Rodney Moll MN'17
I’d love to share with you a bit about my background, exploration interests, and passions. I primarily see exploration as a collaborative pursuit towards knowledge, and a few examples from my recent history should illustrate this.
I’d have to say that, though my exploration interests are varied, lately they have predominately been at sea. I am a United States Coast Guard certified 100-ton Master of Vessels. Wanting to contribute to scientific understandings about the maritime environment, I played an instrumental role in developing a fruitful partnership between the International SeaKeeper Society, the San Diego Yacht Club, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. This program allows university academics to pursue their research projects by providing this oceanic access gratis, freeing them to spend their limited funding on other aspects of their research. So, while supporting scientific exploration for academics and intellectuals is a priority, I have also found the time to get my own hands dirty, leading expeditions of my own.
I’ve been on a Northern Peoples binge since 2015 embarking on expeditions to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, northern Alaska including the Pribilof and Aleutian Islands. This travel additionally spoke to my broad interests in anthropology and its in-field intersections with exploration. Trudging across the tundra, mushing along frozen rivers, by land, sea, and air, I’m exploring Northern cultures and geographies, collecting photos of the cultural and natural terrains of a remote region of the world. Subsequent presentations focus on daily life, with entries ranging from glaciers, icebergs, and whale and seal butcherings to typical pitch-covered homes, local Greenlandic Inuit and Faroese populations, the Knud Rasmussen Museum, and Aleut and Athabaskan native peoples.
In addition to formal expeditions, I have also embarked on a self-guided exploration of world religions. This multi-continent immersion in faith led me to Sri Lanka (Buddhism), India (Hinduism), the Islamic Republic of Iran (Islam), and Europe and the United States (Christianity and Judaism). My time in India was particularly rewarding, and I was privileged to spend four months study yoga with BKS Iyengar at this time.
And there’s my crazy-man-in-the-woods voyage—a yearly solo expedition into the remote Alaska wilderness. Two-week to month-long solo expeditions to Alaskan wilds via pontoon plane to log flora and fauna counts, compare year-over-year data, and document and photograph significant changes. Compilation of photos focused on specific themes for yearly presentations to elementary classrooms. For example, photos of beaver dams and habitats encourage young minds to think of the mammals as architects while also exploring beavers' interaction with other organisms and the toll of environmental degradation. Sharing exploration experiences with children animates the next generation of citizen-scientists and is, oftentimes, its own reward.
I am thrilled to be a part of Explorer’s Club. It is a privilege to be associated with so many like-minded individuals; I look forward to following your work and joining together in the fellowship of exploration.