News/Blog & Recent Events - George Kourounis

Get All The Latest Expedition Updates Via:

George Kourournis on Facebook

George Kourounis on Twitter

George Kourounis on Instagram

George Kourounis on YouTube


Nov 21 2023 - Let's Take This Outside Podcast
My appearance on the "Let's Take This Outside" podcast has just been released. It features my conversation with host Mary Anne Ivison and we chatted about spending time outdoors and many of my encounters with Mother Nature’s bad moods.
Listen to the podcast here.

Let's Take This Outside Podcast

Nov 18 2023 - Braga Science Short Film Festival
Many thanks to the organizers of the Braga Science Short Film Festival (based in Portugal) for inviting me to be a panelist for their opening round table discussion: "Infotainment: how it affects public perceptions about science".
I contributed remotely, and had a great time sharing my insights as a science communicator and also hearing from others as well.

Nov 17 2023 - National Geographic
I was interviewed for a National Geographic article about the current state and future of the Darvaza flaming gas crater in Turkmenistan, and the potential efforts to extinguish it.

National Geographic

Nov 16 2023 - Circumzenithal Arc
I spotted a perfect Circumzenithal Arc (CZA) today on the way from Ottawa to Toronto.

Sometimes referred to as an “upside down rainbow”, they form when the conditions are just right with ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. I was looking at the sky and thought to myself that the cirrus clouds looked ideal for spotting a CZA. Sure enough, there was one, way up above the sun.
They’re hard to spot if you don’t know when and where to look for them.



Nov 15 2023 - RCGS Geographica Dinner, Ottawa
I had a great time at the annual dinner of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society tonight at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

So many incredible people all gathered together in one room, we even had 2 tables at dinner specifically reserved for Members of The Explorers Club.
There were awards presentations, astronauts, live music by Loreena McKennitt and more. Learn more about all the things that happened at the event here.

There were too many great moments to share them all, but chatting with legendary wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen was certainly a highlight for me.



Nov 08 2023 - Filming At Casa Kourounis
Filming at my home today. I can't say what for yet… but for my American friends, you’ll eventually be able to watch this on a channel that features the weather...


Nov 02 2023 - Ontario Science Centre Innovator's Ball
Had a great time last night at the Ontario Science Centre RBC Innovators Ball last night.

A great evening of seeing some old friends, meeting many amazing people, and raising money to support science education here in Ontario. The museum was transformed into a elegant venue for the festivities.
It was great reconnecting with Anthony Farnell, chief meterologist for Global National News & Anthony Morgan (One of the new hosts of The Nature Of Things) who was one of the MC's for the event.

BTW, during the live auction, a pair of Taylor Swift tickets went for $11,000. I’m in the wrong busines!!



Oct 26 2023 - Closing Keynote for Demcon 2023
Many thanks to all the great folks at Ontario DEMCON, the Disaster and Emergency Management Conference for inviting me to give the closing keynote talk yesterday at the International Centre in Toronto.

Ilthese folks are the ones who work had to ensure that you and your community are looked after in emergencies. This also includes business continuity as well. Society continues to work because of their behind the scenes efforts.



Oct 18 2023 - Wal Mart Photo Shoot
Photoshoot day today.
Doing some promo shots for the new Royal Canadian Geographical Society Canadiana line of winter clothing that can be found at Wal Mart stores across Canada.


Oct 13 2023 - Filming
Back in the TV studio again today… Talking about some of the most unusual places on Earth.


Sept 21 2023 - The Weather Network - Alaskan Glaciers
Learn a little bit about the glaciers of Alaska in this new video from The Weather Network.

I was up there earlier this summer as a travel ambassador for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Cunard. Alaska is incredibly beautiful with some truly epic landscapes, including countless glaciers. Some of them are doing well, but most... Not so much.


Sept 20 2023 - BBC Worlds Service - Witness History
My recent interview with the BBC World Service podcast program “Witness History” just came out today.
We’re coming up on the 10 year anniversary of the Gates Of Hell expedition in Turkmenistan, and the world still seems curious about it.

It was a fun interview and I think you’ll enjoy it.


Sept 19 2023 - U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere
The iconic band U2 will be using some of my Hurricane Sandy footage as part of their stage show "Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere" in Las Vegas. The multi-media residency show will be performed in the new, state of the art spherical venue at The Venetian.
The series of concerts begins on Sept 29th and is expected to run through mid-December.

U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere

Sept 18 2023 - The World's Weirdest Volcanoes
Many thanks to everyone over at Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants for letting give a classroom presentation on the "World's Weirdest Volcanoes".
We had an amazing turnout with classrooms tuning in from across North America, and we even had a class from Abu Dhabi.
Some of the things I talked about:
- Volcanoes that glow blue!
- Volcanoes that make lightning!
... And a lot more crazy, weird phenomena.


Sept 12 2023 - The Explorers Journal
Just published:
The latest edition of The Explorers Journal features my conversation with Gavin Jones, research ecologist with Rocky Mountain Research Station.

The subject of our discussion? How climate-change driven wildfires have gotten to the point where they are now affecting species adaptation in unusual ways, steering the evolution of some of these forest species.
Jones and his colleagues even coined the new term “Pyrocene” to describe this new era of fire-induced evolution. Very appropriate timing considering the record-smashing fire season we’ve been having.



Aug 29 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario
I travelled to Ottawa for a couple of days to do some filming of a project that involves some of the other Explorers In Residence with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
It is rare to get more than one of us in the same room together, so it was great to hang out with cave diver Jill Heinerth and endurance runner Ray Zahab.
While I can't go into detail about what we were filming, I do look forward to seeing what happens with this project moving forward.
Interestingly, simultaneously at the RCGS headquarters, the current exhibit entitled "Pressure" is ongoing, feature James Cameron's deep sea submersible that he took on the world's first solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
Seeing it in person, the sub is really much bigger than I expected. I learned that they had to take out one of the walls of the loading dock, just to get it into the building!



Aug 21 2023 - Filming In Toronto
Today was spent doing some more on-camera filming for yet another new TV series. I’ll share more details when I’m able to.

It was a fun, and very productive day.


Aug 18 2023 - Elora, Ontario
I was helping out with a video shoot today, and it went kind of like this:
“Hey George, here’s a camera you’ve never used before, you have one take to catch the shot… Oh, and you’ll be dangling from a rope off of the side of a church tower at a precarious angle”.
Great fun, actually.


Aug 15 2023 - Canadian Geographic Travel Article
My latest article for Canadian Geographic has just been published. This one is about the amazing natural wonders I experienced on my trip to Alaska last month.


Aug 06 2023 - Moraine Lake & Yoho National Park
Over the past couple of days, we've visited the incredible, surreal blue Moraine Lake, then we crossed over into British Columbia to do some hiking in Yoho National Park, which was fantastic.
We got to see several waterfalls, including the impressive Takakkaw Falls.

Many thanks to everyone on the trip, our guide, Chris Booth, and all the folks at Great Canadian Trails and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society & Canadian Geographic Travel.

It is so important to explore as much of your own country as you can, and with Canada being so incredibly vast, that can definitely be challenging.



Aug 04 2023 - Lake Louise
The iconic Canadian viewpoint. Countless photos of this glacial lake have been taken over the years, and it's easy to see why it is such a popular destination. The turquoise glacial-fed lake is absolutely stunning.

We spent the day trekking in the mountains above the lake. It was a wonderful day of being in nature, experiencing on of the most beautiful places in Alberta.
While enjoying lunch up by the mountain tea house, we could occasionally hear pieces of the alpine glaciers in the distance breaking off and crashing down the mountainside. The sound reverberating though the valleys.



Aug 03 2023 - Athabasca Glacier
The Athabaska Glacier, part of the Columbia Ice Field in Jasper National Park, Alberta.
Thanks to wildfires in B.C. the air was too smoky for a mountain hike, so we went to go see the icefield instead. I'm standing in about the spot where the glacier used to end n 2006. It has receded a lot, and continues to do so.

It was fascinating (and frightening) to see firsthand how parts of our planet are changing so rapidly.

I'm holding the flag of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.


Aug 02 2023 - Banff National Park.
One thing I was concerned with on this trip was wildfires. This has been a record-smashing year for fires here in Canada, and the smoke has made its way all over North America.
Not too surprisingly, smoke from a wildfire in British Columbia started to drift over towards our location as we approached the town of Banff today. It may affect our hiking plans for tomorrow, but it helped to make for a moody sunset as we pulled into Banff National Park.


Aug 02 2023 - Frank Slide Disaster Site
As we left Waterton Lakes National Park, we drove past an area where they have a herd of bison, and I was able to get some great photos of them with wildflowers in foreground and the Rocky Mountains in the background. Very nice.
En route to Banff, we stopped at a little piece of Canadian history that I knew nothing about until we visited the site in person. It was very powerful to see it myself.

The Frank Slide disaster, a tragic and catastrophic event, occurred on April 29, 1903, in the town of Frank, Alberta. The coal-mining town faced an unimaginable calamity when an enormous portion of Turtle Mountain suddenly dislodged and cascaded down its slopes, burying a significant part of the town under millions of tons of rock and debris. The slide, triggered by a combination of geological factors, including the mountain's unstable structure, the melting of an ancient glacier, and significant coal mining, resulted in the loss of around 70 lives and buried much of the town.

In the aftermath of the disaster, efforts were made to recover and rebuild the town, but almost all traces of it are gone now. The incident also spurred greater awareness and research into the understanding of landslides and their potential triggers. Today, the Frank Slide remains a poignant historical site.



Aug 01 2023 - Waterton Lakes National Park.
In Waterton Lakes National Park right now. What a gorgeous place. The park is in extreme southern Alberta, right up against the border with Montana.
We did an amazing hike up to Lower Rowe Lake through an area that had burned during the 2017 wildfire that took out about 60% of the vegetation in the park.

It was fascinating to see how much recovery the forest has gone through in the past 6 years. The purple fireweed flowers and the scorched tree trunks made for a surreal landscape, and we had a perfect blue sky day.
We also saw plenty of wildlife including bighorn sheep.
The little town of Wateron Lakes reminds me of a smaller, less hectic version of Banff, so if you like Banff, you'll love this place.



July 31 2023 - Badlands & Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Yesterday we drove from Calgary out to the badlands, specifically Dinosaur Provincial Park. This place is fascinating, a huge rift was cut into the landscape by ancient glacial activity, exposing all kinds of fossilized dinosaur bones and leaving behind amazing hoodoos & other geological wonders. We could literally just walk around and find dinosaur bones protruding from the Earth.
Today we took in the UNESCO site known as Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. This is a cliff side that has been used for almost 6000 by the Blackfoot ancestral people as a natural trap to catch Bison in the autumn. They would set up pathways to funnel the bison towards the cliff while someone dressed in a baby bison skin would draw them closer and closer. Suddenly, others, dressed in wolf skins would start to panic the bison, driving them across the rolling hills and over the cliff to their death. Sometimes a couple hundred at a time if the hunt was a good one.
Immediately the task of skinning and preparing the bison would begin in preparation of drying the meat etc as winter would be coming soon.
This is the largest and best known of all the Buffalo Jumps, and I highly recommend visiting the interpretive center.



July 29 2023 - Heading to Alberta
I'm headed to Alberta! I'm going to be hosting another trip as a travel ambassador for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Can Geo Adventures. This time we're teaming up with Great Canadian Trails on their "Badlands and Rocky Mountains" trekking trip.
I'll be all over the province, and visiting a lot of places that I've never been to before, but have always wanted to see. From Dinosaur Provincial Park, to Banff to Lake Louise and more... This will be a fun adventure.


July 26 2023 - The Weather Network
Today I was filming with a team from The Weather Network. I was doing some on-camera pieces, talking about my recent experiences in Alaska. We filmed down along the shore of Lake Ontario at the Scarborough Bluffs.


July 21 2023 - Filming In Toronto
Now that I'm back from Alaska, I'm available again for TV shoots. This week I did another shoot for "Mysteries From Above". This marks the start of filming for season three of the show. There will be more shoot days coming up later in the year, but it is great fun to be back, contributing to this program.


July 15 2023 - Ketchikan, Alaska
It has been a tremendous pleasure to have been invited on this Cunard voyage. I've had a great time, both at the Alaskan destinations, and aboard the ships itself (which is stunning). Our last stop was in the town of Ketchikan, which is known as the "salmon capital of the world".
Tomorrow is a sea day, headed back south to Vancouver, ad I'll be giving my second talk of the trip in the main theatre. Thank you so much to Cunard and the RCGS for the invitation to share my stories with the passengers and to experience this amazing voyage.


July 14 2023 - Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Yesterday we made a stop at Icy Strait Point and I took a nice long walk over to the small fishing town of Hoonah. The weather has continued to be fantastic!
Today the ship picked up a couple of national park rangers and we cruised around in Glacier Bay National Park.
What a beautiful spot. There are no roads here, so the best way to appreciate this place is from the water. We got to see numerous glaciers including:
Grand Pacific
John's Hopkins
Lamplugh &
I know I've been sharing a lot of glacier photos, but they are beautiful, fascinating and so many of them are in a state of decline, that I just love to show them off.
Tomorrow is our last stop before heading back to Vancouver.



July 12 2023 - Juneau, Alaska
Juneau is the state capital of Alaska, and the largest city that we'll be visiting on this trip. There are no roads in or out of Juneau, so everything has to come in via plane or boat.
I took an excursion up to see the Mendenhall Glacier, which is a short drive outside of town. It was beautiful, but you can really tell that the glacier has been shrinking more and more each year.

Mendenhall Glacier

July 11 2023 - Hubbard Glacier
Today we made it to the northernmost point in the voyage, Hubbard Glacier.
Hubbard is the largest tidewater glacier in North America, (meaning it makes it all the way to sea level). Interestingly, 95% of Alaska's glaciers are receding, but Hubbard is one of the few that is actually advancing. Most of the glacier is at the high altitudes of Alaska & Yukon where a lot of new snow falls on the glacier, adding more to it than melts away.
We got to spend a few hours cruising around the fjord, admiring the deep-blue ice.

Hubbard Glacier

July 09 2023 - Sitka, Alaska
I've made it aboard. I flew to Vancouver, then boarded the ship and started heading north. Yesterday was an at-sea day.
The Queen Elizabeth is an amazing ship. The Art Deco aesthetic really makes you feel like you're on a cruise liner in the 1920's but with modern amenities.
Today I gave my first talk aboard the ship, then we made our first stop in Sitka. One of the interesting things about Sitka is the local volcano, Mount Edgecumbe. On April 1st, 1974 A prankster transported 70 old tires up to the crater by helicopter by helicopter and lit them on fire, tricking the community into thinking that the volcano had started erupting.

Sitka Alaska Mount Edgecumbe

July 06 2023 - Headed To Alaska
The next adventure is about to begin.
Tomorrow I head west to board the Cunard Queen Elizabeth to give a series of talks on a voyage from Vancouver to Alaska and back as a travel ambassador for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

I’ll be updating my social media channels frequently during the trip!

Alaska Map

June 25 2023 - IMAX at the Ontario Science Centre
Many thanks to the good folks over at the Ontario Science Centre here in Toronto for inviting me to a special screening of the new IMAX film "Turtle Odyssey" It follows the life of a green sea turtle off the coast of Australia near the Geat Barrier Reef, and it e film is narrated by none other than Russell Crowe.

Turtle Odyssey - IMAX

June 21 2023 - New TV Series on The Weather Channel
Prime Suspect: Earth is the new TV series on The Weather Channel that I appear in as an on-camera expert/contributor. The show airs on Saturday nights at 7 & 8. This is the TV show that I was filming in London recently. Here's a brief synopsis:
"History is full of mysterious events and disappearances, from abandoned ghost ships and lost planes to strange glowing lights and unexplained booms. Could a natural phenomenon be to blame? Was the Earth itself responsible? In this series, a crack team of expert investigators collects and analyzes the evidence. But that's not all: They also apply the latest data and science to build a virtual crime scene where the mysteries occurred and step inside the simulation to unravel the clues and crack the case."

Prime Suspect: Earth - The Weather Channel

June 20 2023 - Tornado Chase 2023 Complete
It has been a great storm chase trip. Many thanks to chase partners Dave Lewison & Scott McPartland for the safe, productive trip.
I was gone for 14 days... 6 of those were travel days, 1 was a down/rest day, and all the rest were chase days.
While we did see a few spin-ups and murky tornadoes, we didn't catch any real photogenic tornadoes this year. We made up for it though with gorgeous, photogenic storms, intense lightning, hail, and a close encounter in Laverne, Texas on June 17th.
This was a very late-season chase trip for me, as the pattern this year has been off due to a rex blocking patter over North America that affected weather across the continent for much of May and early June.

Read the daily updates



June 06 2023 - Tornado Chase 2023
Final preparations are underway for my first post-pandemic tornado chase. It's been a while, and I'm really excited to finally get back out there. Tomorrow morning I'll be headed to New York state to meet up with Dave Lewison and Scott McPartland, then the 3 of us will be headed west to Tornado Alley. This will be the latest start to a chase trip I've ever done (usually around mid-May), but the weather pattern hasn't been too favourable until now.
Scott, Dave and I have known each other for about 2 decades and have chased countless storms/tornadoes/hurricanes together.

To follow along, I'll be posting my daily updates

Tornado Chase 2023

April 18 2023 - London, England
I've crossed the pond, and am in London, England this week.
Unfortunately, I won't have a lot of time to take in the sights and visit many of my U.K. friends on this trip because I'm spending most of my time filming segments for a new TV series.
This is a project that I already started working on back in February, and pretty soon I'll be able to make an announcement about what the project is and where you'll be able to see it, but for now I can't divulge any details.
The filming has been going great, and it's been a lot of fun. I can't wait to share the finished programs.
Many thanks to the crew here in London. You're awesome, and have helped to make my job easier.


London Filming

April 13 2023 - Geo Night
I am very proud to be representing Canada at the 2023 Geo Night event tomorrow. It is in international celebration of geography and geographic education.
More about Geo Night: In 2017, the French National Geographical Committee (CNFG) initiated the first GeoNight, which took place in Paris and in a dozen other French cities. In 2018 and with the support of EUGEO, the events reached a European scale. In 2019, with IGU, more countries around the world organized GeoNight events. Now, thousands of people attending GeoNight around the world.

Geo Night 2023

April 06 2023 - Toronto Life Magazine Article
Toronto Life recently published an interview I did with them. As someone who has lived in Toronto for most of my life, I really appreciated that they reached out to me to talk.
The interview is now online here.

Toronto Life Interview

April 05 2023 - Mysteries From Above, Season 2
I am happy to announce that season 2 of Mysteries From Above has started airing in Canada on Cottage Life Television. I've been an on-camera contributor for this show since its first episode, which showcases unusual places on our planet that can only be fully appreciated with a view from above using drones or satellite imagery. The show will also be available on Smithsonian Channel and Prime Video.

Mysteries From Above Season 2

March 23 2023 - Explore Podcast
I was a guest on the Canadian Geographic Explore podcast today, hosted by David McGuffin. It’s always a treat to chat with David. This was my second time being a guest on the show.
We talked about all kinds of things... From climbing icbergs in the Atlantic, off the coast of Newfoundland, to my time spent inside the most dangerous volcano in Africa.
Listen to the podcast here.

Explore Podcast

March 10 2023 - Purposeful Curiosity Book
This just arrived in the mail. A while back, the author reached out to interview me while he was writing this. I’m looking forward to giving it a read.


March 08 2023 - Filming
Today was spent in front of the camera again. This time shooting some more interviews for season 2 of the show "Mysteries From Above".
These 10 new episodes will begin airing later this year on Crave TV and Smithsonian Channel.


March 07 2023 - Classroom Presentation
This morning I gave a live, interactive classroom presentation to schools from all across Canada and the U.S.
Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants is an educational non-profit that connects scientists, exploreres and field researchers with students via virtual talks. Today's topic was various kinds of extreme weathing including: tornadoes, lake effect snow, and thundersnow.


March 06 2023 - Polar Plunge, Lake Ontario
Polar plunge complete! Brrrrr...

We had about 10 people jump into Lake Ontario today (plus Gidget the husky) as part of a fundraising event in support of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

The air temperature was just above freezing with blustery wind. Yes, it was cold, but not *too* bad. Great fun was had by all.


March 03 2023 - Thundersnow!
A very quick moving, but extremely potent winter storm swept through Southern Ontario today, brining with it high winds, heavy snow (I measured 28cm) in my back yard, and copious amounts of thunder & lightning.
Thundersnow is not a common phenomenon, I have seen it many times, but I think this is the most I've ever experienced in the city of Toronto. According to Environment Canada, we had 220 lightning strikes across Southern Ontario from this one snowstorm!
I did manage to shoot video, and caught one of the close lightning flashes.


March 01 2023 - The Proof Is Out There
Today I was interviewed for the History Channel TV series The Proof Is Out There. The story they wanted to talk to me about was something I filmed a couple of years ago. I can't mention any details at this time, but watch for the new episode airing on History Chaneel and streaming services later this year.


Feb 16 2023 - Filming
For the second time in a week, I’m back doing more on-camera commentary for a TV series. This is a new, different production that I’m excited to (eventually) tell you more about.


Jan 19 2023 - Off To Borneo
This trip has been a long time coming. Because of the global pandemic, a lot of my travels were either canceled or postponed, and after 2 years or so of delays, I'm finally departing for Malaysian Borneo. I'll be special guest-hosting another adventure with Exodus Travels, who I partner with frequently.
This will be my fort time to Borneo and Malaysia, so I'm super excited about it. I'll be seeing a lot of wildlife, caves and other natural wonders there.

Borneo Map

Jan 11 2023 - Talks
Thank you so much to the folks at the Olean Camera Club in New York and the Solo Traveler blog site for inviting me to give recent talks. Both were lots of fun. I really enjoy sharing my stories of adventure with everyone.

Solo Traveler

Jan 01 2023 - Happy New Year!
I hope that you all have a safe, happy, and prosperous 2023. The past few years have been difficult ones, the pandemic really had a major effect on my operations, but things have been improving and I'm really excited about some of the plans I have in store for 2023. These will include lots of travel and new adventures, plus plenty of media appearances. I look forward to another year of sharing the wonders of nature with you all.

An Archive of Previous Year's News Items Can Be Found Here





















Any Questions/Comments?


All Images Copyrighted G. Kourounis

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized Use Is Prohibited