Formed in 1914, The Explorers Club recognizes the world’s great explorers. Headquartered in New York City with chapters around the world, The Explorers Club supports scientific expeditions in all disciplines.
This year’s winners included Meg Lowman, who won the Explorers Club Medal. Nicknamed the “real-life Lorax” by National Geographic, Meg pioneered the science and exploration of the 8th continent, aka forest canopies. For over 45 years, she designed the toolkit for arbornauts: slingshots, ropes, hot-air balloons, walkways, and construction cranes for whole-tree exploration, not just the forest floor.
Lhakpa Sherpa won the Tenzing Norgay Award. Lhakpa is a record-setting icon in the world of mountaineering. She is the first Nepali woman to successfully summit Mount Everest, and the first woman to successfully summit the world’s highest mountain ten times. Lhakpa has also climbed numerous other peaks throughout the Himalayas and around the world.
John C. Mather and Jane R. Rigby took home the Explorers Club Citation of Merit. Dr. Mather is the Senior Project Scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope. Dr. Rigby is an Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, and serves as the Project Scientist for Operations for the James Webb Space Telescope.
Two of Gorongosa’s teammates also won awards. Gorongosa Project President Greg Carr won the President’s Award for Conservation and Dominique Gonçalves won the New Explorer Award. As a Mozambican ecologist focused on elephant conservation, Dominique manages Gorongosa’s Elephant Ecology Project, investigating elephant movement and range expansion in relation to habitat use and human-elephant conflict.
The Explorers Club annual dinner in New York City is known fondly as the “Oscars of Exploration”. Attendees wear either Black Tie or the traditional clothes of their culture. Dinner appetizers include: Costa Rican cave cockroaches, South American roasted ants, scorpions, and crickets.
Gorongosa National Park