The world’s largest gathering of explorers will direct its focus next month to one of the most important and least explored areas of our planet – the oceans.

Leading oceanographers, explorers and scientists will join more than 1,000 fellow explorers at the Club’s 112th Annual Awards Dinner taking place on March 12th at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. This year’s dinner themed as “OCEANS: Current of Life”, explores the earth’s last frontier, which makes up 71 percent of the planet’s mass and 95 percent of the unexplored world.

Singled out with the Explorers Medal, the Explorers Club’s highest award, will be Dr. Frederick Roots, for his leadership and historic discoveries on the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1949-52) and his record setting 189 days for longest unsupported dogsled journey.

He joins Edmundo Edwards, winner of the Citation of Merit for his in-depth research on Easter Island, and Dr. Joseph MacInnis, winner of the William Beebe Award for his pioneering research on undersea science. Receiving the Edward Sweeney Memorial Medal is Constance Difede, a leading Explorers Club volunteer and accomplished field explorer.

Keynote speaker will be National Geographic Explorer, marine biologist and professor, Dr. David Gruber, a recognized world authority in marine biology. His recent work includes discovery and study of glowing and fluorescing marine animals, which will now become the subject of an upcoming 3-D IMAX film on bioluminescence.

Dr. Gruber will be introduced by world famous National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Sylvia Earle, a noted oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer. Ms. Earle also has the distinct honor of being named as Time Magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet”.

Emmy Award winning Journalist and Photographer Ann Curry, well-known for her intrepid global reporting on the human condition and the state of our planet, is this year’s Master of Ceremonies. In addition to covering wars and humanitarian disasters, Ann has consistently produced groundbreaking journalism on Climate Change, reporting from both the Arctic and the Antarctic, including the South Pole, and also from the higher elevations of Mount Kilimanjaro.

“This year’s theme of ‘OCEANS: Current of Life’, holds a special meaning for many members of our organization, including me. In fact, my passion for exploration traces back to accompanying Joe MacInnis, this year’s Beebe Award winner, on his expedition to explore the wreck of the HMS Breadalbane in the Northwest passage.” said Ted Janulis, President of The Explorers Club. “Many members of The Explorers Club share a passion and curiosity for exploring and protecting the least explored areas of our planet, as we seek new, imaginative expeditions to learn more about our world and our oceans,” Janulis added.

Adding to the Award Dinner’s focus on spotlighting oceanographic exploration will be State-of-the-Art exhibits in the Club’s “Hall of Oceans”. Among the displays will be the Triton submersible used for deep sea exploration. Guests will also be able to experience the undersea world with exhibits featuring virtual reality.

Further emphasizing ocean fragility and conservation, the Club will serve sustainable hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Gene Rurka. He will also provide dining guidance on invasive marine species that threaten the natural balance of marine ecosystems.

The Explorers Club was founded in New York City in 1904. It is a multidisciplinary, not for profit (501c-3) organization dedicated to scientific exploration of the oceans; land; the air; and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club’s members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: first to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, and first to the surface of the moon. With 3,000 members worldwide, the organization has its headquarters at 46 East 70th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021. Tel. 212 628 8383;

Ticket and table purchasers for the Annual Dinner on March 12 may also be eligible to attend other Annual Weekend events. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Explorers Club at 212-628-8383 or visit