Explorers Club Names J. Carl Ganter a Fellow, Recognizing Contributions to Freshwater Research, Conservation and Journalism


  • Circle of Blue co-founder joins roster of explorers who have “inspired many of the world’s greatest discoveries” as water stress becomes a serious threat to people, business, the environment and political stability across the world


NEW YORK (MARCH 3, 2023) — The Explorers Club — the distinguished international society based in New York that promotes scientific expeditions and discovery that push the bounds of human possibility — has named J. Carl Ganter an Explorers Club Fellow in recognition of his contributions to understanding and conserving the world’s fresh water.

Ganter, the co-founder of Circle of Blue, the leading news and science organization that reports on water issues globally, joins noted members such as ocean scientist Sylvia Earle, astronaut and former NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, and Avatar and Titanic film director and deep-diver James Cameron. Past Explorers Club members have included Jacques Cousteau, Carl Sagan, and Sir Edmund Hillary and have carried the club’s flag to the bottom of the Earth’s deepest oceans, to the top of its highest peaks, and on to the Moon. Ganter, a native of Traverse City, Mich., is also the founding CEO of Vector Center, which uses AI to deliver data-driven intelligence about global water security.

“The Explorers Club has inspired some of humanity’s greatest discoveries,” Ganter said. “Being named a fellow is a special honor — my commitment to exploration is to help the world chart a new course for water based on scientific inquiry, data analysis, and stories that compel participation, transparency, and responsibility.”

In a changed climate, water is now at the center of global converging, cascading, and urgent global crises that are disrupting food and energy supplies, economic and geopolitical stability, and human and environmental health.

“As water has defined whether civilizations thrive or fail, today we have foresight powered by exploration and technology — and the ability to choose between hope and fear,” Ganter said. “As explorers, we must see, share, and inspire. Exploration is about discovery and wonder — we can reframe even the most insurmountable challenges by asking, What if?”

Ganter’s nomination was co-sponsored by Dr. Sullivan, the astronaut. “Over his career as an explorer and journalist, water has been his common life thread,” she said. “The funny thing is, when we think about exploring space, we look for a planet with water. As a water explorer, Carl helps us see our world and our future in new ways.”

An authoritative, global voice for water, Circle of Blue uniquely combines innovations in journalism, data research, and public policy. Among its accomplishments, Circle of Blue’s trusted field reporting and convenings have triggered policy shifts in China and the U.S. It also brought together innovators in water, technology, art, history, and exploration for events such as World Water Day at the Vatican hosted by Pope Francis.

For creating a “cumulative feedback loop” to inform the world’s most important decisions about water, Ganter received the Rockefeller Foundation Centennial Innovation Award. He has served as vice-chairman of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security, among other roles. On assignment for National Geographic Magazine, Ganter joined the U.S. Deep Caving Team on its Explorers Club-flagged expedition to map underwater cave systems in Florida. He covered deep cave exploration in Mexico for the Washington Post Sunday Magazine and Wired. Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, National Geographic and The New York Times are among the news organizations that have published his work.

To meet a moment of urgency, Circle of Blue is embarking on an expanded mission to explore, inform, and design water’s future using new systems design models.

“Now is the precise tipping point, when systems change for water will thrive or be thwarted by status quo and recalcitrant institutions,” Ganter said. “We face a rare moment to course correct, inform the world’s most important decisions, and make hope visible.”

1 reply
  1. Debbie Lockwood says:

    Congratulations on your well earned recognition! May you continue to help us all understand the urgency of our situation.
    Debbie Lockwood

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