2007-2008 Programs


Travel & Adventure Film Series 2007-2008

Wednesday evenings at the Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium

70 Forbus Street, Poughkeepsie

Doors open at 6:45pm, Program at 7:30pm

Annual Membership for Two: $30

Single Program Admission: $5 per person

Travel & Adventure Programs at

Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium

7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45pm)

Chuck Liddell

November 7, 2007

Chuck Liddell & Greg Reitman


While exploring historical, social, and environmental change, this film captures the mystical splendors, natural beauty and romance of Catalina Island. Step back in time to the days of Big Bands and Hollywood stars and experience the exciting Catalina of today.

Sandy Mortimer

November 14, 2007

Sandy Mortimer


Join Sandy on a journey to ancient Mayan cities, temples and caves, many not seen by outsiders, as well as today’s isolated villages with their age-old rituals and ceremonies. Learn about this ancient culture whose wealth of scientific and artistic accomplishments continues to amaze modern scientists.

John Wilson

December 12, 2007

John Wilson


Go wild and explore the world in one country! From deserts to jungles, and everything in between, South Africa’s bio-diversity is truly amazing. Visit the “Garden of the Gods”, experience the solitude of the Kalahari Desert and the roaring lions in the bushveld, and travel the enchanting coastline.

January 9, 2008

Steve McCurdy


Postcards from Italy is a fascinating combination of stories and images. It is a collection of vignettes and travel experiences that will unveil places you may know, introduce you to people you may have met and document life in southern Italy in an artistic way you have never before seen.

January 16, 2008

Mike Shiley


Over 50,000 dogs and cats were left behind in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Join Mike and some of the dedicated and compassionate group of volunteer rescuers from around the world as they risk their lives in a life and death struggle to save some of these stranded animals.

January 23, 2008

Sid and Mary Nolan


Follow the Silk Road across Asia tracing the path of adventurous merchants who led their treasure-laden camels from one sun-drenched outpost to the next. Historical sites, natural beauty, and welcoming people make this odyssey an incredible experience you won’t forget!


January 30, February 6, February 13

7:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

(Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)

The 2008 series will be at 7:30 p.m. on January 30, February 6 and February 13. As in the past, each program will consist of an understandable talk by a scientist involved in research on the topic, and an opportunity for questions from the audience. Brochures giving speakers, and subjects and the location will be distributed in January. The purpose of these lectures is to bring together the general public and scientists to explore topics of interest and importance to everyone. Admission is free.

7:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

(Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)

Poughkeepsie Day School

260 Boardman Rd

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Program Committee

Mary Louise Van Winkle, Chairperson

Maung S. Htoo

Stephen Friedland

January 30, 2008 at 7:30 pm


Speaker: Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. M.D.

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Cleveland, Ohio

Based on the groundbreaking results of his 20 year nutritional study – the longest ever conducted – Dr. Esselstyn will provide irrefutable scientific evidence that a plant based, oil free diet can not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease, but also reverse its effects.

After 5 years on Dr. Esselstyn’s plant-based diet, the average cholesterol levels of his research group dropped from 246 milligrams per deciliter to 137 mg/dl. (Above 240 is considered high risk, below 150 mg/dl is the total cholesterol level seen in cultures where heart disease is essentially nonexistent.) This is the most profound drop in cholesterol ever documented in medical literature in a study of this type.

Dr. Esselstyn received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Western Reserve University. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and St. George’s hospital in London. He has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968 and he has served as President of Staff and a member of the Board of Governors. In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn organized the first National Conference on the Elimination of Heart Disease. In 1997, he chaired a follow up conference, which brought more than 5000 physicians and health workers. In April 2005, he became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. His scientific publications number over 150. Dr. Esselstyn’s book, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” was published in 2007. Additional information is available on his web site www.heartattackproof.com.

February 6, 2008 at 7:30 pm




Speaker: W. Roger Buck, Ph. D.

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Columbia University, NY

Magmatic rift events are rarely observed so there was great excitement when a 40 mile long crack opened as much as 20 feet during September of 2005 in Afar, Ethiopia. Satellite images showed that it was the largest magmatic rifting event ever seen. Traveling by either helicopter or camel train, teams of scientists have installed geophysical instruments to monitor continuing activity around the rift site. Dr. Buck was part of one of the camel train teams that got to appreciate the well armed, but hospitable people in this forbidding desert area at the southern end of the Red Sea. Afar is one of only two places where the globe-encircling mid-ocean ridge system comes up on land; the other being Iceland. Before describing how theories about rifting are being tested in Afar he will describe some of the amazing observations made by Icelandic colleagues during historical rifting episodes in Iceland.

Dr. Buck is a Doherty Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director of the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia, where he has taught since 1990. He came to Lamont on finishing his Ph.D. in Geophysics at M.I.T. in 1984. Though mainly a theorist working on how plate tectonics works, he has been fortunate to participate in field work ranging from collecting rock sample around the Red Sea to diving a Russian submersible to the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. A year spent at the University of Iceland ( 1992-1993 ) turned his attention to magmatic processes at plate spreading centers. He has given the William Lecture of the Geological Society of London and the Francis Birch Lecture of the American Geophysical Union.


February 13, 2008 at 7:30 pm




Speaker: Naomi F. Miller, Ph. D.

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Two archaeological examples, one from Iran and the other from Turkey, will be presented. Located in the southern Zagros mountains, Anshan was the highland capital of the “Kings of Anshan and Susa” mentioned in cuneiform texts. Modern village life provided unexpected clues for the interpretation of charred archaeological plant remains. Gordion was the capital of ancient Phrygia and reputed home of King Midas (c. 700 B.C.). It’s monuments include the Midas Mound (Tumulus MM), nearly a hundred smaller burial mounds, and the ancient city of Gordion itself. Studies of the modern forest and steppe vegetation suggest how ancient people may have used different areas within the landscape. Plant remains recovered from the settlement document changes in vegetation and land use from about 1200 BC to 1000 AD. Inspired by our glimpses of formerly healthy steppe vegetations, the Gordion Project is attempting to create a solid cover of grasses and flowers on the Midas Mounds to stem erosion.

Dr. Miller is a Senior Research Scientist at the Museum Applied Science Center for Archeology of the University of Pennsylvania Museum. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Michigan in 1982. Her primary research interest is understanding long-term human impact on the landscape in West and Central Asia. She has excavated as close as Princeton, New Jersey, as far as Anau, Turkmenistan, and sites in Iran, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, and Israel. She was recently editor of the Journal of Ethnobiology and is editor or co-editor of several books. She has also published many scholarly articles and book chapters on her work, as well as a popular book illustrated with watercolors painted while she was in the field (drawing on the past, An Archaeologist’s Sketchbook, University on Pennsylvania Museum Press). Additional information is available on http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~nmiller0/

Travel & Adventure Programs at

Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium

70 Forbus Street, Poughkeepsie, NY

7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45pm)

February 20, 2008

John Holod


John’s back to take us up the eastern coast. You enjoyed the “Southeast Coast” last year, now we will head up from Virginia Beach to the Maine/Canada border. Along the way we will observe an amazing array of birds, mammals, whales, insects, amphibians, flora as well as over 30 lighthouses.

February 27, 2008

Buddy Hatton


Myanmar (formerly Burma) remains one of the most mysterious and undiscovered destinations in the world. A land of breathtaking beauty and charm yet only recently emerging into the modern world. Burma has a rich and glorious heritage spanning more than 2000 years.

Rick Ray

March 5, 2008

Rick Ray


Join Rick in his pilgrimage to the monastery of the Dalai Lama and his audience with the holiest man in the Buddhist faith. The experiences revealed on this journey are woven into a contemporary look at the struggles of the Tibetan people and the amazing history behind the Dalai Lamas of Tibet.

Grant Foster

March 12, 2008

Grant Foster


Grant Foster takes us on a fascinating land and sea journey into the “ring of fire” to meet the people of many of these Indonesian volcanic islands. We witness their lively expressions, art and music, their diverse cultures, and the influence of volcanoes on their lifestyle and religious beliefs.