The Explorers Club is an American-based international multidisciplinary professional society with the goal of promoting scientific exploration and field study. The club was founded in New York City in 1904 and has served as a meeting point for explorers and scientists worldwide.

The Explorers Club sign
Headquarters of The Explorers Club in New York City

The Explorers Club hosts an annual dinner to honor accomplishments in exploration, which is known for its adventurous, exotic cuisine.[1][2]

History edit

In 1904, a group of men active in exploration met at the request of noted journalist, historian and explorer Henry Collins Walsh to form an organization to unite explorers in the bonds of good fellowship and to promote the work of exploration by every means in its power.[3] Joining Walsh were Adolphus Greely, Donaldson Smith, Carl Lumholtz, Marshall Saville, Frederick Dellenbaugh, and David Brainard. After several further informal meetings, The Explorers Club was incorporated on October 25, 1905. Women were first admitted in 1981, with a class including Sylvia Earle and Kathryn Sullivan.[4] Famous honorary members have included Theodore Roosevelt, John Glenn, Jim Fowler, Walter Cronkite, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Edmund Hillary, Buzz Aldrin, and Albert I Prince of Monaco.[5]

The Explorers Club has 34 chapters in the United States and around the world,[6] which serve as local contact points for explorers, scientists and students. Many chapters hold monthly dinners, lectures and seminars, award field-research grants to students, publish newsletters and organize expeditions, field trips and educational events.[7]

Charter members edit

Fellows and members edit

The Explorers Club has approximately 3,500 members worldwide, with members from every continent and in more than 60 countries. The club differentiates exploration for field science from exploratory travel for tourism. Individuals eligible for membership are those who engage in or support field science expeditions aimed at exploring unfamiliar or poorly understood locations or phenomena, with the goal of acquiring knowledge for the benefit of humanity. The focus is on individuals who have gained practical experience by actively participating in fieldwork as participants in one or more documented scientific expeditions.[9] The club has made it a priority to expand its membership to include qualified explorers from across a range of diversities, including race, culture, gender, age, sexual orientation, geography and socio-economic level, as well as explorers with disabilities.

Membership of the club is divided into two categories. Fellows have made documented contributions to scientific knowledge through field expeditions. Members have evidenced a sustained interest and participation in some aspect of field exploration and have contributed in broad terms to the cause of exploration and the furthering of scientific knowledge.[9]

Famous firsts edit

The Explorers Club is renowned for various "Famous Firsts" accomplished by its members, including:[10][11]

Headquarters edit

First floor fireplace

The Explorers Club held its first regular meeting at its original headquarters in the Studio Building at 23 West 67th Street in New York City.[3] The club finished construction on its next headquarters at 544 Cathedral Parkway in 1928 and there the club continued to expand its extensive collection of artifacts, trophies and books on exploration. In 1965, spurred by Lowell Thomas,[3] the club purchased its current headquarters on the Upper East Side, a six-story Jacobean revival mansion on East 70th Street, where it houses the James B. Ford Exploration Library, the Sir Edmund Hillary Map Room and a collection of artifacts from more than a century of exploration. The building was previously the home of Stephen C. Clark. Certain designated rooms of the club are open to the general public.

Lectures and publications edit

In the 1920s, the club began to invite both explorers returning from the field and visiting scientists to relate their experiences and findings. By the 1930s these informal gatherings developed into academic lectures and illustrated talks. The club continues to provide weekly lectures and programs, which are often open to the public at its headquarters.[12] In November 1921, The Explorers Club published the first edition of The Explorers Journal to share news from the field, remarks from headquarters, recent acquisitions, obituaries and book reviews. The Explorers Journal is still published quarterly,[13] with articles and photography from Explorers Club members in the field.

Television series edit

In 2022, The Explorers Club and Discovery Channel formed a partnership to produce a series called Tales from The Explorers Club, which is hosted by Explorers Club member Josh Gates. The series covered stories about other famous Explorers Club members such as Ernest Shackleton, Sir Edmund Hillary, Gertrude Bell, Jim Lovell, and Jeff Bezos.[14]

The Explorers Club flag edit

The Explorers Club flag

The Explorers Club flag has been carried on hundreds of expeditions by club members since 1918. To carry the club flag is an honor and a privilege. It has flown at both poles, from the highest peaks of the greatest mountain ranges, traveled to the depths of the ocean, to the lunar surface, and outer space. A flag expedition must further the cause of exploration and field science.

Use of the flag is governed by stringent standards. To obtain permission to carry the flag, a club member must show that the expedition holds the promise of scientific results. The flag must be exhibited at every suitable opportunity on the expedition, and must be returned to the club along with a written record of the expedition, called the Flag Report. The club's Research Collections is the repository for these unique reports, including the original "Flag Book" — a bound journal of hand-written reports, vintage prints, clippings and assorted records submitted by the explorers who first carried The Explorers Club flag on expeditions.[15]

Today there are 202 numbered flags, each with its own history. Many of the older flags have been retired. The Explorers Club flag has been carried on such expeditions as:

NASA missions Apollo 8, Apollo 11, Apollo 13, and Apollo 15 each carried miniature club flags on board.

Honors and grants edit

Honors edit

The Explorers Club Medal, the highest honor that can be bestowed by the club, is awarded for "extraordinary contributions directly in the field of exploration, scientific research, or to the welfare of humanity'. Past recipients include:[27]

The Legendary Explorer Medal is given "to recognize a feat of such courage and incredible accomplishment that has transcended the ordinary bounds of history". Past recipients include:[42]

Beyond The Explorers Club Medal and The Legendary Explorer Medal, the club also presents, among others, The Edward C. Sweeney[43] Medal, The Citation of Merit, The Lowell Thomas Award, The Finn Ronne Memorial Award, The Buzz Aldrin Space Exploration Award, The Tenzing Norgay Award, The William Beebe Award, The President’s Award and The New Explorer Award.[44]

Grants edit

The club also awards a range of grants for field science and exploration, including The Youth Activity Fund Grant, The Exploration Fund Grant[45] and the President's Award for Exploration and Technology. One club award, the Scott Pearlman Field Award for Science and Exploration,[46] is named for one of the youngest club members (inducted at age 22) who was a photographer and participant in three flag expeditions. Scott A. Pearlman contracted hepatitis C and died at the age of 38. Pearlman was a son of Explorers Club member and officer Robert E. Pearlman.

Presidents edit

Presidents of The Explorers Club are elected by a vote of the Board of Directors after the Annual Meeting. Men and women may offer their name for consideration.

# From To President[47]
1 1905 1906 Adolphus Greely
2 1907 1908 Frederick Cook
3 1909 1911 Robert Peary
4 1912 1913 David Legge Brainard
5 1913 1916 Robert Peary
6 1917 1918 Carl Akeley
7 1919 1922 Vilhjalmur Stefansson
8 1922 1925 George Gustav Heye
9 1926 1927 James Ford
10 1928 1930 George Gustav Heye
11 1931 1934 Roy Chapman Andrews
12 1935 1937 Walter W. Granger
13 1937 1939 Vilhjalmur Stefansson
14 1940 1943 Herbert Spinden
15 1944 1946 Alexander Wetmore
16 1947 1948 Clyde Fisher
17 1949 1950 James Chapin
18 1951 1952 John Tee-Van
19 1953 1954 Edward Weyer Jr.
20 1955 1958 Serge A. Korff
21 1959 1961 Charles Hitchcock
22 1961 1963 John Pallister
23 1963 1965 Serge A. Korff
24 1965 1967 Edward C. Sweeney[48]
25 1967 1971 Walter Wood
26 1971 1973 Hobart Van Dressen
27 1973 1975 Russell Gurnee
28 1975 1976 E. Lovell Becker
29 1976 1978 Virgil Kauffman
30 1978 1981 Charles Brush
31 1981 1985 George V.B. Cochran
32 1985 1987 John Levinson
33 1987 1989 John Bruno
34 1989 1991 Nicholas Sullivan
35 1991 1993 David Swanson
36 1993 1996 John Loret
37 1996 2000 Alfred S. McLaren
38 2000 2002 Faanya Rose
39 2002 2006 Richard Wiese
40 2006 2009 Daniel Bennett
41 2009 2012 Lorie Karnath[49]
42 2012 2015 Alan Nichols
43 2015 2018 Ted Janulis[50]
44 2018 2021 Richard Wiese[51]
45 2021 Richard Garriott[52]

References edit

  1. ^ Richardson, Lynda (December 3, 2004). "PUBLIC LIVES; Explorers Club: Less 'Egad' and More 'Wow!'". New York Times. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  2. ^ Park, Michael (March 17, 2008). "Eating Maggots: The Explorers Club Dinner". Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c MacEacheran, Mike. "The secret travel club that's been everywhere". Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  4. ^ "A Gathering Place". The Explorers Club. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  5. ^ "The Explorers Club Honorary Members". The Explorers Club. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "The Explorers Club Chapters". The Explorers Club. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  7. ^ "The Explorers Club About Membership". The Explorers Club. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  8. ^ Lembo, Karen; Mendell, Sarah. "Finding aid to the Arctic Club of America" (PDF). The Explorers Club. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "The Explorers Club: About Membership". The Explorers Club. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  10. ^ "» A Brief History of The Explorer's Club". Retrieved 2023-08-10.
  11. ^ Clara Moskowitz (2013-08-20). "Photos: Inside the Explorers Club". Retrieved 2023-08-10.
  12. ^ "Explorers Club Events Page". The Explorers Club.
  13. ^ "The Explorers Journal: The Official Quarterly of The Explorers Club since 1921". Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  14. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (2022-04-21). "Discovery Greenlights 'Tales From the Explorers Club,' Unveils Expedition Grants and Diversity Initiatives (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2023-03-18.
  15. ^ "The Explorers Club: Flags and Honors". The Explorers Club.
  16. ^ "Solar Impulse Visits The Explorers Club". The Explorers Club. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  17. ^ "Lost 52 Project".
  18. ^ "Updates of the Five Deeps Exepedition". Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Malko, George. "Scientology, The Now Religion". Delacorte Press. Retrieved October 21, 2019. It is a fact that in 1940... he [Hubbard] was duly elected a member of the august Explorer's Club in New York... In explaining the circumstances of Hubbard's election to the club, Mr. Randol [Ward Randol, the club's executive director] told me in no uncertain terms that he personally knew the members who had sponsored Hubbard and certainly does not hesitate to vouch for their integrity and judgment... In 1940 Hubbard made his first expedition as a member of the Explorer's Club, and was granted the club flag to carry on his voyage, a distinct honor given only when a member's application and description of an intended expedition has been given the severest scrutiny... Hubbard's expedition that year was to Alaska, under the title of the Alaskan-Radio Expedition. In the years since, Hubbard has made two more voyages flying the Explorer's Club flag, one in 1961, an Oceanographic-Archeological Expedition, and one in 1966, the Hubbard Geological Survey Expedition.
  20. ^ "Chronicle". Media Resources. Retrieved October 21, 2019. On 19 February 1940 L. Ron Hubbard is elected a member of the prestigious Explorers Club. Concurrently he plans an Alaskan expedition, and on 27 July 1940 his Alaskan Radio Experimental Expedition embarks from Seattle. His vessel is the 32-foot ketch Magician, and she sails under Explorers Club flag number 105.
  21. ^ Dokoupil, Tony. "Exclusive New Texts from Scientology's L Ron Hubbard". Newsweek. Retrieved October 21, 2019. In 1940 Hubbard carried the club flag on his first official expedition, sailing a vest-pocket yacht from Washington to Alaska.
  22. ^ Bezos, Jeff. "F1 Engine Recovery Updates: Congratulations Team!". Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  23. ^ EST, Kastalia Medrano On 1/12/18 at 10:02 AM (2018-01-12). "The undisturbed tomb of a Scythian prince was found frozen in time in Siberia". Newsweek. Retrieved 2020-01-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ Kourounis, George (28 December 2016). "Darvaza "Doorway To Hell" Expedition - Turkmenistan". Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  25. ^ "James Cameron Reflects on Exploration". Archived from the original on March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  26. ^ Dokoupil, Tony. "Exclusive New Texts from Scientology's L Ron Hubbard". Newsweek. Retrieved October 21, 2019. Explorers Club flags are iconic, coveted awards for serious expeditions...One went to sea with Hubbard for most of the 1960s...the same flag as the astronauts aboard Apollo 8, which in 1968 became the first manned mission to orbit the moon."
  27. ^ "The Explorers Club Medal". The Explorers Club.
  28. ^ "Dr. Charles B. Hitchcock Dies". New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  29. ^ "Review: With a Camera in My Hands". JSTOR. JSTOR 30033975. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  30. ^ "The Wood Yukon Expedition of 1935". JSTOR. JSTOR 209339. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  31. ^ "Weyer, Edward Moffat, 1904-1998". American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  32. ^ "Major General Leigh Wade". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  33. ^ "Virgil Kauffman". Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  34. ^ "Alfred McLaren". U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  35. ^ Moskowitz, Clara (March 20, 2013). "Astronauts Celebrate Adventure at Explorers Club Dinner". Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  36. ^ Aguilera, Mario (March 4, 2014). "Medal Honors Scripps Icon Walter Munk's Lifetime of Science and Exploration". UC San Diego.
  37. ^ "The Explorers Club Honors". The Explorers Club.
  38. ^ "Victor Vescovo - The 2020 Explorers Club Medal". The Explorers Club. January 14, 2020.
  39. ^ "The Explorers Club's Highest Honor Recognizes Extraordinary Contributions in the Field of Exploration". Great Plains Foundation.
  40. ^ "Rick Ridgeway". World Wide Fund for Nature.
  41. ^ "Meg Lowman Awarded The Explorers Medal". TREE Foundation.
  42. ^ "The Legendary Explorer Medal". The Explorers Club.
  43. ^ "ECWG History". Explorers Club Washington Group. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  44. ^ "The Explorers Club Honors". The Explorers Club. Archived from the original on 2015-01-21.
  45. ^ "The Explorers Club Grants". The Explorers Club. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  46. ^ "The Scott Pearlman Field Awards". The Explorers Club St. Louis, Missouri.
  47. ^ "About the Club - History - Club presidents, 1905 to present". The Explorers Club. Archived from the original on September 28, 2006.
  48. ^ "Edward C. Sweeney Dies at 61; Lawyer Led the Explorers Club". New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  49. ^ Ross, Michael Elsohn (March 1, 2014). A World of Her Own: 24 Amazing Women Explorers and Adventurers. Chicago Review Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-61374-441-3. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  50. ^ "The Explorers Club Elects Ted Janulis as 43rd Club President"
  51. ^ "Richard Wiese Elected 44th President of The Explorers Club"
  52. ^ "Richard Garriott Elected 45th President of The Explorers Club"

External links edit

40°46′12″N 73°57′56″W / 40.7700258°N 73.9655750°W / 40.7700258; -73.9655750