Category: In Memoriam

Michael D. Max, FN05

Michael D. Max, FN05

It is with deep sorrow and regret that I convey the news of the passing of Michael D. Max, FN05, ECWG’s Program Director for the past six years. He died of cancer on Sunday, May 31, 2020, days after celebrating his 78th birthday. Michael had a broad background including geology, geophysics, chemistry, acoustics, and information technology. He had received a B.Sc . (History, Geology) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an M.Sc. (Petroleum & Economic Geology) from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. (Geology) from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Michael worked as a geologist/geophysicist for the Geological Survey of Ireland, for which he carried out detailed scientific mapping and established a nearshore exploratory unit involving scientific diving. Then he was at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, working on shallow water acoustic propagation prediction. This is where I first met him. He also worked at the NATO’s Undersea Research Center in La Spezia, Italy where he conducted at-sea experiments and designed and carried out operational technology applications involving major research vessels.

Last year he regaled our Chapter with a presentation describing aeromagnetic surveys he conducted around Antarctica. From 1999 to 2011 he was CEO and Head of Research for Marine Desalination Systems LLC, a small innovative R&D company which established a hydrate research laboratory and explored industrial applications of hydrate chemistry as a government contractor under DARPA and ONR. At the time of his death, he was a principle and an active member of Hydrate Energy International, which is a consulting company specializing in unconventional natural gas, particularly natural gas hydrate (www.hydrate-energy.com).

Michael authored many scientific publications and three textbooks, a number of map sheets, and several GIS/relational database operational geographic digital maps. He assisted in the writing of the U.S. Gas Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000. Michael was appointed by the Secretary of Energy to the Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy for 2014–2018, and was Co-Chair, Diving Committee of the Marine Technology Society. He was an Adjunct Professor in the School of Geological Sciences of University College, Dublin, Ireland, at which he was currently supervising a Post-Doctoral research student. Michael was involved with over 40 patents and patent applications.

Michael’s membership’s included the: Geological Society of America, Geological Society of London, American Geophysical Union, American Chemical Society, Explorers Club (Program Director, ECWG), Marine Technology Society (Vice-Chair and Co-Chair Diving Committee), Coast Guard Auxiliary (Vessel Inspector), Acoustical Society of America, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, amongst others. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor, and daughter, Rachel, a graduate student in Hamburg, Germany. Services will be private.

Bruce F. Molnia, Ph.D.

Ambassador Alan Wood Lukens ME’78

Ambassador Alan Wood Lukens ME’78

Obituary published in The Washington Post from Jan. 8 to Jan. 9, 2019 and courtesy of RAPP Funeral and Cremation Services:

Alan W. Lukens, a former diplomat and active member of the DC community for 68 years, died January 5, at his home in Chevy Chase, MD. Cause of death was congestive heart failure.

Ambassador Lukens’ public service spanned four decades. He was born in Philadelphia and attended Episcopal Academy. He interrupted his university studies at Princeton and served with the 10th Mountain Division and the 20th Armored Division in Europe, where his unit liberated the concentration camp at Dachau. In 2015 the German Government invited Amb. Lukens to return for the 70th anniversary of the liberation and he joined Chancellor Merkel at the podium, representing US troops. Mr. Lukens graduated from Princeton University with honors as part of the class of 1946, finishing in 1948, and he remained active in Princeton alumni affairs his entire life, including serving as class Secretary and President.

Mr. Lukens joined the Foreign Service in 1951 and served for 36 years. He served in Istanbul, Ankara, Martinique, and Paris, then in 1960 he represented the US at independence ceremonies for Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Congo and opened the US Embassy in Brazzaville. He returned to Brazzaville as US Ambassador from 1984-1987. In the intervening years he served in Bangui, Paris, Rabat, as Deputy Chief of Mission in Dakar, Nairobi, and Copenhagen, and Consul General Cape Town.

In Washington he ran the Junior Officer Division in the Bureau of Personnel and worked on Western European Affairs. Amb. Lukens was co-chairman of the Peace Commission of the National Cathedral from 1997-2002. He served as President of DACOR, the retired diplomats foundation and club. He belonged to the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, the American Foreign Service Association, the Explorers Club, and the Woodrow Wilson House Council. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Chevy Chase Club and President of the American Friends of Turkey.

Amb. Lukens is survived by his wife of 56 years, Susan Atkinson Lukens, and by his four children, Lewis (and Andrea) Lukens, Francie (and Jeff) Bennett, Susie Lukens, and Timothy (and Jenny) Lukens, and ten grandchildren.

Ambassador Alan Wood Lukens Wikipedia Page

Michelle Ridgway: 1963-2018

Michelle Ridgway: 1963-2018

Michelle Ridgway

Dear Friends of Michelle, if you haven’t heard, Michelle passed on in the early hours of yesterday morning (01-03-2018).

She was the sole occupant of a single car accident Friday afternoon. The accident took place at 22 Mile Glacier Highway, north of Auke Bay, in Juneau. She was flown to Seattle for critical care treatment that evening, but died about 24 hours later.

For those who didn’t know her well (hard to imagine), she was an amazing marine biologist, contributing greatly to the body of knowledge about the Bering Sea. She was also a deep sea sub driver who discovered new marine species as well as a new, isolated canyon, with its own ecosystem, just off the Pribilof Canyon in the central Bering Sea.

Her favorite activities, other than exploring the world’s oceans and discovering their secrets, were sailing those oceans and teaching coastal children how to discover those secrets too. She was a fierce advocate for the marine life and peoples of the Bering Sea and North Pacific.
She was a founding member of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, where she served for her entire three terms and she was the environmental representative to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council’s Advisory Panel for (I think) seven years.

… and needless to say, she was and awesome and true friend. She gave generously and selflessly of her time and resources to each person she met, to make their world a better place to live in, so they could do the same for others. She was an inspiration.

She had done so much and survived so much, that I always thought I would see her again. Whenever we would depart each other’s company, for our “normal lives,” I would have this fleeting vision of us in our 70’s and 80’s laughing and looking back on all that we had done, filling in the details of adventures … no embellishments required.

You will be missed my dear friend … by me, your friends, your family and the world.
Love, thoughts and prayers … always.

With best wishes,
Mead Treadwell, North Pacific Alaska Chair

For more information see:

John Glenn Tribute

John Glenn Tribute

Honoring Our Fallen

On April 6, 2017 at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), a grateful nation laid to rest one of our most profound heroes, Senator John Herschel Glenn, Jr. HON’62.  As the skies wept and solemn rains fell, The Explorers Club Washington Group (ECWG) represented The Club in honoring this great hero and other legendary explorers interred in our nation’s most hallowed ground.  In attendance were President Ted Janulis MR’95 and Barbara

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John Lentz, FE63: 1936-2015

John Lentz, FE63: 1936-2015

A celebration of the life of John W. Lentz  FE63 (May 24,1936 – January 16, 2015) was held on Sycamore Island on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 4pm.

Lentz, JohnJohn was a member of the Washington Group of The Explorers Club for over 50 years and carried the Club’s flag on eleven expeditions.

John Lentz was one of the great figures of northern wilderness canoeing.

 

 

 
Lentz, John; canoeIn 1962 his party made the first modern descent of the Back River and he continued to paddle Canada’s north five decades later. John  logged twenty-one major Canadian paddling expeditions, plus two in Siberia where canoes and catamarans were employed. His river trip articles have been published in a variety of magazines, including National Geographic and The Beaver. John was a prominent participant in Washington, D.C area canoeing activities for many years, and is also a long-time member of the Sycamore Island Club. He and his wife Judy live up the hill from the Island.

John retired from U.S. Government service in 1999 to join a private financial consulting firm in the Washington, D.C., area. In October 2013, he was invited to deliver the Inaugural George Luste Lecture at The Canadian Canoe Museum. John told his wilderness paddling stories in a presentation entitled “Five Decades of Wilderness Paddling: People and Places”. This new lecture series George Luste who in 1986 inaugurated the annual Wilderness and Canoeing Symposium in Toronto, attracting upwards of 800 paddlers from all over North America. . John was born in Toronto and attended Upper Canada College.

Lentz, John; BookJohn’s book Tales from the Paddle: A Canoeist’s Memoirs of Wilderness Trips in Canada and Russia was published in 2013. John was elected a Fellow of The Explorers Club in 1963.