An Interview with Mike and Lilliana Libecki
By: Victoria Ortiz
Adventure Scientist and National Geographic Explorer Mike Libecki wants to complete 100 expeditions by the time he’s 100 years old. He also strives to be the best father on the planet. And for the creative and passionate father/daughter duo, the two goals are not mutually exclusive.
In June of 2016, Mike and his 13-year-old daughter Lilliana trekked 150+ miles in the Himalayas in Nepal for “wonderful humanitarian efforts, adventure, and ultimate joy.” Their incredible crew captured the experience to distribute solar equipment, Dell Computers, a divvy water filtration system, and gifts to monasteries, schools, and medical clinics in a short film appropriately dubbed "Rays of Joy."
Along the way they collected water and scat samples for Adventure Scientists Global Microplastics Initiative and Global Microbe Study. We caught up with Mike and Lilliana to ask them about their expedition and traveling as a dad and daughter team.
By: Erwan Simon | Photos by John Seaton Callahan
Madagascar has 3,000 miles of coastline and many offshore reefs. Most surfers go to the island’s south, between Toliara and Tôlanaro. The rugged central west coast between Mahajanga and Morondava remains largely unexplored. So, in 2015, our surfEXPLORE team flew to the world’s fourth largest island to find new waves and real adventure!
surfEXPLORE is a multi-national group who travel to some of the world's more remote and exotic locations seeking undiscovered surfing waves. Our core team is Hawaiian photographer John Seaton Callahan, British longboard champion Sam Bleakley, Italian surfer Emiliano Cataldi, and me, French surfer Erwan Simon.
In 2016 Adventure Scientists contributed over 15,000 volunteer field days (that's over 41 years!) to our scientific partners to help them discover solutions to pressing environmental issues. Adria Magrath of Vashon Island, Washington, submitted one of the highest numbers of samples this year for our Global Microplastics Initiative, so we asked her to tell us why she volunteers and some of her collection stories.
By: Adria Magrath
Water holds a special place for me- I am literally surrounded by it because I live on an island. There is no bridge, which means I must take a ferry whenever I want to leave or return to my community.
As a biologist, I know that molecules of water are used to break apart the molecules of our food so that we can absorb it and transport it in our blood for energy. Water cycles from the earth to the sky and back again to grow plants, erode landforms, create weather, and support animal life from fish to people.
As an individual, I know that water is a force that fosters life. Collecting microplastic samples for Adventure Scientists is a way for me to help increase our understanding of how our habits are impacting aquatic ecosystems and perhaps bring more awareness to this element that we often take for granted.
By: Annette Bombosch
Expedition Guide and Citizen Science Coordinator for G Adventures and Polar Latitudes
I will never forget the first time I stepped on the ice. Immediately, I was overwhelmed by the vastness of this place. In every direction I looked there were mountains covered in ice and snow. Glaciers flowed all the way down to sea level, calving off beautiful icebergs in all shapes and colors – from pure white to all shades of blue. Antarctica seemed endless, and left me feeling surprisingly peaceful. This icy continent continues to captivate me and I feel very privileged to work here as an expedition guide.
Antarctica is raw and pure. She alone dictates what we can and cannot do. The penguins, seals, and whales are perfectly adapted to these harsh conditions, whereas we humans need to wrap up in many warm layers to stay comfortable and hurry back to the comforts of the ship after a short while ashore.
Antarctica is the largest wilderness on Earth, still considered nearly untouched by humans. A visit rewards every traveler with so much that quite often our guests wish to give something back to the icy continent.
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