Seven Continents

There are seven continents on earth, I have enjoyed visiting all of them.

North America: I arrived thanks to Mom and Dad. Boston Mass, July 1948.

It took me over 40 years to visit my second continent. All six of the remaining continents I visited thanks to my job at the Exploratorium. I never expected that I would Join the Exploratorium and see the world. I have a fun job, but even with the fun these international trips are hard work.

South America: Maurice Bazin invited me to come work at the science center named Espaco Ciencia Viva in Rio de Janiero for September, 1989. I studied Portuguese and felt comfortable buying foods in the local markets. In later years I returned to visit Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador on four more trips climbing high mountains. I climbed Ojos del Salado, the second highest mountain in the western Hemisphere, and made a first ascent of 20,100 foot high Sierra Nevada de Lagunas Bravas with my climbing partner Bob Ayers.

Europe: Klas Fresk, director of Tom Tits Experiment, invited me to speak to a conference of Scandinavian Science Centers in Stockholm in December of 1990. I got to attend the Nobel prize ceremony and meet many wonderful people who worked at Tom Tits. I made return visits 4 times over the next decade, including a trip on which I drove across Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark and another trip to Norway with Martin and Morresa Meyer to cross country ski through Jottenheimen National Park.

Asia: I got to webcast a total solar eclipse from Amasya Turkey during 1999. Turkey is considered Asia Minor, but it is still Asia, just barely.

Africa: There was a total solar eclipse on the banks of the Zambezi river in Zambia in June of 2000. I webcast this eclipse for the Exploratorium. I also got to visit remote villages and see, elephants, lions, hyenas and more. I was surprised by the cool dry mosquito free climate of Zambia in June.

Antarctica: This is the hardest continent to visit. I always wanted to go to the Dry Valleys, but never expected that I would get there. However, the Origins project from the Exploratorium sent a team to Antarctica to webcast science, and Melissa chose me to be the scientist on the team. I arrived November 26, 2001 and departed January 12, 2002. During my stay I climbed Mt. Erebus, visited the Dry Valleys, and walked on cinder cones on Mt. Morning that had never been visited by humans before.

Australia: Travel to Antarctica goes through New Zealand, this made it possible for me to visit the third Science Center World Congress in Canberra, Australia. I landed in Sydney, stepped off the plane and out onto the dirt of Australia thus touching the soil of my seventh continent.

I wonder where I will visit next.

Actually, having been away for 3 months, I'd like to visit California for a while.

Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty


22 Feb 2002