NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
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Equipment Notes: Stereo=1; Dual-Channel Mono. NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS Show: Geographic Century Log of DAT #: Larry Lake Date: 7/15/99 ng = not good ok = okay g = good vg = very good AC :29 Just tell me who you are. Identify yourself as regards Richard Archbold. LL :35 My name is Larry Lake and I¿m a professor of writing at Messiah College in Pennsylvania and in my early years, back when I was 6 up through the time I was 13, I lived in the valley that Richard Archbold had discovered in 1938. In those years that I was living in the Balim Valley, my parents were missionaries there and early in my time there, I began hearing the name Richard Archbold and learning that he had been an explorer from the United States who had done the first exploration in that area and so I got interested in learning more about him. AC 1:13 And you¿re working on a biography? LL 1:16 I¿m writing a book that is going to be a study of the scientific contributions of Richard Archbold¿s three New Guinea expeditions. His organization actually led a number of expeditions to New Guinea, but the first three were totally financed and led by Richard Archbold. The first of those was in 1933, the second started in 1936 and ran early into 1937, and both of those early ones had been in what¿s now Papua New Guinea. Then in 1938-39 he cooperated with the Dutch government, which at that time was in charge of the western half of the island of New Guinea, it was called Netherlands New Guinea at the time, and they mounted a very large expedition, about 197 individuals, including a large military contingent, to do exploration in the largely unexplored highlands of West New Guinea. AC 2:20 If you¿re working on a book about the scientific contributions, can you just briefly say what they were? I mean, how could you sum them up? LL 2:29 The contributions that Archbold¿s contributions made are not only in terms of materials that they collected but also in terms of setting a standard for later operations of this sort. The expeditions was what¿s basically referred to as a multidisciplinary expedition. There were ornithologists, that is, people who specialize in birds, there were botanists, people dealing with plants, there were mammologists, and also at least one person who was dealing with fish and someone else with reptiles on this expedition. And each of those people had an assistant and then they employed local people to help them in collecting. They collected specimens, birds, plants, whatever, and then prepared them for shipment to the United States. Those materials would be identified in many cases on site and in other cases would have to be identified after they arrived back in the United States, or in the case of this expedition in Holland, where half of the material is being sent for study by Dutch scientists. Another thing, and during that time, the expedition just in botany alone, collected a great number of specimens, 5,331 botanical items of which 631 were later identified to be new species and there were five new genera that were also discovered as part of that study. This was the first time that a large expedition equipped for the study of lots of different kinds of material was able to get into the interior of New Guinea and stay for any length of time. There had been a number of Dutch military expeditions going on in the early years of the 20th century, but most of those followed the main rivers upstream, and then once their craft couldn¿t go any further, they would then turn around and go back down the river. Earlier in, from 1909 until 1926, there had been a series of six expeditions to try top climb some of the mountains. Most of those had come in from the south coast. Two of them had been supplied by aircraft but only in terms of airdrops to rather remote places just for basic supplies, but it was Ar... (Notes truncated)

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4 Sep 2009 by Ben Brotman
4 Sep 2009 by Ben Brotman
4 Sep 2009 by Ben Brotman