Tag archives for Boyd Matson
Hi, Michaela here, from the Cayman Islands HOEC trip. Just recently National Geographic hosted their 6th annual explorers symposium. I had been looking forward to this since the day I left the Caymans because all of the former winners of HOEC challenges are invited. This means that I could see all my friends. It was a blast! The Symposium was around 6:30, so in the afternoon, some of the Caymans kids, including me, got together and ate lunch. It was so fun to see people! We could not stop talking, catching others up on what had transpired in the last year. Unfortunately, not everyone could make it, and we missed those who were unable to come!
The speakers were incredible! One, a pilot (Barrington Irving), flew around the world when he was 23. In doing so, he became the youngest person to fly solo around Earth and the first African American to do so. Not only that, but he is inspiring children all around the world to do something great. For instance, he challenged a group of kids to build an airplane from scratch. If they were able to do so, then he would fly it. The kids completed it in an extraordinarily small amount of time and he flew it. It really hit him that he was flying a plane made by children when he was taking off, but evidenced by the fact that he is here to tell the story, he survived. He is also building the world’s first flying classroom. He is remolding a plane into a classroom and flying it around the world, landing on all seven continents to teach kids. However, there are three other explorers.
Dr. Enric Sala conducts scientific expeditions in ocean areas around the world as part of his ongoing “Pristine Seas” project. He grew up on the coast of Spain and swam in the Mediterranean as a kid. He watched Nat Geo shows about the ocean and realized that something was wrong. You see, when he went swimming in the Mediterranean, he didn’t see nearly as many fish as the documentaries showed, so he figured that it must be only exotic places that had such a wide variety of life. Eventually, he realized that the Mediterranean should have many different types of life but didn’t, because of overfishing and habitat destruction. So, Enric set out to change that fact. He now travels around the world, crusading for the ocean. Only one percent of the ocean is protected right now, and the nations’ goal is 10% by 2020. To do so, a lot more ocean needs protection. Protected areas of the ocean benefit fisherman who live around the edges of the preserved areas. In about five years, fish in the protected area will have grown so numerous, that they will start to spill over into the surrounding areas. So fishermen get more fish than they would if there was no protected area. But sea life wasn’t the only topic at the Symposium.
Lucy Cooke loves ugly animals. She is the voice for endangered animals that never make it onto posters, like the polar bears, and so are not well known. One frog she told us lives exclusively on the bottom of one lake. Because it breathes through its skin, the skin is very wrinkled, increasing surface area. When it runs out of breath, it preforms push ups, so more water will flow around its skin. Unfortunately, it is endangered because the townspeople around that lake hunt, blend it up, and drink it, thinking pureed frog will make their life better. Lucy goes around, educating people about their wildlife so to protect all animals. Lucy has lots of fun during her travels, doing things like licking poisonous frogs (DON’T TRY THAT AT HOME!), playing with sloths, absorbing different cultures, and protecting animals, no matter how ugly or cute they are.
Dan Buettner was the last explorer. He discussed two of his books: Blue Zones and Thrive. Blue Zones is all about living the longest and secrets from those who have lived the longest. He traveled around the world, finding pockets of people who live a long time. Thrive is kinda like a sequel to Blue Zones; it is all about finding happiness the Blue Zone way. He completed the research in a very similar way to how he completed Blue Zones, he looked for pockets of happy people. One happy place he found was Singapore. In Singapore, there are very strict rules, such as no gum chewing. (Did I hear some gasps?) But every rule has a reason. The reason for this rule is that people were hawking loogies and spitting all over the place, and the government realized that they couldn’t attract business with this happening, thus the law. But even with strict confines, people are very happy. They have a sense of security, because they know that if their children go running down the street to play with neighbors, they will come back for dinner, and a woman can walk along the streets at any time of day and have no fear. If you ask me, I would rather have security and less freedom than loads of freedom and fear. Dan also works at trying to get people happy and living long. He founded a company and one of his clients is the state of Iowa. Dan makes rules that the client can chose to put into practice. At the end of the three year program, if there is significant change in the people, Dan and his company gets paid. One example of a rule is outlawing drive-thrus, so less people would go to fast food, there would be a decline in heart disease, less cars would idle, which would cut down on emissions put into the air.
All of the speakers were very good, and when you talked with them at the reception, they were very nice. Boyd Matson, another explorer and host of the National Geographic radio talk, moderated it. Boyd and his son, Taylor, went on the trip with us, so it was really cool seeing him there on stage. In fact, it was awesome to see all the National Geographic staff who I hadn’t seen in almost a year. Unfortunately, I was unable to talk with Dan (the photographer who came on the trip) and Boyd, so that was a real bummer. But, overall I had an awesome time seeing my friends, their parents, and the National Geographic staff. I envy you Montana winners! Hint of National Geographic: If you really want to be awesome, send all the winners back every year!
Hi, everyone! This is Becca, here to tell you all about the Explorers’ Symposium ’09 at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, on Thursday the 11th! I drove down from Pennsylvania and arrived at the symposium at 5 o’clock.
Before going into the hors d’oeuvres party, I walked around National Geographic’s really cool sculpture garden with my dad. It had statues of lots of different bugs, my favorite being a group of leaf-cutter ants carrying the greenery on their backs. That reminded me a lot of the trip to Peru and how much I miss all of the fabulous people on it.
Hi , this is Ian!!! Today we visited the Pisaq market and learned about the Amazon rainforest and the species that live in it. At the market people would walk right up to you and offer you anything! It was so weird!!! I was offered anything from weavings to pictures of me walking out of the airport!!! During this visit I learned that no prices are set and never pay full price on anything. I was able to get an old coin for 3 soles instead of 5 and got everything for much less than was offered. I also learned that if you do pay the full price for anything it is almost considered an insult. Not like a mall anywhere in the U.S.A.
I also learned about the jaguar, caiman, and freshwater dolphin from Boyd Matson, an NGS explorer and host of Wild Chronicles. They all are endangered due to over hunting, supposed protection of farmland animals, and bad fishing techniques. I hope that people can learn about all these problems so they can change them and prevent any problems involving these amazing species.
So far this trip has taught me a lot about everything in Peru. I hope you can follow this blog and I will write again when we’re in the rainforest. (We can’t post until we leave the rainforest because the lodge has no electricity.) See you soon everyone!!!