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Posted: November 14, 2012

Crocodiles and Ice – Circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island

From the steamy jungles of the Solomon Islands, to shamanic wisdom from the Siberian tundra, to the frozen seas of Ellesmere Island, join scientist, explorer, and author, Jon Turk, for an evening of high adventure and rich discovery.

Jon stepped off the plane from Beijing to New York earlier this autumn, after two months on the Tibet Plateau, and went on to do 11 speaking or dancing gigs in a month, beginning in New York City. Now he’s coming to Invermere.

A resident of Montana in the summer, and an ardent skier who snorkels backcountry powder most of the winter in Fernie, he’s bringing his slide and video presentation, Crocodiles and Ice here.

Hosted by the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society, Jon’s presentation will kick off their AGM to be held Nov 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Windermere Lions Hall (Visitor’s Centre).  Doors open at 7 p.m., admission by donation.

A scientist with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, Jon co-authored the first environmental science textbook in the United States, in honour of Earth Day in 1971. It sold 100,000 copies and spearheaded the development of environmental science curricula in North America.

National Geographic nominated Jon Turk and Erik Boomer one of 10 ‘Adventurers of the Year’ for their circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island in the summer of 2011. It’s noteworthy for armchair adventurers of a certain age to know that Jon is a pensioner (66) and Erik, at 27, is less than half his age.

The two men walked, skied, crawled, portaged, and paddled 1,500 nautical miles in 104 days, half a marathon a day over a landscape of shifting, grinding ice and polar seas in what polar historian Jerry Kobalenko called, “One of the last great firsts in Arctic travel.”

Jon brings his global travels and solid scientific background to offer perspective on the Jumbo Resort debate: “I’ve hiked and skied in the Jumbo Creek area and throughout the Purcells and firmly support the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society in their efforts to keep Jumbo Wild!  Wildness in our landscapes and our hearts are absolutely essential to our sanity, and without hyperbole, to our survival.”

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