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ALEKSANDER PIOTR CZEKANOWSKI (1833-1876)

Geologist, Palaeontologist, researcher of Siberia, he filled in the blanks in its map, and was responsible for mapping previously unknown geological regions of Russia

Aleksander Czekanowski’s father, Wawrzyniec, was a passionate entomologist and collector of insects. But it would be because of his son – prisoner of tsarist Russia, exiled barefoot to Siberia – that insects, arachnids, plants, mountains passes would carry his name…

Aleksander Czekanowski
Source: www.katalogmonet.pl
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JAN CZERSKI (1845-1892)

Palaeontologist, Geologist, indefatigable Siberian researcher, pioneer researcher of the region between the great rivers of Indigirka and Kolyma

Jan Czerski, who for his participation in the January uprising against Russia was exiled as prisoner of the Tsar to the antipodes of the Russian empire, was also considered to be one of the most outstanding researchers of Siberia by some Russian scientists. His research of the Baikal  “become the basis of the study of the tectonic development of the Asian continent, and the mountain ridges rising above them, and led him, for the first time in world science, to the concepts of geomorphologic evolution” – claimed the outstanding Soviet geographer L. S. Berg. According to the chroniclers of the Russian Geographical Society, this exiled visitor to Siberia, self-taught, surpassed the greatest local scientists with his acumen.

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BENEDYKT TADEUSZ DYBOWSKI (1833-1930)

Naturalist, physician, explorer of Siberia and Kamchatka, distinguished contributor to the study of Lake Baikal, called the “father of Polish limnology”

“As a young boy in Lithuania, I heard stories about the life and deeds of Dybowski told by exiles returning from Siberia. In the long winter evenings I would avidly listen – as to the adventures of Robinson Crusoe – as Dybowski, Dubiecki and Kietliński built a hut in Darasun or chopped ice to set nets to catch the creatures of Lake Baikal; or as Dybowski, preparing for an expedition on the Amur river, built a ship and then as he helped out the lepers in the Commander Islands” recalled Julian Talko-Hrycewicz, professor of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow (Domaniewski, 1954). For his generation Benedykt Dybowski was a true hero.

Benedykt Dybowski
Source: Słabczyński W., ”Polscy podróżnicy i odkrywcy”
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JAN STANISŁAW KUBARY (1846-1896)

Traveller and researcher in the cultures of Oceania. Pioneer in studies of Micronesia. His ethnographic descriptions belong to the first such detailed reports from this part of Oceania

Jan Kubary, 1873
Source: Wikimedia Commons
(after Smolińska L., Sroka M., “Great known and unknown”, Warsaw 1988)

Born in Warsaw, which was then under Russian jurisdiction, in a Poland partitioned between the neighbouring states of Prussia, Russia and Austria. He studied medicine there. At the age of 17, he took part in the 1863 January Uprising against the Russians. In trying to avoid being sent to Siberia, he got fell into the snares of the tsarist secret police by accepting to work as an agent. To escape from these unfortunate connections and from the suspicion of his relatives, in 1868 he went to Berlin, and then to Hamburg, where he signed a contract with a wealthy owner of a museum specializing in ethnographic and natural history collections – Johann Cezar Godeffroy.

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ERNEST MALINOWSKI (1818 – 1899)

Designer and builder of Central Trans-Andean Railway, the highest situated rail in the world for over 100 years

At the altitude of 4818 m, the railroad weaves its path from the desert coast of the Pacific, where Lima is located, to Andean snow – “a miracle of nineteenth century engineering”. It was designed, constructed under dramatic circumstances, as well as funded by a Pole. It is astounding, how this engineering genius, Ernest Malinowski, who died childless, has been forgotten, even though his image appeared on Lima’s monuments.

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KAZIMIERZ MICHAŁOWSKI (1901-1981)

Archaeologist, Egyptologist, art historian, creator of the “Polish school of Mediterranean Archaeology” linking research and conservation work.

In a few words, we, his students, remember Professor Kazimierz Michalowski as a Renaissance man, sensitive to the problems of the world, a passionate researcher, tempered by military discipline and patience, one that enjoyed life to the fullest. He was a positive thinker even in the most difficult moments.

Kazimierz Michałowski in 1967
Source: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe
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RYSZARD WIKTOR SCHRAMM (1920-2007)

The Tatra Mountains climber (‘taternik’), alpinist, and polar explorer. Founder of the Faculty of Biochemistry at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan.

– I do not like to walk in someone else’s footsteps…, said Prof. Dr. Ryszard W. Schramm. And indeed, he set his own.

Ryszard Wiktor Schramm
Source: Wielka Encyklopedia Tatrzańska
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STANISŁAW SIEDLECKI (1912-2002)

A polar explorer, Tatra Mountains climber (‘taternik’), and geologist. Participant of the first Polish polar expedition to Bear Island and creator of the Polish Polar Station – which now bears his name – on Spitsbergen.

– He was an outstanding scholar who made a significant contribution to Polish geology – recalled Stanisław Siedlecki’s friend, Prof. Ryszard W. Schramm. – And there would probably be no Polish polar expeditions as they are today without him.

Stanislaw Siedlecki on a boat during an expedition to Bear Island.
Source: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe
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Chapter Connect – Poland

Join us tonight for another new episode of Chapter Connect, this time with our Poland Chapter! We’ll introduce you to Mariusz Ziółkowski FI’02, Chair of the Poland Chapter, in conversation with V.P. of Chapters Tim Radke MN’13.
Featuring special guests –
Monika Rogozińska MED’93 – How the Chapter was born
Marcin Jamkowski FI’05 – The deepest underwater cave – Hranicka Propast in Czech Republic
Tomasz Stachura FI’13 – Wreck of Karlsruhe in the Baltic Sea
Benedykt Hac FI’15 – Stuttgart: The most dangerous wreck in the south Baltic Sea
Hubert Kowalski FI’17 – Underwater rescue of artifacts from the Swedish occupation of Poland in the 17th century
Tomasz Grzywaczewski FI’14 – The Death Road across Siberia
Andrzej Ciszewski FI’99 – Cave Explorations in China
Mateusz Waligóra FI’20 – Solo unsupported Gobi desert crossing on foot and Vistula River walk
Maciej Klósak FI’19 – In Szolc-Rogiński’s footsteps in Cameroon
Anna Urbańska FI’14 & Jakub Urbański FI’14 – Cannibals of Papua New Guinea
Andrzej Piętowski FI’09 – First kayak expedition down the Colca Canyon, Peru

To watch the stream, simply visit our homepage at explorers.org, our YouTube channel, or live on our Facebook page – Thursday, January 21 at 3:00 pm ET (21:00 in Poland)


Mariusz Ziółkowski FI’02 – Poland Chapter Chair

Mariusz Ziółkowski FI’02 is a Professor of Archaeology of the Americas at the University of Warsaw, Poland. He is also the Director of the Center for Andean Studies of the University of Warsaw in Cusco, and Extraordinary Professor at the Universidad Católica Santa María de Arequipa, Peru.
Ziółkowski specializes in Inca archaeology and ethnohistory, absolute dating techniques, archaeoastronomy, and has taken part in archaeological work in Poland, Iraq, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. He was decorated with the Order of Merit, in the rank of Officer, by the Government of the Republic of Peru in 1998.
He is the author of several books, including – “Pachap unancha. The Metropolitan Calendar of the Inca State” (Ediciones El Lector, Arequipa 2015) & “Myths, rituals and politics of the Incas” (with Jan Szemiński – Ediciones El Lector, Arequipa 2018).