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Aurora Expeditions Cruises aboard the Greg Mortimer: Jewels of Coastal UK and Svalbard Odyssey

About This Webinar

This past spring, VENT kicked off its much anticipated relationship with new cruise partner Aurora Expeditions. Our collaboration debuted with a series of three departures in the North Atlantic, from Ireland and Scotland to the Arctic wilderness of the Svalbard Archipelago. Those trips marked an auspicious start to our relationship with that fine company, and as we look ahead to 2023 (and beyond), we are pleased to announce more birding and natural history cruises to the UK and Svalbard. Please join us on December 15 for the next installment in the VENT webinar series, showcasing our 2023 VENT-Aurora cruises: Jewels of Coastal UK, May 3-17, 2023 and Svalbard Odyssey June 7-19, 2023. Victor Emanuel and veteran tour leaders Rick Wright and Brian Gibbons will co-present. In addition to hearing about these alluring destinations, you’ll learn about the Greg Mortimer, Aurora’s beautiful new vessel.

Who can view: Everyone
Webinar Price: Free
Featured Presenters
Webinar hosting presenter Ben Reynolds
Victor Emanuel Nature Tours
Webinar hosting presenter
Victor Emanuel started birding in Texas 73 years ago at the age of eight. His travels have taken him to all the continents, with his areas of concentration being Texas, Arizona, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. He is the founder and compiler for 50 years of the record-breaking Freeport Christmas Bird Count, and served a term as president of the Texas Ornithological Society. Birds and natural history have been a major focus throughout his life. He derives great pleasure from seeing and hearing birds, and sharing with others these avian sights and sounds, both the common ones and the more unusual ones. He initiated the first birding camps for young people, and considers that one of his greatest achievements.

Victor holds a B.A. in zoology and botany from the University of Texas and an M.A. in government from Harvard. In 1993, he was the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Excellence in Birding Award, given by the Houston Audubon Society in recognition of a lifetime of dedication to careful observation, education, and addition to the body of avian knowledge. In 2004, he received the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association, and the Arthur A. Allen Award from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

Victor is a past board member of the Nature Conservancy of Texas, the National Audubon Society, the American Bird Conservancy, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. In May 2017, the University of Texas Press published his memoir, One More Warbler, A Life with Birds.
Webinar hosting presenter
Rick Wright is a widely published author and sought-after lecturer and field trip leader. A native of southeast Nebraska, Rick studied French, German, Philosophy, and Life Sciences at the University of Nebraska before making a detour to Harvard Law School. He took the Ph.D. in German Languages and Literatures at Princeton University in 1990, then spent a dozen years as an academic, holding successive appointments as Assistant Professor of German at the University of Illinois, Reader in Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, and Associate Professor of Medieval Studies at Fordham University.

His numerous scholarly publications include two books on the Latin animal literature of the later Middle Ages. Among Rick's recent books are the ABA Field Guide to Birds of New Jersey and the ABA Field Guide to Birds of Arizona; his Peterson Reference Guide to American Sparrows was published in 2019. He is also the co-author with Sanford Sorkin of Watching Birds in Montclair and Watching Birds in the New Jersey Meadowlands. Especially interested in the history and culture of birding, he is hard at work on a study of hummingbird collecting in France from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. In his spare time, he teaches Latin courses online for the Paideia Institute. Rick lives with his family, Alison Beringer and Avril Huang, and their black lab, Quetzal, in northern New Jersey, where he offers private birding tours to the marshes, woodlands, and ocean beaches.
Webinar hosting presenter
Brian Gibbons grew up in suburban Dallas where he began exploring the wild world in local creeks and parks. Chasing butterflies and any animal that was unfortunate enough to cross paths with the Gibbons boys occupied his childhood. A wooden bird feeder kit sparked a flame that was stoked by a gift of the Golden Guide and family camping trips to Texas state parks. Thirty years ago Brian attended two VENT camps for young birders. Birds are now his primary interest, but all things wild continue to captivate him. After college, Brian undertook a variety of field biology research jobs that have taken him to the Caribbean, the Bering Sea, and the land of the midnight sun, arctic Alaska. He enjoys working with kids, hoping to spark environmental awareness through birds.

For many years Brian’s field research has involved bird banding. His most amazing recoveries were a female Wilson’s Warbler that had been banded in Alaska and was captured by Brian in Colorado, and a Sooty Tern that perished after a hurricane on the Texas coast; it had plied the Gulf of Mexico and the oceans of the world for 24 years. Brian’s recreational bird-seeking has taken him to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great Wall in China, the plains of East Africa, and the Himalayas in Nepal. Brian leads birding trips in the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, South Africa, and Europe. As well as being a fanatical birder, he loves capturing birds with photography. He lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, Lacrecia Johnson, and their son, Grayson.
Webinar hosting presenter
Sales Director – North America – Aurora Expeditions
Lisa brought 25 years of travel industry history - most of it focused on cruising and expedition travel - and joined Sydney, Australia-based Aurora Expeditions in January 2020. She was lucky enough to onboard in Sydney and meet the great Aurora team before everything shut down. She feels one of the best ways of knowing the true essence of a company is not when everything is going well, but rather when times are challenging. She is extremely proud of being a member of the Aurora team and continuing to build long-time relationships like she has with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours.

When Lisa isn’t building the Aurora Expeditions’ brand in North America, you can find her working on mosaics and gardening at her home on Whidbey Island in Washington State.
Hosted By
Victor Emanuel Nature Tours webinar platform hosts Aurora Expeditions Cruises aboard the Greg Mortimer: Jewels of Coastal UK and Svalbard Odyssey
VENT offers an exciting array of tours and destinations. Webinars will feature an array of other tours and will grow to encompass a wealth of birding and natural history related topics, all from an educational, instructional, or informational standpoint.
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