A big congratulations to our wildchina explorer grant finalists!
The people have voted and we can’t wait to introduce you to the top five finalists for this year’s WildChina Explorer Grant. From stargazers to rock climbers to cultural preservationists, this is a passionate group of young explorers who are itching to begin their next exploratory journey. Find out about their proposed projects below. And view the entire leaderboard rankings here.
1. Ryder Stroud
The People’s Choice Winner, Ryder’s expedition would take him into China’s rugged western highlands where he and his team will film their attempt to start a new golden age of climbing in the Middle Kingdom. The team will find and establish new rock climbing routes – aiming to reach points that have never been tackled by climbers before.
2. Aaron Berkovich
Beijing-based photographer Aaron Berkovich’s expedition would take him to the western regions of Yunnan, Sichuan and Xinjiang where he and his teammate Jiehao Chen will document China’s ethnic minorities through their distinctive cuisine. They will share their findings with aspiring travelers through photos, film and recipes.
3. Dongrui Yu
As the cities began developing rapidly in Dongrui’s home province of Yunnan, the stars started to disappear. A passion for star photography pushed Dongrui to become an explorer. With help from the WildChina Explorer Grant he would create a star map of his home province, marking out the most extraordinary star-gazing spots so that everyone can once again enjoy the beauty of the night sky.
4. Tyler and Mei
Hailing from New York and Connecticut, adventurers Tyler and Mei propose to explore two of China’s most culturally and ecologically diverse regions exclusively by bicycle as they investigate how developmental pressures have impacted border communities and their environments.
5. Kate, Patrick and Jenna
Kate and her teammates Patrick and Jenna aspire to study the cultural preservation methods of Chinese ethnic minority communities. The project would take the team to Yunnan and Guizhou where they will seek to rediscover overlooked cultural aspects of communities and explore solutions, both implemented and potential, to preserving traditional culture.
What an amazing, creative group of finalists! It’s now up to our panel of expert judges to pick the final winner. Check back soon to find out if your favorite finalist was able to make it all the way.
View the whole leaderboard here.