Meet the First 6 Awardees of The Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grant Program
Today, The Explorers Club, a non-profit world leader in exploration, and Discovery Channel announced the first class of awardees to receive approximately a quarter of a million dollars collectively to fund their expeditions. Let’s meet The Explorers Club Discovery Grant awardees.
Spanning the globe and from a diverse cross-section of explorers, the thrilling expeditions focus on everything from the impact of plastic on sharks of the Mediterranean to using drones to search for the chemistry of life in a Mars-like Arctic field site.
The content from these Discovery-funded expeditions, as well as films, documentaries, and social media highlighting the work of The Explorers Club, will be featured on the Discovery Channel and its digital platforms, promoting The Explorers Club mission on a global scale.
This is the first of multiple grants being awarded yearly through The Explorers Club Discovery Grant program. Here are the awardees and their project field of research:
Anggra Alfian, Celebica (Sulawesi, Indonesia)
Expedition: With the hope of developing conservation programs in the area, this expedition will document plant species, habitat conditions and the conservation status at Mt. Latimojong--the highest mountain in Sulawesi. This area boasts high endemic biodiversity and the exploration and sample collection will be carried out during both the dry and the rainy seasons by creating a herbarium.
Andrej Gajic, Center For Marine and Freshwater Biology Sharklab ADRIA (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Expedition: Studying the effects of ocean-plastics on sharks, this expedition will set off into the Adriatic Sea on a scientific mission to study how human plastic waste works its way up the food chain and into the ocean’s top carnivores.
Dr. K. David Harrison, Swarthmore College (Redding, Connecticut)
Expedition: As the Arctic melts, and oil companies move in, the Nenets people of Russia, who for centuries have driven their reindeer along an annual, 800-mile migration, now must navigate new terrain. Their ancient odyssey, and the unique knowledge of nature it has provided, will survive only as long as there is snow and ice beneath their feet. This expedition will document the stories and visuals of Nenets reindeer herding on the Siberian tundra and includes a Nenets co-leader and anthropologist, Dr. Roza Laptander.
Dr. Nina Lanza, Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, New Mexico)
Expedition: A largely female team of experts will use cutting-edge technology in a beautiful, Mars-like Arctic desert to tell the story of how the search for the chemistry of life on Mars begins with fieldwork on Earth near the Haughton crater in northern Canada.
Dr. Edgard David Mason, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and Autonomous University of Morelos State (UAEM)
Expedition: Bats have been vilified in the media due to links to Covid-19, but they are a fascinating group of species—key pollinators, insect population controllers, and seed dispersers--that need our protection more than we need to be protected from them. This expedition will use state-of-the-art technology to peel back the darkness and learn about the incredible lives of the thousands of bats that live in Mexico's El Salitre Cave.
Peter Tattersfield, in collaboration with Mexico’s Underwater Archaeology Office of the National Institute of Anthropology History (SAS-INAH) - (Polanco, Mexico)
Expedition: In 1853 the Steamship Independence hit rocks off Isla Margarita and went ablaze. Although the crew members heroically fought to save the passengers--including one Tom Sawyer, who served as inspiration for Mark Twain's book--132 drowned. For decades, underwater archaeologists have been combing the waters off Baja Mexico for the wreck of the Steamship Independence, and now finally this international team of explorers is poised to uncover it.
Learn more about how to apply and complete the pre-application by going to www.explorers.org. You do not need to be a member to apply for the grant, however, applicants are welcome and encouraged to apply for membership.