featured Dr. Bruce Molnia on Alaska’s melting glaciers.

ECWG Nov 21 meeting featured Dr. Bruce Molnia on Alaska’s melting glaciers.

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Washington Group

Dr. Bruce Molnia FN80 showed photographs of 100+ years of changes in glaciers in Alaska at the November ECWG dinner meeting on Saturday the 21st.

Dr. Bruce Molnia & Jack Williams
Dr. Bruce Molnia FN80 & ECWG Chairman Jack Williams FN03 Photo by Curt Westergaard, MN09

 A Melting Landscape:    Using Repeat Photography to Document Alaskan Glacier and Landscape Change

    The DC Chapter of the Circumnavigator’s Club joined ECWG members at the meeting.Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 8.52.21 PMThe presentation consisted of numerous decadal and longer time-lapse images of natural features of the landscape, glaciers, and habitats that have been affected by the warming climate. Bruce Molnia documented how he had to track down the locations from which the photos taken over a 100 years ago were taken by early tourists and scientists in the 19th century, often time bush-wacking hours through undergrowth and trees that have grown in areas that were barren 100+ years ago. It documents the changes that have been taking place that may be too slow for the significance of the changes to be immediately obvious over a short period of time.

Forthcoming 2015 ECWG Dinners at the Cosmos Club: December 5.  Professor Chris Palmer, “Confessions of a wildlife filmmaker.”

Dr. Bruce Molnia FN 80

Dr. Bruce F. Molnia is the U.S. Geological Service Senior Advisor form National Civil Applications and an award-winning research geologist. He conducts glacial, marine, and coastal research with a focus on innovative uses of remotely sensed data, and the response of glaciers in Alaska, Chile, and Afghanistan to changing climate. His object is to present understandable science to the public, policy makers, the news media, and his peers. He has been awarded: the USGS Lifetime Communications Achievement Award, the Geological Society of America’s Career Achievement and Public Service awards, the International DVD Association’s Government DVD of the Year Award, and three USGS Eugene Shoemaker External Communication Awards.

ECWG Molina 2

Dr. Molnia has been studying and photographing glaciers for 50 years. For the past two decades, his focus has been on repeat photography, a technique in which a historical photograph and a modern photograph, both having the same field of view, are compared and contrasted to quantitatively and qualitatively determine their similarities and differences. Molina is using ground-based repeat photography at a number of locations in Alaska, including Glacier Bay and Kenai Fjords National Parks, western Prince William Sound, and the Juneau area, to document and understand changes to glaciers and landscapes as a result of changing climate. Since the earliest known photographs of glacier-covered Alaskan landscapes date from the early 1880s, repeat photography is useful for documenting as much as a century and a quarter of Alaskan landscape change.

Dr. Molnia is also using airborne-platform-based repeat photography throughout glacier-covered Alaska to augment ground-based assessments and to monitor change at geographic scales ranging from individual glaciers, to entire mountain ranges. Since the earliest Alaskan aerial photographs date from the late 1920s, aerial repeat photography documents kilometers of rapid glacier change. Join Bruce Molnia to examine how the use of repeat photography is systematically documenting glacier and landscape change at more than 200 locations.


Speaker for Saturday December 5 Black-tie dinner, Professor Chris Palmer, “Confessions of a wildlife filmmaker”.

Reminder:   Please make checks payable to: “ECWG”

Send Payment to Arnella Trent at: 115 Willis Street, Cambridge MD 21613  Email:    Mobile Phone: 301-526-0822

ECWG website:

ECWG September 19, 2015 evening with Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, MED 81

ECWG September 19, 2015 evening with Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, MED 81

ECWG members and guests enjoyed an evening with Dr Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of NOAA, on Saturday the 19th (2015) at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC.

“Looking at Earth: From Astronaut Photos to Environmental Intelligence”

First American woman to walk in space.
First American woman to walk in space.

Distinguished scientist and renowned astronaut Dr. Kathryn Sullivan has made a living out of looking at Earth. As the current Under Secretary of Commerce for  Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Sullivan champions the study of our planet for the betterment of our nation and the global community. Dr. Sullivan will speak to her fascination with exploration, including the 1984 shuttle mission on which she became the first American woman to walk in space and her current work leading the nation’s premier environmental intelligence agency.

About Our Speaker:

From a Million Miles Away, a joint NASA, NOAA, & USAF project: Moon Crossing Face of Earth.
From a Million Miles Away, a joint NASA, NOAA, & USAF project: Moon Crossing Face of Earth.

Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, MED 81 oceanographer and former astronaut, is NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) first assistant secretary for environmental observation and predication (May 3, 2011). Dr. Sullivan oversees NOAA’s integrated earth observation and environmental modeling enterprise and the descriptive and predictive services that rely on this enterprise.



Dr. Sullivan previously served as NOAA’s chief scientist from 1993-1996, overseeing a wide variety of research programs. After leaving NOAA in 1996 she served as president and CEO of Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio, and promoted scientific education through the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy at the Ohio State University’s John Glenn Center for Public Affairs.

Astronaut Kathryn Sullivan during spacewalk, October, 1084.
Astronaut Kathryn Sullivan during spacewalk, October, 1084.

As an astronaut in the space shuttle program, Dr. Sullivan flew on three shuttle missions, including the mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope. Her NASA research focus was in remote sensing, and she was the co-investigator on several innovative earth observation experiments.In 1984 Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space.



Jason-2 satellite measures sea surface height for determining ocean circulation, sea level rise, and wave height.
Jason-2 satellite measures sea surface height for determining ocean circulation, sea level rise, and wave height.

Dr. Sullivan was appointed a member of the National Science Board in November 2004, and served on the Pew Oceans Commission, whose report, “America’s Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change” remains an important ocean policy reference. She remains active in professional organization in both the oceanographic and aerospace communities.


Dr. Sullivan earned her doctorate in geology from Dalhouise University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1978, and her bachelor of science degree in Earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1973. She has been honored with the National Science Board’s Public Service Award, and is a member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

When:     Saturday, September 19th, 2015
Time:      6:00 – 9:00 PM
Where:   Cosmos Club
2121 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Cost:       $55 per person for set meal
RSVP:     Bill Runyon
1812 19th St.NW, Washington, DC 20009 917 744-4210
RSVP no later than: Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Number of vegetarian meals (if any) desired _______________________________________
Organization Affiliation if other than ECWG

Number of dinners @ $55 each ______________
Enclosed is a check for $ _______ Make check payable to ECWG
No cancellations will be accepted after Tuesday evening, September 15, 2015
Forthcoming 2015 ECWG Dinners at the Cosmos Club: November 21, December 5.

Explorer Club Washington Group website:

Historic tribute Ceremony in honor of Jim Fowler: Oct. 1, NYC, blacktie+

Historic tribute Ceremony in honor of Jim Fowler: Oct. 1, NYC, blacktie+

As a historic organization, steeped in tradition, The Explorers Club honors Jim Fowler with our highest ceremonial event – The Tribute. In honor of this individual, who has given so much to our organization, we shall gather together at the Clubhouse in our finest regalia and offer tribute and honor to one of our own – an individual who has distinguished himself in the annals of Club history.

6:00 – 7:30 pm
All members and guests gather in the 2nd floor library for a Buffet, Dessert and Cocktails. Weather permitting, the terrace will be open.

7:30 pm
The Tributee party adjourns to the Members Lounge. Tributors remain in the 2nd floor library for a glass of brandy or port, and reading of the Rites of Passage.

7:45 – 10:00 pm
Members take their specified places along the grand stairway holding lit candles. The lights are dimmed, and the bell from the cutter Bear is rung in a slow and solemn manner. Tributors chant the name of the Tributee in unison with the bell. Jim Fowler proceeds up the stairway followed by members in order of seniority. All take seats in the Great Hall before a blazing Great Fire of Exploration. Members rise one by one, take a glass of port or brandy (or water if absolutely necessary), and give a spirited, stirring, humorous (and hopefully somewhat coherent) Tribute to one of our most beloved members.

10:00 – 10:15 pm
Tributee Fowler then rises and responds in a like fashion.

10:15 – 11:00 pm
Tributee Fowler then exits the Great Hall and leads the procession to the 2nd floor library for an adjourning beverage.

Date: October 1st, 2015

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $65

Reservation Notes:

This event requires White / Black Tie or Native Dress, with Medals & Decorations encouraged.

To clarify, this event is open to Members Only.  The event is expected to sell out, and as such, there are no invited guests. Should there be openings, spouses of members will be given priority.

To make a reservation please or call the Club at 212-628-8383 by Monday, September 28, 2015

Cancellation/”No Show” Policy:

* If a reservation is canceled after Monday, September 28th, there will be No Refund of the ticket price.
* There are no refunds for a “No Show” to a catered event.