Villanova Welcomes Accomplished Documentary Photographer, Sailor and Arctic Explorer David Thoreson to Campus for April 25 Lecture

David Thoreson, Senior Advisor for Geospatial Exploration at the Geoversiv Foundation

VILLANOVA, Pa. — Villanova University will host a lecture by accomplished documentary photographer, sailor and Arctic explorer David Thoreson, Senior Advisor for Geospatial Exploration at the Geoversiv Foundation, on Tuesday, April 25. The talk, titled “Over the Horizon: The New Era of Climate Exploration,” will begin at 2:30 p.m., in the PWC Auditorium in Bartley Hall (Room 1011). The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering, Office of Sustainability, and Department of Chemistry.

Thoreson is the first American in history to have successfully transited the entire Northwest Passage in both directions. He has sailed more than 65,000 nautical miles around the globe, in often extreme conditions, traveling below the Antarctic Circle, across the Atlantic 3 times, over the Arctic Circle 6 times, and completing 28,000-mile circumnavigation of the North and South American Continents.

As Senior Advisor for Geospatial Exploration for the Geoversiv Foundation, Thoreson brings a unique experience of exploring Earth’s changing planetary systems. It was during the historic 2007 Cloud Nine voyage through the Northwest Passage, when the small vessel sailed 7,000 miles of Arctic waters without touching ice, that Thoreson identified a moment of transition between two great ages of exploration: from the Age of Exploration of the Earth’s surface terrain to the Age of Exploration of Earth systems.

“David Thoreson's visit to Villanova will provide a visually stunning opportunity to engage this daring explorer and gifted storyteller, as he shares his experience of the regions of our world that are changing most rapidly and most radically,” said Amanda Grannas, Associate Vice Provost for Research. “David will also bring the Geoversiv narrative of active multidisciplinary engagement with the process of climate exploration that is at the heart of the ethical call facing this generation.”

The April 25 event will detail Thoreson’s experiences on the first-ever East to West NW Passage by an American sailboat—a nearly 7,000 mile journey which allowed the crew’s observations to “ground truth” satellite data of sea ice extent.  He will speak about the bridging of two eras of exploration — the classic era of Parry, Shackleton, Nansen and Amundsen and the new era where explorers are now collecting data and narratives from across the globe, confirming the truth of the science, whether in space or across planet Earth.

Thoreson’s striking photography has appeared in a broad spectrum of media, from the National Park Service, PBS and the Smithsonian to the World Science Festival. His documentary of the about 28,000-mile circumnavigation of the North and South American continents was nominated for an Emmy.