Kokatat Sponsors Papua New Guinea Expediton

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“Conservation Through Exploration.”

In late August 2007, Epicocity Project team members Howard “Trip” Jennings, Kyle Dickman, Brian Eustis, Matt Fields Johnson, Andy Maser, and Scott Feindell joined a team of scientists and cavers for a six week exploration of the Hargy Caldera in New Britain , Papua New Guinea . This National Geographic expedition will give voice to the recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Fund that this area be conserved.

The Hargy Caldera and its surrounding rivers shape a landscape fed by 200 inches of annual rainfall on terrain that drops from 7000 feet to the sea in less than 20 miles. The unusual combination of geology and climate has created some of the planet’s wildest whitewater, most biologically diverse forests, and most culturally isolated locales. The expedition will involve three whitewater first descents (reached by foot and helicopter), exploration of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest cave system, collection of scientific data, and collaboration with local tribes. “It’s a daunting adventure and a story that will be captured on film, in magazine articles and photographs,” says Kyle Dickman, Epicocity Project Producer.

About the Epicocity Project Team:

Howard “Trip” Jennings , the owner and founder of the Epicocity Project, has led whitewater first descents and expeditions in 6 countries throughout North, Central and South America . His films have been accepted into Banff Film Festival’s World Tour, Telluride Film Festival and have gained critical acclaim in the kayaking world. The Conservation through Exploration project rolls together Trip’s passions for the environment, kayaking and exploration. The team he is collaborating with is the most qualified group he has worked with to date.

Kyle Dickman is a producer with the Epicocity Project and a freelance writer. Kyle brings with him extensive travel experience from exploratory trips in Central America, Europe and New Zealand , and wilderness skills honed by seven years whitewater kayaking and five years fighting first.

Brian Eustis recently returned from paddling the length of the Mekong River . Eustis’s film about this adventure, “The Mother of Waters”, was awarded Telluride’s Indomitable Spirit award and finished second in Banff Mountain Film Festivals People’s Choice award. He has logged first descents in China , led kayaking expeditions in Costa Rica and spends his weekends paddling his favorite backyard run, Washington ’s Little White Salmon. Brian’s experience with foreign cultures and his skills on the water and with a camera make him an invaluable part of this expedition.

Andy Maser just finished production on a full-length documentary that analyzed Columbian culture. Andy has logged numerous first descents from Costa Rica to Argentina and recently placed second at the Collegiate Nationals for kayaking. This will be his fourth international kayaking expedition. He is a recent graduate from the University of Oregon ’s School of Journalism and Communications.

Matt Fields Johnson is joining the expedition as a photographer, a kayaker, and an expert in ropes and rescue. Matt is studying photography in Bowling Green State University . He has been on photography assignments in Antarctica, Ecuador and Argentina . When Matt’s not shooting photos he’s climbing hard traditional routes all over the world, or paddling his backyard run on the Great Falls of the Potomac River .

Scott Feindel has been paddling since he was 8 years old. He began developing his skills, and still is, on rivers all across North America, South America , Norway and New Zealand . Scott’s experience on the water and his ability to maintain a positive attitude in high stress situations make Scott an integral part of this expedition.
Find out more about the Conservation through Exploration- Papua New Guinea Expedition here and
here.