Polar adventurer, expedition guide, author and educator Eric Larsen has spent the past 20 years traveling in some of the most remote and extreme environments on the planet from the North and South Poles to Mount Everest and Ellesmere Island. His travels and experiences will be the basis for two presentations at Misericordia University on Monday, Nov. 4 in Huntzinger and Alden Trust Rooms 218-219 of Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall.
A Soyka Fund for the Humanities-sponsored event, Larsen will present, "A Conversation on Global Warming and the Arctic Ice Cap,'' from 4-5 p.m. His second presentation, "On Thin Ice,'' is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. The Misericordia University Honors Program and departments of Biology, and History and Government are co-sponsoring the programming. The presentations are free, and open to the public.
In his first session, Larsen will screen a 20-minute clip from his film, "Melting: Last Race to the Pole,'' which documents his 53-day expedition with Ryan Waters to the North Pole and the dramatic warming they witnessed of the polar ice cap. Following the film, Brian F. Carso, J.D., Ph.D., associate professor of history and government, will interview the guest speaker about the expedition, the making of the film, and the implications of warming artic sea ice.
During the evening session, participants will experience Larsen's life through the lens of his stories based on nearly 20 years of extreme expeditions. He will share stories about encounters with polar bears, extreme cold, thin ice, avalanches, and much more, weaving themes of innovation, risk and uncertainty into the presentation while highlighting his own efforts to grow and expand environmental awareness into the future.
"Mr. Larsen's visit will continue an ongoing examination of climate change and the challenge of environmental sustainability,'' Dr. Carso said, "while also highlighting the human instinct of curiosity and exploration, and the quest to know ourselves and our world.''
To date, Larsen has completed more North and South Pole expeditions than any other American in history has. Included in that list are the first-ever summer expedition to the North Pole as well as a world-record expedition to the South Pole, North Pole and top of Mount Everest all within a 365-day period.
In May 2014, Larsen and Waters traveled unsupported from northern Ellesmere Island to the geographic North Pole in 53 days. "Animal Planet'' and the "Discovery Channel" featured this journey on the television shows in the United States and around the world, respectively. Larsen's award-winning book, "On This Ice: An Epic Final Quest into the Melting Arctic,'' also details his adventure.
Larsen and Waters also completed the first ascent of Jabou Ri, a 6,000-meter peak in the remote Rolwaling region of Nepal in 2015. Larsen's other expeditions include dog sledding in the Canadian Arctic, training trips to Hudson Bay and countless dog sled races, including the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.
In addition, Larsen is the founder of COLDER Films, a small-by-design production company focused on creating dynamic media content that is visually captivating, emotional and informative. He has dedicated his adult life to sharing his love for the outdoor world with others. As an educator, he strives to connect people to places and issues.
He and his wife, Maria, have two children. The family resides in the small mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado. For more information about his career and explorations, please log on to www.ericlarsenexplore.com.
For more information about the Department of History and Government at Misericordia University, please call 570-674-6400 or visit www.misericordia.edu/history.