Two Coloradans win international exploration awards – The Daily Camera

A member of the Boulder community was among esteemed explorers from around the globe honored at the sixth annual Leif Erikson Exploration awards. Jeff Blumenfeld was named winner of the 2020 Leif Erikson Exploration History Award. Another Coloradan, Broomfield resident Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj took home the Leif Erikson Young Explorer Award.

The awards were established by the Exploration Museum in 2015 and are awarded for outstanding achievements in exploration and for documentation of exploration history. Located in Hsavk, Iceland, a mere 30 miles from the Arctic Circle, the Exploration Museum dedicated the history of human exploration from early explorers all the way through space exploration. The awardees received their awards in August in a Zoom ceremony, the main event of the Hsavk Explorers Festival.

Blumenfeld, who calls himself a groupie for adventures and explorers, was recognized for his efforts to promote and preserve exploration history. He is the editor and publisher of Expedition News, a website where he has chronicled 26 years of exploration research. In addition to documenting adventures, Blumenfeld has dedicated his career to helping new explorers gain funding.

The explorer historian said he is thrilled to win this award. Recognition from my peers and others in the exploration community is something thats quite rewarding, Blumenfeld says. He feels fortunate to work with explorers and thankful his path has allowed him to work alongside many of his heroes.

This acknowledgment has only strengthened the passion he has for his work. It makes me want to lean in and do even more of what Im doing. Lean in and do even more to support exploration.

Blumenfeld has been a longtime member and leader in the Explorers Club. He has written several books including, Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would-Be World Travelers and Travel With Purpose: A Field Guide to Voluntourism, hoping to promote the benefits of exploration and travel.

Exploration is critically important in this world. Its through exploration that we answer many of the questions, many of the mysteries of this planet. Its through exploration that well understand this planet, he says.

Blumenfeld says he is among impressive company for this years award.

COURTESY Ulyana Horodyskyj

The Leif Erikson Young Explorer Award was bestowed upon Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj for her exceptional achievements in exploration under the age of 35. Horodyskyj fell in love with the outdoors at a young age, which inspired her to pursue a career in geology and glaciology.

She is the founder of Science in the Wild, further distinguishing her in her field as a science communicator. The program is aimed to bring citizen-scientists into the field, by getting people outdoors, thinking like scientists, and collecting data in the field. She says, Science in the Wild is getting people to experience what its like to be a scientist; they contribute to science, and they learn a lot more.

Horodyskyj explains, Im not trying to turn people into scientists, but rather expose them to the kind of work that they do.

Although the pandemic has forced her to reinvent the Science in the Wild experience, the message is still resounding. The big picture is the importance, now more than ever, of science communication and demystifying a lot of things about what it means to be a scientist.

Above all, she wants people to understand that science can be an adventure.

LikeHorodyskyj,Blumenfeld believes the work done by scientists and researchers will make the world a better place.

If I can foster their efforts, Im totally rewarded by that. Thats all the reward I need, he says.

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Two Coloradans win international exploration awards - The Daily Camera

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