2020 Sir Charles Blois Explorer EMMA MILLER – WELLBEING AND RESILIENCE ON THE HIMALAYA TRAIL. Emma is a Wellbeing Explorer and Specialist from Northern Ireland. She founded Wellbeing Explorers to share her passion and mission in building connection (to self, others, environment) through empathy, understanding wellbeing and human flourishing. She advocates, whilst people and cultures are unique and different, we should celebrate our common humanity. She and her expedition partner, Liam Kelly, an American expedition leader, photographer and videographer who was born and raised in Nepal, will traverse the formidable Nepal Great Himalaya Trail exploring wellbeing and strategies for mental resiliency. Trekking 1,500km and spending several weeks in target districts, the objective of the expedition is to explore wellbeing and mental resiliency from the perspective of remote mountainous communities vulnerable to extreme and frequent challenges, such as climate change related disasters.
2020 Gough Explorer ALEGRA ALLY – THE 2020 PASSAGE. Alegra is an anthropologist, author and award-winning explorer and photographer, whose work has focused on worldwide indigenous cultures, especially in Papua New Guinea and specifically surrounding the many phases of motherhood in indigenous communities. She serves as a member in the Flag and Honours Committees of The Explorers Club. Her ‘The 2020 Passage’ expedition is a ground-breaking exploratory expedition to build relationships and conduct research with indigenous mothers and traditional midwives in a remote part of Papua New Guinea. This expedition will form the foundation for co-creating programs for supporting the health and survival of indigenous mothers and their babies through collaborative efforts.
2020 Rivers Foundation Explorer CRAIG NUTTALL – GARHWAL MOUNTAIN RESCUE PROJECT. Craig is a nurse practitioner trained in emergency and mountain medicine. He has gained valuable experience while leading small groups of healthcare professionals on medical missions in India and other parts of Asia. As an associate professor at Brigham Young University, Dr Nuttall has focused his efforts on improving healthcare in resource poor environments though education and innovation. Living in the Rocky Mountains, he spends much of his time hiking, climbing, and playing with his wife and six children in the mountains. This passion for the mountains has defined not only what he does but who he is. The purpose of his project is to improve access to healthcare for locals, pilgrims and alpinists residing, traveling and climbing in the Garhwal Himalayas by training Indian nurses and doctors in mountain medicine and stationing them in remote hospitals in the Garhwal range.
2020 Elodie Sandford Explorer TOBIAS NOWLAN – LAST OF THE JAVAN RHINO. Toby is a zoologist and filmmaker from Bristol. He has led research expeditions in search of the world's most endangered species since he was 19, including efforts to photograph the Critically Endangered vaquita porpoise, Earth’s rarest marine mammal. Recently he has led wildlife filming expeditions, including for the BBC's Planet Earth 2, to all corners of the globe. Toby’s expedition is to photograph the Critically Endangered Javan rhino, the rarest large mammal on the planet, and thereby help protect it from extinction. Travelling through the remote wilderness of Ujung Kulon (Java, Indonesia) by canoe, he aims to perform photo-identification of individual rhinos, enabling more to be learnt about this near-mythical species and inform its conservation.
2020 SES Explorer IRIS BERGER – MOYEN-BAFING LION PROJECT. Iris is a Conservation Biologist and National Geographic Explorer from Austria. She has walked across Sumatra, studied chimpanzee diet and tool-use in Uganda and researched mammal diversity in the Cerrado savannah, Brazil. Iris is currently doing a Masters’ degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at the University of Oxford. She will be leading three of her course-mates – Emma Vovk, Hannah Nicholas and Philippe Roberge – to study the viability of lion and leopard populations in north-western Guinea. Until recently, lions were thought to be extinct in Guinea, but camera trap footage has shown otherwise. They will assess whether Moyen-Bafing National Park is home to a viable lion population and/or has potential to be in the future, and whether big-cat wildlife corridors to Senegal exist.
2020 Neville Shulman Explorer XINYANG AMY HONG – GISHWATI-MUKURA: THE EMERGING NATIONAL PARK. Amy is a science communicator and a returning SES Explorer. She has gained a D.Phil from the University of Oxford and has produced films for internationally renowned organisations, such as the Royal Institution and the British Ecological Society. Amy is a guest lecturer for the Wildlife Conservation Unit, Oxford and a founding member of the African Science Literacy Network. For her expedition, she and her team will collaborate with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to train local talents into conservation filmmakers, who will be offered job opportunities to produce stunning films to grow eco-tourism. Amy will also document the positive change happening at the Gishwati-Mukura National Park, an area that has grown from 1% forest coverage to a layer of deep green.