The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter

The Northern California Chapter of The Explorers Club presents:

Peter Rodda, Susan Middleton, and David Liittschwager

California Academy of Sciences


DINNER MEETING - Friday, February 24, 1995, St. Francis Yacht CLub

This two-part presentation begins with Peter Rodda, a paleontologist and associate curator at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, telling his tale of the discovery of mammoth and giant bison fossils right in our own back yard. Renowned Academy photographer, Susan Middleton and photographer David Liittschwager (below), will follow with pictures from the magnificent photographic exhibit Witness: Endangered Species of North America, which is now showing at the California Academy and is also available in a beautiful large-format book.

Peter Rodda received his B.A. and Ph.D. in geology from UCLA. He is well published in the fields of mineral resources, environmental geology, paleontology, and the history of geology. He was staff scientist for the Hall of Life Through Time, the Academy's highly acclaimed public exhibit on the evidence for evolution.

David Liittschwager is a free-lance photographer whose most significant training occurred through assisting Richard Avedon in New York City from 1984-1986. His many projects have led him to India, Australia and the former Soviet Union.

Susan Middleton is chair of the Academy's Department of Photography. Her photographs have appeared in books, journals and magazines worldwide.

Last Meeting:

The speaker at our last meeting was our former Chapter Chairman, Ron Reuther FN-74. It seems he just cannot wrench himself from the front of this group and that is definitely our gain. After being an officer in the Chapter for 10 years, first as Vice Chairman (1984 - 1989) and then as Chairman (1989- 1994), he turned over the front of the room to Bob Schmieder FN-86 in December, 1994. So last month, he returned to the limelight with his wonderful presentation on Aviation in Exploration with VP Bill Isherwood FN-70 presiding (Bob Schmieder was off to the Easter Islands) Ron preceded his presentation with his now-famous introductions of every last person in the entire room. His ability to wrap everybody up in a group-gathering welcome is an event worth attending all in itself. Then on to aviation. Ron showed numerous slides from his collections of leaders of early exploration and the role aircraft played in their achievements. He covered both poles and several continents. The aircraft consisted of some of the more amazing flying machines many of us had seen. This editor's favorite is the Sikorsky S-39B (1930) Amphibian used by Martin and Osa Johnson in 1933. It is featured on last month's newsletter on page two.

Thank you, Ron, for a grand evening of interesting exploration history and many years at our helm.

[now at]

Earlier in the evening of the last meeting, Mike Diggles FN-92 put the Northern California Chapter of the Explorers Club on line with Mosaic which is a wonderful viewer and browser for the Internet. Our newsletters (including this one) and other information are available there. Mosaic was created at the National Center for Superconducting Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. America On Line has plans to provide Mosaic access to its customers in the near future and my hunch is that Compuserve will do the same soon. Netscape is a similar product.

Mosaic home pages use what is called hypertext which makes certain bits of text and even graphics into "buttons" and when you click on them, they move you somewhere else or download something for you. The "somewhere else" can be elsewhere in the same document, to a different document in the same area, or elsewhere in the world. Here are some examples of home pages and who provides them:

You can get Windows, Mac, or xwindows versions of Mosaic via FTP from:

Upcoming Meetings.


Edward Von der Porten FN-80 provided this note: The Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien, recently returned from Normandy, will sail San Francisco Bay from morning until mid-afternoon on May 20 and 21, 1995. The ship will sail out the Golden Gate and around much of the Bay. Coffee, donuts, and a fine buffet lunch will be served. There will be musical entertainment, the gift shop will be open, and a sale of original World War II model kits will be held. The engine room and most other spaces on board will be open and crew members available to "tell you all about it." The cost is $100.00 per person. Call (415) 441-3101 for further information

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco. Mort Beebe FN-78 provided us with this calendar of events that commemorate this historic period in the World's history:

Call (415) 989-1995 for more detailed schedule.

News of Members:

Olaf Malver FN-92 will show slides of Greenland and the World's largest national park called the Arctic Rivera. The event will be at Phileas Fogg's in Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto on March 15 at 7:30 PM. Admission: $2.00. No reservations; first-come, first-serve.

Photo credits: Two speakers by Dong Lin. Red wolf, Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, black footed ferret, and grizzly bear by Middleton and Liittschwager. Seal tank by Monte Corsa.

Date created: 2/7/1995
Last modified: 01/21/2002
Authorized by: Mike Diggles, Secretary (at the time), Northern California Chapter of The Explorers Club
Copyright (c)1995; Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter.

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

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