This project has garnered the attention and participation of renowned scientists, leading conservationists, cutting-edge educational institutions, recognized artists and poets, and perhaps the most important group, children, the world’s future change makers.
The short list of the individuals and organizations who created, contributed to, and are currently collaborating on this project below.
Connie Brown &
Co-creator, mapmaker | Here at Redstone Studios in Durham CT, I paint custom illustrated wall maps on canvas for private clients, companies and organizations.
In my twenty five years as a map artist, I’ve mapped regional and global travels, treks, safaris, road trips, weddings, honeymoons, properties, scientific explorations, retreats, life histories, family migrations, school campuses, historic districts, environmental regions.
My clients commission me to celebrate journeys, accomplishments, and beloved places, sometimes as special gifts for their partners, children, parents, friends, or colleagues, or (in the case of companies and organizations) as public art. Whatever the case, all of them celebrate not just geography but human spirit as well.
At my clients’ requests, I paint many animals on the maps I create. The process of depiction requires deep observation and loving attention to my animal subjects. It’s almost a meditative engagement, inspiring admiration and concern for the creature I’m rendering. If I render, I worry, so my desire to help in some way (in this case, a volunteer map about the African elephant) seems inevitable.
Co-creator | At the heart of what guides most of my decisions is learning from the natural world, a strong thread throughout my life. From tiny fireflies to complex grasslands, this is the stuff that stops me in my tracks.
I hope to inspire others to better understand nature's fascinating rhythm and stories, and believe in the power of a personal experience to anchor this connection. I have spent the last decade marketing journeys linking travel and conservation to help champion and protect the world's wild places, creatures and traditions. I want to continue to bring to life the lessons we can learn from 3.8 billion years of nature's ideas, evolutions and solutions, like bionic arms influenced by remarkable elephant trunks and natural air conditioning inspired by termite mounds!
Last year I was honored to co-chair the 113th Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD), helping conceptualize and execute the longest-standing philanthropic event in New York City history. This gathering unites > 1260 world-class explorers and supports the nonprofit's aims to advance field research, scientific exploration, and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore.Next up: another opportunity to collaborate with this legendary team by turning loose on the 114th ECAD: Next Generation Exploration!
Dropping off a limited-edition archival print to display at The Explorers Club's historic headquarters was a particularly proud moment for me. New Yorkers: Stop by to see it!
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Beneficiary | Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.regions.
Mission statement | The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.
Avenues: The World School
Avenues: The World School emphasizes global preparedness, language fluency and project-based learning. We seek to graduate world-wise students who will become leaders in their respective fields and, as our mission statement states, who are "aware that their behavior makes a difference in our ecosystem." The Elephant Map Project and conservation efforts carried out by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are indicative of the type of deep learning that differentiates an Avenues education. We are pleased to be the instructional partner in this important conservation effort.
MISSION | A NEW SCHOOL OF THOUGHT
We will graduate students who are accomplished in the academic skills one would expect; at ease beyond their borders; truly fluent in a second language; good writers and speakers one and all; confident because they excel in a particular passion; artists no matter their field; practical in the ways of the world; emotionally unafraid and physically fit; humble about their gifts and generous of spirit; trustworthy; aware that their behavior makes a difference in our ecosystem; great leaders when they can be, good followers when they should be; on their way to well-chosen higher education; and, most importantly, architects of lives that transcend the ordinary.
The Explorers Club
Upon receiving The Explorers Club's Legendary Explorer Medal in 2013, John Glenn expounded, "Back in the days of the old maps, that showed the known world — off on the edges, it showed boiling pots of oil, and dragons, and so on.
Our whole history has been one of dragon pushing. Pushing dragons back off the edge and filling in those gaps on the maps. And that is a key role that The Explorers Club has provided, and that attitude, of curiosity, is one that has been long sponsored by this Club.”
While there are few "undiscovered" places left on the map, there will always be dragons to push. Exploration is an ongoing, multidisciplinary process; technology is constantly evolving, perspectives changing, and with increased knowledge comes increased questions to research and facets to consider. The Elephant Map Project provides a unique intersection of conservation and maps and uses contemporary map making to simulate engagement. This project sheds light on the ambiguous "dragon" that is the consequences of losing this endangered species and the vital role they play in our world. —Lacey Flint, Curator of Research Collections
The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. Since its inception in 1904, the Club has served as a meeting point and unifying force for explorers and scientists worldwide. Our headquarters is located at 46 East 70th Street in New York City.
Founded in New York City in 1904, The Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club’s members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon—all accomplished by our members.
Michael Suozzi, Suozzi Studios, digital fine art printer
Steve Hanon, CFO, Avenues: The World School
Jim Rinehart, Wall Street Gallery
Leslie Bulion, science poet
Anne Armfield, photographer
Evan Yagerman, photo credit
Alexis Segal, photo credit
Ian Redmond OBE, statement contribution
Bryan Christy, statement contribution
Iain Douglas-Hamilton, elephant map census
Jackie Cittone-Magid, DSWT Board
Tim Nighswander, IMAGING4ART, fine arts photographer
Penny Robiner, proofreader
Liza Neustaetter, editor
The Explorers Club
Duncan Milne, artistic advisor
Annie Losey Teillon, artistic advisor
Mary Kordak, African art expert
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's behind-the-scenes team including Rob Brandford and Melissa Sciacca. The elephants are unbelievably lucky to have you on their team. We are too.
You all boost our spirits! Thank you.