Geosciences Professor Named Fellow of the Prestigious Explorers Club

Tom Paradise, left, with graduate students in Petra, Jordan.
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Tom Paradise, left, with graduate students in Petra, Jordan.

At the recent Board of Directors meeting of the international Explorers Club based in New York City, Tom Paradise, professor in the Department of Geosciences in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the prominent 114-year-old organization, and awarded the status of Explorers Club Fellow.

Founded in 1904 in New York City, the club promotes and supports the scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space by sponsoring research and education in the natural, geographic and biological sciences, cultural documentation, and humanitarian support and outreach.

Founded by President Theodore Roosevelt in association with Great Britain's Royal Geographic Society (est. 1830), and the Sierra Club (est. 1892), the Explorers Club includes a worldwide membership of men and women who were "first to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, and first to the surface of the moon." 

President Teddy Roosevelt, founder of the Explorers Club, and John Muir at Glacier Point, Yosemite, in 1903

Paradise was nominated and endorsed by two Explorers Club fellows who wrote, "Paradise is regarded as a renowned international authority on the ancient city of Petra in southern Jordan," and "has received research awards and international accolades for his field work in Petra."  

The criteria for Fellow status are stringent and recognize awardees "who have distinguished themselves by directly contributing to scientific knowledge in the field of geographic scholarship, exploration, the sciences or allied fields. Such accomplishments are evidenced by scientific publications documenting fieldwork and/or explorations."

Paradise will attend the reception for new Fellows and Members at the Explorers Club Headquarters in New York in early March.

Paradise has been a professor in the Department of Geosciences since 2000, in addition to having previously served as director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies from 2005-2010 and again from 2015-2017.

He has conducted research in the Middle East and North Africa since 1990, however, it is his work on Petra's architecture, geography, geology and history that has been most recognized, having been published in more than 50 papers, reports, chapters, and books.

In addition, Paradise's work has been showcased on television including PBS' NOVA, Smithsonian, Discovery, NatGeo and Travel Channel specials. Paradise continues to conduct research in Petra with students, and to act as a consultant for a number of film and TV show creators, producers and writers on the topic of "Petra, the rose-red city half as old as time."


Tom Paradise, professor
Department of Geosciences


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