Explorers Club logo of person and sailing ship
Dedicated to Scientific Exploration and Field Research


The Explorers Club Northern California Chapter

June 2002, Web Page

The Annual Explorers Club Picnic on Angel Island on June 22, 2002

June 22, 2002, (Acrobat PDF file) The Angel Island Picnic has become a recent Chapter tradition (PDF newsletter)

It was a time to kick back, enjoy being in the Bay Area, talk with fellow Explorers, climb a mountain, or just feast on burgers and hot dogs. Click the link above to see Lee Langan's newsletter with photos and stories from the May meeting in Woodside and Palo Alto.

Photos from the 2002 Picnic

Photo, person at wheel of vessel; couple in background

Mike Diggles at the helm of the Cordell Explorer, Tom Patterson and Sue Estey on the bridge.

Photo, hikers on a trail in the woods
Several of us hiked the trail up towards Mt. Livermore; the trail on the east was closed because of road-removal earth movers (that's a good thing).

Photo, close-up of feet
Lesley and Sue had theme socks: mermaids and beach blankest, respectively.

Olympic Bid City selection

Please join the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC) and Morton Beebe for a Champagne Celebration acknowledging his new book,"San Francisco, City by the Bay" and support the San Francisco Bay Area 2012 Olympic Bid.

Mort invited the Nor-Cal Explorers' web site to view his work for the celebration of BASOC winning the SF Bid against Houston and Washington D.C. Now we have to compete against NYC for the Nov 3 final Olympic Bid City selection.

A report on the 2001-2002 Season activities of the Northern California Chapter

All were well attended to create an intrigued audience at each dinner meeting (a report to New York by Lee Langan, Editor/Secretary, Northern California Chapter, 21 July 2002)

  • September 2001, David Kennard, Filmmaker
    "China, Africa, Space! Documenting Successfully!"
    David Kennard (FN'01) has produced an impressive list of non-fiction documentaries. On September 28, he shared some of his ideas about how this is done and some of his well-known work.

  • October 2001, Pat Scannon, MD, Ph.D., Explorer
    "PMAN-III, Continuing Palau Searches"
    Since 1993, and four Explorers Club Flags later, our chapter member Pat Scannon (FN'96) is still searching for those missing in action from WWII in the Palau Islands. He spoke of this endeavor and showed a series of slides that took us with him on his efforts in October 2000.

  • December 2001, Gene Savoy, Explorer
    "The Search for El Dorado Continuers"
    Gene Savoy (MN'69), reminisced about a career of seeking El Dorado in the Incan Andes. It was off-the-cuff and reflective; a marvelous evening with an explorer.

  • January 2002, Elbert Branscomb, Ph.D., Geneticist
    "Life Through the Genome's Eye"
    Dr. Branscomb juggled a blitz of questions while showing and rotating three-dimensional models of protein molecules, microscopic slides of DNA 'strings', 'gene'eological trails of our ancient ancestry and details of what has been learned about the make up of all creatures, large and small.

  • February 2002, Bonita E. Chamberlin, Ph.D., Afghanicist
    "Inside Afghanistan, a View You Will Not See on CNN"
    Dr. Chamberlin (FN'??) shared her appreciation of the people and the land, with the largest attendance of the year at February's joint meeting with the Society of Women Geographers. She placed the American incursion into this crossroads of the world into a historical perspective.

  • March 2002, Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., Noeticist
    "Exploring the Frontiers of Consciousness"
    Dr. Schlitz (FN'98)introduced the complications surrounding a "new" science, "noetic" science. This avenue of study surrounds the interface of the human conscious with our physical world.

  • April 2002, , Amos Nachoum, Photographer
    "Photographing Large Mammals on Land and at Sea"
    Amos Nachoum is a wonderfully skilled photographer of nature and, most emphatically, the large wild mammals. His pictures help us know them more intimately than before, and he showed many.

  • May 2002, Eve Nilson, Student & Richard Wiese, EC President
    Student Grant Report and Presidential Comments
    Eve Nilson, a Robert Lewis Stevenson High School Senior, presented a slide show about what motivated her to apply for a Club Grant and what she did the first year, in Brazil. Richard Wiese, our new Club President, visited our chapter on May 31. There was a goodly turnout to meet him, to listen and query at a Garden Party and Dinner Meeting.

  • June 2002, Angel Island Picnic
    Our traditional annual picnic at this beautiful State Park. Many arrived on the Cordell Explorer, skipper by former Chapter Chair Bob Schmeider.

    Photos from the May lecture by Eve Nilson and visit by President Richard Wiese

    Photo, head-and-shoulders shot of a sixteen-year-old

    Speaker Eve Nilson

    Photo, two people conversing at a table
    The speaker's mom, Cynthia de Vincent, and garden-party host Dan Liebowitz

    Photo, head and shoulders shot
    Chapter Chair Lesley Ewing

    Photo, head and shoulders shot
    Richard Wiese, President of The Explorers Club

    Our Chapter's sponsored Tibetan girl

    Photo, student
    Jiangyang Quxi

    Pam Logan, President of the Kham Aid Foundation (KAF), Bill Isherwood, and I visited the school in May of this year. The KAF has sponsors for 11 students at the school, including Jiangyang Quxi who is sponsored by this Chapter. The students are selected by the Headmaster based on need and academic achievement. This year, in cooperation with the Intel Corporation in Beijing, the KAF has provided for a computer lab at the school which will teach the students basic computer skills. Jiangyang's letter speaks for her. She is a beautiful young woman with a bright future thanks to your kind help. Jiangyang will begin her second year of Junior Middle School in September. We will keep you informed on her progress.

    --Dana Isherwood

    Letter to N. California Explorer's Club from Jiangyang Quxi, student at Litang Junior Middle School, Sichuan Province

    May, 2002

    Dear Explorers Club:

    First of all, I want to express my highest respects to you. Thank you very much for bringing aid from such a far-away place and helping us with our studies and all aspects of life. Thank you again.

    Next, I will tell you about myself. I grew up in the countryside and my family's circumstances were very difficult, but with the support of relatives and friends, and the concern of my teachers, I entered the first grade of Junior Middle School. For various reasons, I was going to have to drop out. Just at this time, you extended your kind hands to me, at the hardest time of my life. I see you as my mothers and fathers. From now on, I will certainly study hard and repay you. My education level is still limited, so if I have any faults please give my your guidance. Thank you/

    I wish you success in all things, always. Tashi Delek!

    Your daughter,

    Jiangyang Quxi

    Elsa's Field Work

    Elsa Roscoe just completed her fifteenth annual journey as a volunteer in support of the Bishop Museum's archaeological expeditions to Polynesian islands. These expeditions ranged the complete width of the Pacific Ocean from east to west including the Cook Islands, the Society Islands, the Marquesas, and the Hawai'ian Islands to Easter Island. Much of her work was done on Huahine Island northeast of Tahiti. There, her group, under the direction of the eminent anthropologist, Dr. Yoshiko Sinoto, was involved in the excavation and restoration of religious and ceremonial sites (maraes) of the ancient population. This was no simple task: locating sites, clearing dense tropical growth, carefully digging one-meter test pits 10 centimeters at a time, screening the soil for midden, and recording precise locations of artifacts; all this was done in the hot sun and sometimes rainy weather. The final task was to plant tiare Tahiti trees on Mata'ire'a Hill, an important historical site, to mark the end of the project.

    Photo, Elsa planting
    Elsa planting a tiare Tahiti tree

    Mike's Field Work

    On June 1, 2, and 3, 2002, Gary Ernst (Stanford University) and Mike Diggles (U.S. Geological Survey) led a three-day field trip to the White-Inyo Range in Mono and Inyo counties on the eastern edge of the Owens Valley in eastern California. This was a joint trip with a Stanford undergraduate class in the Geology of California and the Peninsula Geological Society. The group left Stanford and USGS-Menlo Park early in the morning of Saturday, June 1. They traveled over Sonora Pass north of Yosemite and had a brief lecture near the summit. From there, they drove down to Highway 395 and headed south over Conway Summit to Mono Lake, over Deadman Summit to Long Valley near Mammoth, down the Sherwin Grade (Bishop Tuff and Sherwin Till) to Bishop, and east to University of California's White Mountain Research Station. Rocks in the White-Inyo Range span the time from the late Precambrian to the Holocene. This place has it all: Precambrian rocks, seven kilometers of sedimentary rocks (some fossil-bearing), sillimanite-bearing metamorphic rocks, Mesozoic plutons, Cenozoic volcanic rocks, Quaternary glacial deposits, and extensive Holocene aprons and alluvial deposits. Pick your favorite mountain-building event, we have the Antler, Sonoma, and Nevadan orogenies. In fact, the highest point in the range is White Mountain Peak at 14,246'. The range also hosts alpine tundra and the oldest living species on Earth - the 4,000-year-old Bristlecone Pines.

    Click here to see information about the trip as well as a PDF of the field guide and a photo essay.

    Photo, Mike lifting a pumice boulder
    Mike pumping pumice (photograph by Cheryl Smith)

    Amos' Photography

    From: Amos Nachoum To: Michael Diggles Hi Michael; Please review this short page - and let me know what you think of that for the next newsletter.

    Photo, shark breaching

    As you see on the bottom of the page there is a link to other editors and friends in the business - please forward this page as wide as you can to good and creative people in order to get more exposure and hopfully some business during this slow time.

    Date created: 06/10/2002
    Last modified: 08/28/2002

    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
    Back to The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter Home Page