National Geographic Emerging Explorer Mireya Mayor poses with Molly the gator after a successful wrestle. Mayor opens the 2018-19 National Geographic Live speaker series in Victoria on Nov. 13. Photo by Emily Mraz/NGT

Trio of high-powered explorers unveiled for new NatGeo Live season

Royal and McPherson Theatres Society bringing next wave of presenters to town

A world-renowned primatologist who once was an NFL cheerleader, an award-winning photographer whose images illustrate the effects of climate change, and a NASA engineer whose work is a key element of Mars exploration will share their experiences with Victoria audiences in this season’s National Geographic Live presentations at the Royal Theatre.

National Geographic Explorer, TV correspondent and in-demand lecturer Mireya Mayor, whose fearless global adventuiring has earned her the nickname the “female Indiana Jones,” kicks off the program’s second season on Nov. 13. A former Miami Dolphins cheerleader who has six children, Mayor’s expedition highlights include the co-discovery in Madagascar of a new species of lemur, believed to be the world’s smallest primate.

She’ll share her intriguing life story in a presentation called “Pink Boots and a Machete,” which is also the title of her autobiography.

“Being a Fulbright scholar and a PhD, and with her background in the NFL and as a TV host, she’s got an incredible story,” says Randy Joynt, manager of external affairs with the Royal and McPherson Theatres Society, which is presenting the series. “Her amazing life journey makes her an inspiring role model for a lot of people.”

Following up Mayor’s presentation is photographer Florian Schulz with “Into the Arctic Kingdom,” on Feb. 27, 2019. He will share a selection of eye-popping images he captured during his multi-year quest to document the Arctic, with a special focus on the Arctic Refuge, one of the world’s last great wildernesses.

NASA Engineer Kobie Boykins winds up the season on May 8 with “Exploring Mars.” A member of NASA’s Mars Exploration team, he has a unique ability to make very technical information about the many mysteries of the Red Planet accessible and interesting for the masses.

Joynt says the local organization team is excited to welcome the next speakers on the series, with the first “test season” having enjoyed great success.

RELATED: Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

“We were pretty thrilled with the way the audience responded to it,” he says, noting that the opportunity to hear their stories directly gave audience members “a sense that you’re on expedition with them.”

Particularly, the Q&A period after the presentations attracted some great questions and was a good indicator of people’s thirst to learn more, after hearing and seeing what NatGeo explorers have been up to.

“These are fascinating individuals doing unusual things,” Joynt says.

For more information on the series or to purchase individual or package tickets, visit rmts.bc.ca, call 250-386-6121 or drop by the Royal or McPherson box offices. Single tickets range from $32.50 to $44.50 while series subscribers save up to 25 per cent.

editor@mondaymag.com

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A polar bear patrols the sea ice along the coast of eastern Svalbard, Norway, as photographed by Florian Schulz, who comes to Victoria as part of the new season of the National Geographic Live speaker series at the Royal Theatre. Photo by Florian Schulz

Victoria audiences can hear tales from the Mars Exploration project, as told by team member Kobie Boykins, as part of the new National Geographic Live speaker series season at the Royal Theatre. Courtesy NASA/JPL Caltech

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