National Geographic Events

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Adventures in Polar Exploration

  • Date
    February 25, 2013
  • Time 7:30 p.m.
  • Location Seattle, WA
  • Price Series tickets start at $75 (members) and $85 (general public).

Past Event

Picture of Børge Ousland sailing in Arctic
Børge Ousland sailing in Arctic waters

Photograph copyright Børge Ousland

Picture of Børge Ousland

Børge Ousland

Photograph by Julia Naglestad

“I’ve started to feel the layers of civilization peeling away. I wake up, peer at the sun, perform the day’s chores, sniff the north wind, and automatically pick out the best route and the safest campsites—all without thought.” —Børge Ousland

When it comes to polar exploration, Børge Ousland is a natural. An avid outdoorsman and former member of Norway’s Marinejeger—equivalent to our Navy Seals—he has the physical toughness to survive extreme conditions, as he’s demonstrated over and over again during his 25 years of experience at high latititudes, including 18 trips to the North Pole and six to the South Pole. In particular, Ousland has done more solo expeditions to the Poles than anyone else.

Ousland’s toughness is more than physical. Reaching the North Pole during the long polar night, or crossing the entire Antarctic continent solo, is a test of mind as much as of body. Carrying out such expeditions without outside support raises the bar even further, forcing him to rely on his own skill and ingenuity when things go wrong—as they inevitably do.

Heir to a great Norwegian tradition of polar voyages, Ousland has crafted expeditions to replicate the feats of the great pioneers of exploration. In 2007, while retracing Fridtjof Nansen’s historic trek across Franz Josef Land, he and his team were isolated for three weeks during which they were forced to live off the land. Then, in 2010, Ousland carried out the Northern Passage—a circumnavigation by ocean of the entire Arctic in a single season—achieving a long-sought goal of Arctic exploration that became possible only with changing climatic conditions.

An audience favorite for his charismatic and compelling presentations, Børge Ousland will report on his latest expeditions, including his observations on climate change in the polar regions, with photos and hair-raising video direct from the field.

View our Tickets and Information page.

Return to the Seattle Speaker Series main page.

Watch a video of Børge Ousland and Thorleif Thorleifsson sailing the Northern Passage:

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  • Photo: Enric Sala
    Pristine Seas: Exploring Underwater Edens
    SpeakersMonday, January 14, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.Seattle, WA

    Marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala recounts his odyssey from academic to explorer and activist, with stunning images from the healthy seas he works to protect.

  • Picture of Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner
    K2: Danger and Desire on the Savage Mountain
    SpeakersMonday, March 18, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.Seattle, WA

    The first woman to summit the world’s 14 highest peaks without supplemental oxygen, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, one of National Geographic Adventure’s Adventurers of the Year for 2011, recounts her daring climb to the top of K2.

  • Picture of Ed Scholes and Tim Laman
    Birds of Paradise
    SpeakersMonday, April 29, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.Seattle, WA

    Join photographer Tim Laman and ornithologist Ed Scholes as they recount their wild and hairy adventures in the New Guinea rain forest in search of some of nature’s most extraordinary wonders—the birds of paradise.

  • Picture of William Saturno
    In Search of the Ancient Maya
    SpeakersMonday, May 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.Seattle, WA

    Archaeologist William Saturno offers an entertaining overview of our quest for answers about the enigmatic Maya, featuring a report on his team’s recent discoveries in the jungles of Central America.

Event Sponsors

  • Presenting National Sponsor

    Logo: Geico
  • Presenting Partners

    Logo: Seattle Symphony/Benaroya Hall
  • Community Partner

    Logo: Islandwood
  • Hotel Sponsor

    Logo: Fairmont Olympic
  • Media Sponsor

    Logo: KCTS
  • Media Sponsor

    Logo: KUOW
  • Community Partner

    Logo: Third Place Books

Speakers by Location

Speakers for Today, November 27, 2014 in Seattle, WA

UPCOMING SPEAKERS

Spirit of the Wild, Santa Barbara, CA
January 11, 2015

Untamed Antarctica, Seattle, WA
January 11, 2015

Untamed Antarctica, Seattle, WA
January 12, 2015

View all events on the calendar page →

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