David Thoreson is a professional photographer and explorer from Lake Okoboji. David grew up in Algona but has been on adventures much of his life, whether bicycling around the United States, Canada and New Zealand or exploring the oceans and polar regions of the world. When home at his studio in Okoboji he operates a fine art gallery featuring his photography work. David loves the outdoors and photography of the Iowa landscape. In 1996, his photographs of Iowa and the biking event RAGBRAI were featured at the Smithsonian’s Center for American Folklife during the Iowa Sesquicentennial. He has been a frequent contributor to The Iowan Magazine and Iowa Public Television (IPTV) over the years. His latest television documentary was nominated for an Emmy in 2011. David’s book, One Island, One Ocean, was published in the fall of 2011. The image-based book features over 350 of David’s still images documenting his sailing voyage around the Americas.
Personal Adventures and Explorations of the Northwest Passage
The presentation includes stories of David’s three Arctic expeditions aboard small sailboats and the quest for the infamous Northwest Passage. He begins with the 1994 passage attempt aboard the 57′ s/v Cloud Nine in which the crew became trapped in the ice and barely escaped. Thirteen years later, in 2007, David and crew were successful in traveling along famed explorer Roald Amundsen’s route and became the first American sailboat in history to accomplish this feat. In 2009, he was ice expert and documentary photographer on the scientifically-equipped, 64′ s/v Ocean Watch which accomplished the Northwest Passage from west to east. David became the only American sailor in history to transit the infamous passage in both directions.
David tells adventure stories visually, stitching voyages together and including brief histories, photography and landscape, trip planning, ice charts, wildlife, native villages and changes in the environment contributing to loss of Arctic ice.
Sailing Around the Americas, a 28,000-Mile Small Boat Journey
In 2009-10, David was selected to be the documentary photographer and filmmaker on a 13-month, 28,000-mile sailing circumnavigation of the North and South American continents. The educational and scientific voyage was designed to raise awareness in the public and highlight many important ocean and sea issues. David took over 75,000 images during the sailing adventure and this is a stunning visual presentation.
The Northwest Passage in the Era of Climate Change
This presentation includes a more in-depth look at the science of climate change with the emphasis on the Arctic. Using David’s unique northern experiences, he explores the state of the polar ice cap, changes in native villages, culture, tourism, resource development and the northern sea routes with increasing shipping and commerce in the Arctic. Why is the Arctic considered the epicenter of the climate debate? What is the future of the Northwest and Northeast Sea Passages? David will explore the many questions and host a lively discussion.
Equipment required: Screen, microphone (larger venues)