The Science Museum of Long Island held its Annual Membership Meeting October 15th at its Leeds Pond Preserve facility.
President Hildur Palsdottir celebrated the many changes taking place at the Science Museum and proudly announced to all, “Check us out!”
Palsdottir then introduced Dr. Kenneth Kamler, the evening’s keynote speaker.
His talk, “Survival on Mt. Everest”, described his first-hand experience as the only medical doctor on the ill-fated 1996 expedition to summit Mt. Everest, the earth’s highest mountain. The expedition was Dr. Kamler’s fourth of six expeditions but was the most challenging, calling him to dig deeply into his healing skills to save individuals exposed to some of the most extreme environmental conditions. It was an amazing story of human endurance and individual bravery.
Kamler is known worldwide for his skills in “extreme emergency medicine.”
He has been a consultant to National Geographic and NASA and has appeared as a medical expert on numerous TV shows including “The Today Show,” “Larry King,” “Nightline,” “20/20,” and “Oprah.”
In the Q&A session that followed his talk, Dr. Kamler was asked how he became involved in extreme medicine. He had wanted to become a mountain climber as a teenager after reading “Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8,000-Meter Peak” by Maurice Herzog but thought, “this was not in the cards for a young kid from the Bronx.”
While an orthopedic resident, he chanced to work on a patient injured during a climb in New Hampshire. Impressed by the young doctor, the patient provided him the name of a mountain climbing instructor.
After his first lesson, Kamler was hooked! Before long, he found himself invited to join climbing expeditions, “more for my skills as a trauma doctor than my climbing prowess”. As his reputation spread, he soon was invited to join The Explorers Club and the rest is history.