The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter

Vanishing Worlds: Research and Travels in the Tropics

With Çağan Hakkı Şekercioğlu, SM-99

Time and place

Date: Friday, 31 March 2000
Place: Spenger's Fish Grotto, 1919 Fourth Street, Berkeley
Time: 6:30 PM cocktails, 7:30 PM dinner, 8:30 PM lecture
Cost: $45 ($50 if postmarked after March 21st, 2000). Call Lesley at 510-527-7899 if you mail your check after March 21

photo Saddlebill stork, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Saddlebill stork, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Çağan Hakkı Şekercioğlu will speak at our March meeting on his research and travels in the tropics. Jerry Athearn sponsored him to election as a Student Member of The Explorers Club in 1999, and Çağan dedicates his presentation to Jerry.

This presentation will focus on ecological work in Uganda and Costa Rica. Çağan spent the summer of 1996 researching the effects of selective logging on tropical forest birds in Kibale Forest, Uganda, for his Harvard University undergraduate honors thesis. Last summer found him in Costa Rica, studying the effects of forest fragmentation on forest insectivorous birds and insects as part of his Ph.D. at Stanford. Çağan worked together with 4 local people and 5 American assistants to "mist net" 2302 birds, to collect, measure and identify 90,000+ insects, and to analyze 800+ bird diet samples.

Raised in Turkey, Mr. Şekercioğlu came to this country to go to college. He earned a BA in biology and anthropology from Harvard University in 1997. Now, he is in the second year of his Ph.D. at the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford, with Paul Ehrlich as his advisor.

Çağan is a founding member and Associate Editor of the Yelkovan-Ornithological Journal of Turkey. He has travelled to all the continents and has done ecological research on six, including work at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Colorado and the Atherton Tablelands, Australia in 1995, Wrangell-St Elias, Alaska in 1997, Jasper Ridge at Stanford in 1999.

Some of his excellent photography is displayed on his website: If this is any indication, the program on March 31st will be beautiful as well as informative.

In Memoriam

With deep regret, we want to share with you that Folger "Jerry" Athearn, Jr., CDR USNR (Ret), MN 1982, died at home on Thursday, February 10th, after months of battling pancreatic cancer. Jerry was a great friend and supporter of The Explorers Club and we will all miss his cheerful vitality and amazing spirit.

The Memorial Service was held on Friday, February 18th, at the 1st Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. Friends from many communities came to remember Jerry: we heard from a colleague in the transportation industry, a fellow fraternity trustee, friends from church, his family, and others. Bob Schmieder spoke on behalf of The Explorers Club.

Listening through tears, we gained an appreciation of how very far his influence reached, and how deeply he touched the lives of those who knew him. JoAnn, thank you for including us all, and for sharing him with us. We miss him already.

photo of Jerry Athearn
(--Photo by Mike Diggles, June, 1998 on the Cordell Explorer)

1960 photo of Jerry Athearn
Jerry Athearn in the Antarctic in 1959/60. LTJG Folger Athearn, Disbursing Officer, is on the right discussing supply problems with LCDR John E. McEnearney, Supply Officer. They were responsible for ordering and transporting supplies and equipment for the four American Antarctic stations. Photograph by Jerry Hughes

Ramblings and Explorations

Nonna Cheatham brought many friends from the Society of Women Geographers and an array of colorful Earthwatch information.

Sue Estey and Tom Patterson kayaked the Cosumnes River last weekend, starting from the Nature Conservancy's Preserve just upstream of its confluence with the Mokelumne River. Sand Hill Cranes flew overhead, uttering a rattling cry, and an owl hooted from the flooded woods.

Mike Diggles announced that our difficulty in seeing his website for the chapter has been due to overwhelming interest in information posted about the Chi-Chi earthquake in Japan, information for which has been residing on the same server. A new Apache-server machine is allowing better access to the site.

Lesley Ewing brought a copy of her first international publication; it is in Japanese, which leads to her interest in finding a friendly translator so she may be reassured that it still says exactly what she remembers writing about coastal erosion.

scan of title in Japanese
Title page of Lesley's paper

block diagram of landslide with Japanese caption and labels
Illustration of coastal-erosion risks

Letha Hadady, a colleague of our speaker, Michael Foster, announced that she would lead a tour of Chinese herb shops in Chinatown the day after our meeting.

Tom Hall's wife, Liz McLoughlin, is headed for India on Wednesday, but expects to be back, and I believe she may give a brief presentation about her cross country bicycle expedition of last summer at our next meeting.

Louise Heynemann gave a big birthday party for Don, inviting guests to bring remembrances of good times past and adventures shared, celebrating his life whilst it is still most assuredly underway.

Libby Ingalls, Chair of the Society of Women Geographers, introduced several fellow geographers to us, including her co-chair Linda Liscom, Charlie Little, and Ed Power, Jr.

Herb Lingl, guest of Mort Beebe, invited us all to the presentation, Aerial Visionaries, to be held April 11 at SFMOMA.

Edgar Stone was with us, member since 1962.

Arlene Blum (Annapurna, a woman's place is on top) has been hiking in Tilden Park and raising her daughter, now 13. She has done considerable research into the routes taken by Alexandra David-Neel.

Eva Blum is looking for responsible, experienced pig hunters to reduce the feral pig population on the land she owns and several hundred adjoining acres in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Graham Hawkes has been working on a two-person underwater flying machine, so people will be able to take training "flights".

Dana Isherwood stopped in to see friends and sell raffle tickets before heading off to the magnetic North Pole this April.

April 28 meeting, sneak preview


Dr Alexander Leskov is a distinguished member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. He is an archaeologist with more than a quarter-century of work on ancient Eurasian cultures with a special interest in the Scythians. His specialty is the Bronze and Iron Age and he has excavated over 400 burials. He was a consultant for the book "The First Horsemen" which is part of the Time-Life Emergence of Man series.

The current exhibit "Gold of the Nomads" includes several of his finds. The exhibit is the cover story of Smithsonian Magazine's March 2000 issue. He was the closing speaker at the first venue at the San Antonio Museum of Art, one of the two institutions which sponsored the exhibit.


The exhibit schedule is:
  • Walter Gallery of Art, Baltimore, March 5-May 28, 2000
  • Los Angles County Museum of Art, July 2-September 24, 2000
  • Brooklyn Museum of Art, October 29, 2000-January 21, 2001
  • Royal Ontario Museum of Art, Toronto, February 18-April 29, 2001
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, May 27-August 11, 2001
  • Grand Palis, Paris, September 25-December 31, 2001

    Dr Leskov will be speaking on the threats to the cultural treasures of the former USSR. With the breakup of the Soviet Union funding dried up for science in general and archaeology in particular. Today the burial mounds and other ancient sites are under a variety of threats. Mechanized agriculture flattens burial mounds and destroys artifacts. Looters rob graves and destroy sites. Neglect and lack of funding prevent researchers from conducting scientific digs and preserving the treasures of the past. The sites are disappearing faster than they can be studied. Entire chapters of humanity's history is being ripped out before our eyes.

    One example is the Pegasus drinking horn shown when Dr Leskov excavated it and fully reconstructed. The site were this artifact was found was scheduled to be plowed. In one more year the pieces would have been mixed with the soil and been lost to history.

    NOTE: A joint meeting in September with the Southern California chapter to view the exhibit is under consideration

    Click for Calendar of future events

    Where is Spenger's?

    (March Meeting)
    1919 Fourth Street
    Berkeley, CA

    From Highway 80, either direction: Exit at University Avenue. If you head east up University Avenue, take three rights to reach Fourth Street.

    Coming from the south, you may exit and choose the frontage road, which goes underneath University Ave and allows for a right turn across the railroad tracks. A right at the first light puts you on Fourth Street close to Spenger's.

    Newsletter Deadline is Friday, March 31

    Send items to

    Sue Estey, Editor
    216 Carmel Ave.
    El Cerrito, CA 94530
    or bring them to the meeting.

    Aerial Visionaries, April 11, 2000

    Hosted by the American Society of Media Photographers and The Explorers Club

    This event brings together in one place some of the finest creators of aerial images of our time and provides the attending audience a chance to interact with this unique group of individuals and to see them present their own work.

    photo Death Valley from the air
    Death Valley from the air. Photograph © 2000 Herb Lingl

    Confirmed and Invited Presenters include Astronaut and photographer Story Musgrave, Rusty Schweikhardt, and Michael Light. Honored for his outstanding work both as an astronaut and a photographer, Dr. Musgrave is currently working with Disney on the Return to Mars motion picture. Dr. Musgrave has a presentation of images he created in space and from aircraft, optimized to project outstanding detail with today's finest projection technology. Rusty Schweikhardt worked on Landsat and did the first multi-spectral imaging. Michael Light recently exhibited the prints he had made from the previously unpublished wealth of photographs taken on the Apollo missions. He will talk about digital photography and its relation to aerial imaging.

    Location: The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Wattis Theater, well suited to large, high quality projection, with full audio visual system, including 35mm dissolve with Navitar lenses, 16mm projection equipment, LCD projection capability and much more.

    About the American Society of Media Photographers: Formed in 1946; the leading association of media photographers in the United States. The San Francisco chapter has counted among its members such photography luminaries as Ansel Adams, Dorthea Lange and Imogen Cunningham.

    For more information contact: Herb Lingl, 415/902-7077; fax: 415/771-5077;

    Checks made out to ASMP should be mailed to Herb Lingl, Aerial Photography, Hangar 23, Box 470455, San Francisco 94147-0455. The cost is $25 until March 10, when the price will rise again. Tickets will not be mailed; reservations will be confirmed at the door.

    Glacier Society

    The Glacier Society's purpose is to restore the USS Glacier as an operational scientific and educational platform honoring those who served in the exploration of the North and South Poles. During her active service, Glacier, a 310 foot, 8600 ton icebreaker, led 39 expeditions to the North and South Polar regions over a 32 year period. The restoration will begin this April in San Francisco. For more information: Glacier Society, PO Box 1419, Bridgeport, CT 06601, 203-375-6638,

    photo of the ship Glacier
    The Glacier in Suisun Bay

    We just finished the first week of many, in the project to restore the USS/USCGC GLACIER to operating status. Installing temporary lighting, scrounging and DC work absorbed the efforts of 7-10 volunteers, daily. Many thanks to all who participated from FL, MN, NJ, CT, MA and CA at their own expense. We presently are restricted to a maximum of 10 people on board Monday through Friday, 0700-1445, one week a month and are seeking volunteers to work during 13-17 March and 10-14 April, 2000. A willingness to bring tools, work hard and get your hands dirty would help. We are also looking for volunteers with electrician skills to assist in installing more permanent power. There is no berthing on board at present. Discounted accommodations are available in Benicia, California, a short distance from MARAD Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet where the thoroughly stripped GLACIER is anchored offshore in a nest of ships awaiting scrapping. Contact data and MARAD rules will be furnished to actual volunteers. One need not volunteer for the whole week, which should be helpful to those who can commute from SF Bay Area communities. If you, or someone you know, are available to help, please contact me at or (415) 883-7159. After the recorded message, ID self as calling about the GLACIER SOCIETY. I'll answer, if in. No Negs, please. added note: Reasonable lodging and meals are available at Travis AFB for those with military ID cards. Using Space A will help reduce travel costs.

    Further information can on Jerry Hughes' home page at or

    No Guts, No Glory: Stanford Alpine Club, May 13

    The Stanford Alpine Club was formed in 1947 by students at Stanford University. Its members practiced rockclimbing skills in Peninsula venues, then trained on the cliffs of Yosemite, making first ascents of many well-known climbs. The SAC climbers then went on to the Canadian Rockies, Alaska Range, the Alps, the Cordilleras in South America, and the Himalaya. A newly published book by John Rawlings, "The Stanford Alpine Club", tells the history of the club.

    Two of the Stanford Alpine Club members belong to The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter: Nick Clinch and Betsy Crowder.

    "No Guts, No Glory, an Exhibit of the History of the Stanford Alpine Club" opens May 13th at 1:00 PM in the Green Library at Stanford. Four prominent mountaineers, SAC members, will present lectures and films from 3:00 to 10:00 PM in Cubberley Auditorium at Stanford. Presenters are Dave Harrah, Nick Clinch, Irene Beardsley, and Tom Frost.

    For more information, contact John Rawlings (650) 723-3101 or Betsy Crowder (650) 851-0410.

    Hollywood Pilot: The Story of Paul Mantz by Greg Mantz

    at The Western Aerospace Museum
    Saturday, March 11, 2000
    12 noon Lunch including program @ $14 members, $16 nonmembers;
    1:15 PM, Illustrated program only @$6 members, $8 nonmembers.
    2-2:30 PM, Questions and answers
    RSVP 510-638-7100

    Paul Mantz was born in Alameda. He was a pilot's pilot, a true-to-life swashbuckler, but a precision flyer. He was involved in making over 250 movie films including 30 Seconds Over Tokyo, Twelve O'Clock High, It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World, Seven Wonders of the World, America The Beautiful, and the Flight of the Phoenix. His airborne charter service, the "Honeymoon Express" shuttled many Hollywood greats to and from Las Vegas for impromptu marriages, or on hunting and fishing expeditions to Mexico, and to San Francisco for other adventures. Regular passengers included Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Lana Turner, Jean Harlow, James Cagney and many others. Mantz was personal friend and technical advisor to the famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart. Mantz was personal friend of many of the above as well as Jimmy Doolittle and Jimmy Stewart and many other notables. Mantz won the Bendix Trophy Race three straight years 1946-47-48, in his P-51 Mustang.

    Mantz's grandson Greg is an excellent speaker with much personal knowledge and admiration of his grandfather and his talk is illustrated by a new technology automated slide presentation . Come join us for an interesting afternoon.

    Dinner Reservations

    Çağan Şekercioğlu’s talk will be on March 31 at Spengers Fish Grotto, Berkeley. Costs: $45 per person, with a $5 later charge for reservations made after March 21st, 2000. Call Lesley Ewing if you mail your check after the due date so she can plan for you.

    Be sure to choose which entree you prefer: Stuffed Fillet of Sole, or Chicken.

    Please make your payment to:

    Lesley Ewing
    1679 Tacoma Avenue
    Berkeley, CA 94707
    email to Lesley

    Date created: 03/10/1999
    Last modified: 9/28/2016

    Content from Sue Estey, Secretary, Northern California Chapter of The Explorers Club; email to Sue
    Web page by: Mike Diggles, Webmaster. email to Mike

    c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404

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