Dean is running the 2012 Antarctica Marathon to promote fitness and raise money for penguin conservation!



Give and Ye Shall Receive

I believe in reciprocity. Fear not, I won’t give you krill. Though if you were a penguin, you’d find that delectable. Alas, you are human. Donate to penguin conservation and I’ll give you more palatable rewards:

Video Thank You from the Frozen Continent
I’ll film a video shout-out to you direct from Antarctica. You’ll feel like you’ve been there, except you won’t get the slightest bit cold. Bonus: Your social network will flip.

Fine Art
Three amazing posters have been created for the occasion by graphic designers of enviable talent. Your poster will be signed and ready to adorn your home of office. Far better than an NPR coffee mug, these will instantly raise your coolness quotient.

What’s your favorite?

True Satisfaction
You’ll experience the joy of knowing you’ve contributed to real-world conservation, a beautiful thing to do with your hard-earned resources.

Tax Deduction
Foil the tax man! Oceanites is a 501(C)(3) organization. Your gift is delightfully tax deductible. Cha-ching!

Go for it! Donate Today! »

Missed The Top Ten Reasons to Donate for Penguins? Check it out. Reason number 4 is clearly the best.

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Bringing it Home

Together, we’ve already raised close to $23,000 for Oceanites (Antarctic and penguin conservation) and another $2,500 for the Riverbanks Society Conservation Support Fund (Humboldt penguin protection in Peru).

This is a BIG deal. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by such generous people!

The final fundraising push is underway. Let’s raise $2,300 more by the time I leave for Antarctica on March 1st! That will put us over the 25k mark with Oceanites; a serious haul for real-world conservation.

$2,300 breaks down to about $110 a day between now and when I depart for the frozen South.

Totally doable!

Heck yeah! I want to donate »


Remember, donors get a wonderful original poster (signed by the artist) and a video shout out direct from Antarctica! Don’t forget, your gift is tax deductible as well…

Watch facebook and twitter for other donor giveaways!

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Look Too Much and You’ll Never leap

When the opportunity to run the 2012 Antarctica Marathon tweeted across my iPhone, I jumped at the chance. When I found out that I would have to be chosen for the privilege of fundraising, I wrote a letter virtually demanding that Marathon Tours & Travel pick me immediately. When it became clear that I’d have to raise a huge amount of money, I never hesitated. When fundraising proved more difficult than I’d imagined, I refused to give up.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn. Honestly.

I want to encourage you.

The paralysis of anxiety, fear and doubt stops us from doing a great many things. Our reasons for inaction may seem completely logical and prudent. But I assure you, when our number is about up, we won’t fuss much about what we’ve done in life. Rather, we’ll lament the things we didn’t do.

Success is not certain. Life is not fair. Somewhere, somehow a bureaucracy will interminably frustrate you. The unknown is scary. Heisenberg was right; You can’t predict everything.

So go for it.

Help me finish the job! Donate to Antarctic & penguin conservation! »

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Sir Richard’s Antarctic Almanac

I’m going to Antarctica for the marathon in just a few weeks. Richard Branson, legendary owner of the Virgin Group is on his way back from the frozen continent right now.

(Roughhewn Billionaire Sir Richard Branson – Image courtesy of Richard Burdett)

Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to the travels of the famous. But this is different. Branson has been blogging about his journey, and he’s motivated to convey the importance and relevance of Antarctica.

I’m listening.

His words are perhaps best summed up in his seventh log: “Antarctica is a whole lot closer than you think.” You see, most people don’t know much about Antarctica beyond that it’s cold, has something to do with the South Pole and gives penguins a place to kick back and relax. But like most of nature’s evanescent wonder, there is far more to the last continent than meets the eye, and Branson is positively earnest about it.

As he blogs about his personal Antarctic excursion, Branson reminds me pointedly of Ron Naveen, leader of Oceanites, the non-profit conservation organization I’m supporting. Their passion is nearly synonymous.

Oceanites has written the book (literally) on decades of penguin population fluctuation on the Antarctic peninsula. The organization is doing the real-world data collection and analysis that leads to serious conservation and actionable policy. Oceanites’ work offers key insight into the warming poles and encourages the sort of thoughtful reflection that inspires action.

Branson would like Naveen instantly.

I’m inspired by Sir Richard’s ardor and I’m glad I’ve crossed paths with Oceanites. I hope you do as well, by giving to their important work.

Support Antarctic conservation science by donating to Oceanites today! » 


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Of Ice and Men

To get in the proper frame of mind for my impending Antarctic adventure, I’m reading Alfred Lansing’s Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. It’s perfect if you’re inspired by those who overcome impossible odds, frostbite, starvation and overwhelmingly bleak circumstances.

In 1914, Intending to be the first to cross Antarctica on foot, Ernest Shackleton and crew of the Endurance, were seized by the ice of the Weddell Sea. For months on end the ship drifted, trapped until finally it was destroyed by the immense pressure of the ice.

The crew abandon ship and lived on the ice flows until they were able to make landfall at remote Elephant island. Starving and cold, the crew was marooned as Shackleton and two brave men set sail in a tiny boat to the closest outpost, 850 miles away.

This completely true and well attested journey was made the more dramatic by the presence of a professional photographer, who captured the life and death of the ship in stunning fashion. This is the last photo taken, as the stranded men waved to Shakleton’s tiny boat, their last hope for survival:

Some years back, the wonderfully creative minds of Second Story Studios created an interactive overview of Shakleton’s odyssey. It is truly fascinating and well worth a look.

To say the least, my journey won’t be fractionally this intense. A story like this helps one look differently at the banal stresses of the day. As with most things in life, a healthy dose of perspective sets things right. That of course, is precisely the frame of mind I seek.

– Dean

My Antarctica odyssey serves a worthy cause. Please join the adventure and support penguin conservation!

Donate Online at »



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Fin del Mundo

Before I cross the Drake Passage, I’ll stop in a little town in Tierra del Fuego called Ushuaia. It’s easy to miss and exists largely to support tourism of the exquisite Patagonian wilderness. It also serves as a point of departure for Antarctica.

Hailed as the Southernmost city on the planet, Ushuaia is situated at the very end of the Martial Mountains (essentially the Southern end of the Andes). It sits, as its official slogan states, at the end of the world.


It also happens to be rather breathtakingly beautiful. One could lose oneself in such splendor.


Ushuaia also boasts some rather remarkable weather. I’ve heard that the infamous winds of Tierra del Fuego are resoundingly merciless. Then of course, there is the rain. From what I’ve been able to gather, the heavens pour forth every single day. Let’s look to the evidence…

I have been watching Ushuaian weather for over 40 days. I have yet to note a single rainless day. On my trusty iPhone, even sunny days feature iconic water droplets. A rain coat is clearly in order. I’m not worried. I shall enjoy every blessed drop.

But I’m not just focusing on the sights or the weather. I’ve got a mission to complete. Together, we’ve accomplished much for conservation and I’m now very close to the $25,000 milestone. Please consider donating to the fine cause.

Donate Online at »


More tomorrow,

– Dean



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A Gaggle of Waddlers

Case-Mate, purveyor of fine smartphone and tablet covers has honored my Antarctic conservation quest by giving me several of their Waddler iPhone cases.

In turn, I’ve been giving them away to donors. I’m fresh out now, but I indulged my inner geek a bit while I had them here at the office.

Obsess much?

 Give online at »

Until tomorrow,
– Dean

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(Deadline 03/2012)

Raised so far!

Please give to, a wonderful non-profit dedicated to Antarctic Conservation and of course, penguins.

Heck Yeah!
I want to donate!

Donate and GET STUFF!

All Donors receive:

A beautiful poster created for this occasion by award-winning graphic designers. Signed by the artist of course.

A video thank you from me, directly from Antarctica.

Satisfaction that you've done a good deed by supporting conservation!

(All donations are tax deductible as well!)