News/Blog & Recent Events - George Kourounis

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Dec 31 2021 - Explorers Club Canadian Chapter
After serving my maximum of 2 consecutive terms, the time for me to step down as the Canadian Chapter Chair of The Explorers Club has come.
The past 4 years have been wonderful and challenging. I've made so many great friends, helped connect scientists and other explorers, and seen incredible innovation & accomplishments from so many talented people.
On Jan 1st, the position will be taken over by the very capable Jett Britnell. It is comforting to know that the future of the Canadian Chapter is in good hands. Thank you Jett for taking the helm.
I wish to thank all the other volunteers I've worked with over the past 4 years for their service. It's been an absolute joy to have shared this journey with you. I have every intention to continue working closely with the club and chapter in the future.

Explorers CLub - Canadian Chapter

Dec 14 2021 - Atlas Obscura Podcast
I was recently interviewed for the popular Atlas Obscura podcast about my time at the Naica Crystal cave in Mexico.

Atlas Obscura is a celebration of the world's strange and wondrous places.
Listen to it
here, or wherever you listen to your podcasts

Atlas Obscura Podcast

Dec 09 2021 - Filming For New TV Series
On set today for another TV shoot. This is part 2 of a project for Crave TV that’ll be coming out next year. More details to come in the new year.

Crave TV Filming

Nov 24-26 2021 - Busy Filming For 2 Science Channel Shows
Back in the hot seat today. It’s hard to believe that we’re making season EIGHT of the show “What On Earth?” for the Science Channel. I can’t even begin to calculate how many stories I’ve been involved in, sharing information about the unusual, strange, and mystifying spots on the surface of our planet that can only really be seen from above.
Update: Day 2 of “What On Earth?” Season 8 filming is in the can. 20 new stories, done.
Tomorrow is another filming day, for a different Science Channel show.

Science Channel Filming

Nov 24 2021 - "Science Behind The Weather" Filming
Was filming yesterday with Mark Robinson for The Weather Network at the ILR Car Control School. We were learning some advanced driving techniques for an upcoming “Science Behind The Weather” segment.

"Science Behind The Weather" Filming

Nov 13 2021 - World Extreme Medicine Conference
It was a great honour to be invited to speak at the World Extreme Medicine Conference. The event, held in Scotland, gathered doctors, medical professionals, explorers and others who shared their insights about a wide variety of topics all involving health care in extreme environments.
My talk was all about staying safe from natural disasters while out in the field. I gave personal stories, as well as tips & tricks on how to recognize dangers and stay safe when storms and other natural disasters are approaching.

World Extreme Medicine COnference

Nov 04 2021 - Niagara Escarpment Filming
Today was spent setting up ropes and filming on a cliff side along the Niagara Escarmpment. It was for a "Science Behind The Weather" Segment for The Weather Network.
Rattlesnake Point is a popular rock climbing spot near Milton, Ontario and the steep cliffs made for the perfect location for our shoot.
You'll have to watch The Weather Network to see what we were doing there specifically.

Niagara Escarpment Filming

Nov 01 2021 - Ripley's Aquarium Toronto
I'm giving a series of talks at the Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto, located downtown right beside the CN Tower. This place is so amazing. The glass tunnel through the shark tank, the electric eel, the jellyfish wall...
I just love coming back here. It really showcases how incredible our oceans are and how much we need to protect them.

Ripley's Aquarium

Oct 20 2021 - Toronto Star Article
I, along with Dr. Dave Sills (director of the Northern Tornadoes Project) and David Phillips (Environment Canada Senior Climatologist) were quoted in a Toronto Star article about Ontario's 2021 summer storm season... Was it stormier than average?

Toronto Star

Oct 01 - 03 2021 - Boston, Massachusetts
This weekend I was in Boston for the Boston Sea Rovers SCUBA diving conference. The conference, which is the longest continuously running dive show in the world.
I was invited to give a talk at the show about how climate change is affecting the seas, especially how hurricane activity is expected to change in the years to come.
There were many other great presentations, all weekend long, as well as a film festival night, plenty of exhibitors, training courses and more.
On the Friday night, there was a really fun, black tie cocktail party for the speakers and organizers where I posed next to a Ferrari that was in the bar (I'm not sure why), but it did give me a James Bond vibe!
The conference reminded me that I really need to go diving more often. I really need to upgrade my certification, and get back underwater.

Boston Sea Rovers 2021

Boston Sea Rovers 2021

Sept 20 - 24 2021 - Climate Week
The week of Sept 20 - 24 is officially Climate Week, and as part of that, The Explorers Club has an entire week of lectures and special programming dedicated to climate change, and climate researchers. To help them promote this special event, they requested some imagery from me and I was happy to let them use a number of my images for the cause, including:
- Forest fires near Adelaide, Australia.
- Flooding in the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Waves crashing ashore along the sea wall in Galveston, Texas during Hurricane Ike.

Climate Week

Sept 16 - 19 2021 - Gatineau/Ottawa/Cornwall
Over the past few days I visited family in Quebec for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Now that my whole family is fully vaccinated, there's little worry about the effects of Covid, even if someone were to catch it.
Unfortunately, I was also in the are for the funeral of a good friend. Gilles Gagnier was the Chief Operating Office of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the publisher of Canadian Geographic magazine. He was a great guy, and we'd even done some travelling together, most notably to northern Manitoba in 2016 on a polar bear viewing trip.

Gilles Gagnier

Sept 14 2021 - Tornado Warnings
The past few weeks have been unusually stormy here in Southern Ontario. Today, numerous rounds of thunderstorms were expected, along with a tornado risk in two areas... In the higher terrain east of Lake Huron & east of Georgian Bay.
I ended up targeting the Georgian Bay area where the tornado parameters in place were better, but the area is more difficult to chase in because of a lack of roads, and lots of tall trees. A tornado warned storm did come ashore near Parry Sound to my north, but it was out of reach. While waiting for the storms at Balm Beach, we saw an adventurous kite-surfer making the best of the situation, by enjoying the windy conditions.
The best storm of the day was down near the town of Walkerton.


Sept 13 2021 - Honda Video Now Online
The video feature that Honda Canada shot is now online. A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by Honda about my storm chasing, and more specifically, my 1999 Honda CR-V that has over a half million km on it. I shared stories about why that particular car appealed to me, and went into detail about some of the more extreme punishments that it has gone through over the past 22 years, including tornado chases, hurricanes, and driving it on the Arctic Ocean.
I hope you enjoy it.

Honda Video

Sept 09 2021 - Global Exploration Summit Highlights Video
Back in July, I was in The Azores, presenting at the Global Exploration Summit, a partnership between The Explorers Club and the Portugal Tourism Board. The highlights video of the multi-day event has now been posted on YouTube. There were so many incredible explorers presenting... It was truly an honor to be invited to be one of the ones on stage.

Global Exploration Summit Highlights Video

Sept 07 2021 - Severe Thunderstorms in Toronto
Today was expected to be a severe weather day across Ontario, and as a line of storms came into the province off of Lake Huron, a number of tornadoes were reported, including at least one damaging one near the town of Lucknow.
The line continued to propagate towards the greater Toronto area, and as it passed overtop of the city, I was in position by the waterfront and was able to capture the most dramatic shelf cloud that I've seen here in Toronto. It dwarfed the city skyline. As it passed, tremendous rain and wind enveloped the area. I was hoping to also get a shot of the CN Tower getting struck by lightning, but it didn't happen today.

Severe Thunderstorms in Toronto

Severe Thunderstorms in Toronto

Sept 06 2021 - New York City
I was in New York City for Labour Day weekend on a quick trip to deal with some logistics for an upcoming expedition that I expect to be going on at the end of November this year (provided that new Covid restrictions don't throw a wrench into the gears of those plans). The last time I was in the U.S. was way back in February of 2020 when I was in Denver for the final Storm Chaser Convention. Usually I travel to the U.S. numerous times per year and it was nice to be back in the Big Apple again.
I have many friends in the NYC area, so it's also nice to get to see some of them during my short stay.

New York City

Aug 31 2021 - Canadian Geographic Travel Article
The article that I wrote for Canadian Geographic Travel about my recent travels to Vancouver Island has just been released.
I spent a week with Maple Leaf Adventures aboard their ship the Cascadia as we explored some very remote and wild areas in the northwestern part of the island.

Canadian Geographic Article

Aug 29 2021 - Toronto Lightning
Hurricane Ida made landfall today in southern Louisiana as a category 4 storm (on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Time flies!) and while Covid restrictions meant that I couldn't be there for it, I at least had some storms to chase locally. There were tornado watches issued for parts of northern Ontario, and the storms extended all the way down here to Lake Ontario. I tried to get some pics of the CN Tower getting struck by lightning, but Mother Nature didn't dish out a lot of bolts as the storms weakened as they approached Toronto.


Aug 25 2021 - El Ninos Podcast
Tonight I was a guest on the El Ninos podcast, which is hosted by the guyys from the Tornado Hunters television series that used to air on CMT. Back when international travel was a lot easier, we would cross paths all the time while out chasing storms in the midwest. It was great fun to see these guys again and hang out in this format. The unedited video version of the podcast is available to watch here, and the condensed audio version will be available wherever you get your podcasts.

El Ninos Podcast

Aug 24 2021 - Honda Video Shoot
Well, my post about my storm-chasing Hond CR-V that hit a half million kilometers on it got the attention of Honda Canada. They loved the idea that a car like that could have gone through so much...Huricanes, tornadoes, giant hail, blizzards, an Arctic road trip etc.
They invited me to their media studio north of Toronto to sit down and do an interview about why I picked that car, what modifications I've made to it over the years, and of course stories of all the adventures it has been through, and the punishment that it's taken.
I spent a few days doing a fw cosmetic repairs and cleaning it up so that it'd be ready for it's close-up so to speak. It was great fun visiting and chatting. They couldn't believe the Hell that this car has been through!
The interview is being edited now, and I expect it to be released in the next week or two on all of Honda Canada's media platforms.



Aug 16 2021 - Travel Weekly
I was one of the featured explorers that were interviewed for this article on exploration vs. adventure tourism during the Global Exploration Summit in the Azores.

Travel Weekly

July 22 2021 - Vancouver Island
For the past week, I've been offline, travelling with Maple Leaf Adventures on board their ship Cascadia for a week long voyage around the northern tip of Vancouver Island, down the west coast to the Brooks Peninsula and back. I was there as an ambassador for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and so I gave a few presentations on the ship throughout the journey.
What a great trip it was. Plenty of wildlife sightings, pristine wilderness areas, some great interactions with the Kyuquot indigenous community and more. What a great way to experience this corner of the world. The ship was amazing with delicious food, a hot tub, and many more amenities. It was a very small group, only about 15 guests, plus 10 crew which made it easy to get to know everyone on board very quickly.

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island

July 12 2021 - Back From The Azores
I just got home from my recent trip to the Azores. It felt SO good to be out travelling again, and especially to be speaking on stage in front of an audience!
GLEX was so much fun, I got to rub shoulders wit some of the world's leading explorers, scientists and researchers, all with the beautiful backdrop of the Azores islands.
My presentation was about communities that live in the shadow of volcanoes, In particular I talked about the city of Goma, in the Democratic Republic Of Congo, which recently had a lava flow from the nearby Nyiragongo volcano pour into the city.
I'm now home for 4 days, then off to my next adventure!

On Stage at GLEX, Azores

July 06 2021 - Global Exploration Summit - On The Road Again!
Wow, after a year and a half of not travelling outside of my own province at all due to Covid, it's really refreshing to have my first post-Covid international trip coming up!
Tomorrow I depart for The Azores to give a talk at the 2021 Global Exploration Summit. The event, organized by The Explorers Club and the Portuguese government, is the second of its kind (I also spoke at the first one in 2019 in Lisbon). My talk is on Friday and will be about communities that live in the shadow of active volcanoes. I can't wait to get some air miles under me again.

Global Exploration Summit 2021

July 01 2021 - Vehicle Milestone - Half Million km !!
My trusty 1999 Honda CR-V finally reached 5000,000 km on it today. I timed it so that I happened on Canada Day as well.
The half-million kilometers that I've put on this car over the past 22 years have included many tornado chases, about a dozen hurricanes including hurricanes Katrina & Sandy. I've driven it across North America, and up to the Arctic where I took it onto the Arctic Ocean on the winter ice roads. The hood is dented up from countless hailstones and during Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas, I had to suck sea water out of the engine cylinders.
It has been through Hell and back countless times and has almost taken on a personality of its own. The car has been seen on many episodes of the Angry Planet TV series and it has also been on display at the Ontario Science Centre museum twice.
It is the first and only car I have ever owned. When I bought it, I bought it without even test-driving it, and 3 weeks after driving it off the lot, I was already drilling holes in the roof for my storm chasing equipment.
I don't know how much long it will be road-worthy, but no matter what, I've certainly gotten my money's worth out of it, that's for sure.

Honda CR-V

Honda Half Million km

June 16 2021 - Altalink Presentation
Thank you so much to Altalink, Alberta’s largest regulated electricity transmission company for inviting me to speak at their 2021 conference. I was part of a fireside chat, talking about some of my experiences including the destructive fire in Fort McMurray in 2016 among other topics.


June 14 2021 - National Geographic Explorers Festival
All this week is the National Geographic Explorers festival. A celebration of exploration and discovery for Nat Geo grant recipients. this is usually an invitation-only in-person series of events at National Geographic headquarters in Washington D.C. but this year everything is being done online. I look forward to all the opportunities to connect with many other National geographic explorers out there, worldwide.

National Geographic Explorers Festival

June 10 2021 - Partial Solar Eclipse
I was fortunate enough to have good viewing conditions for the partial solar eclipse that was viewable from Toronto right at sunrise this morning. Because the eclipse was ongoing at sunrise, it was viewable for a brief time without requiring special filters to view it. In those breif moments, I managed to catch a bird flying through the frame.

Partial Solar Eclipse - Toronto

May 06 2021 - What On Earth?
Tonight on Science Channel 10PM EST and streaming on Discovery+
I appear in a new episode of "What On Earth?"

Featuring stories including:
- Circles that mark the landscape in Orkney which turn out to be WW2 anti-aircraft defences.
- A zig-zag pattern in California which is left over after gold mining in the area.
- The aftermath of the double volcanic eruption on the island of New Britain.

Discovery+ What On Earth?

March 06 2021 - Alberta Solar Show
I was a keynote speaker for the 2021 Alberta Solar Show which brought together experts from the solar energy field from across Alberta and around the world. I did a moderated fireside chat on Thursday, and my main keynote talk today. Thank you so much to all the organizers who put together such a well organized event.

Alberta Solar Show

March 06 2021 - "Know More" On The Weather Network
Tonight was the broadcast of the new "Know More" series on The Weather Network. The program, hosted by Chris St. Clair, featured interviews with me about 2 of my adventures:
- Filming avalanches in British Columbia
- A dramatic ice-shove on the shores of Lake Erie.

Know More - The Weather Network

Feb 24 2021 - Riding in a Tank
What a fun day! I got to ride around in a WW2 era tank and an armoured personell carrier at the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum. I was part of a Weather Network team that was filming with these massive vehicles as part of a video story on winter driving and traction, and we were able to take it to the extreme!
A big thank you to everyone that made today possible!

Tank Museum

Feb 10 2021 - Expedition News
The talk I gave a few weeks ago on suriving disasters in the field and at home has been featured in Expedition News. The respected publication is a great source of up to date news in the world of exploration and other expeditions.

Expedition News

Jan 26 2021 - The Explorers Club - When Disaster Strikes: Readiness in the Field & Home
It was great fun to join award-winning travel & adventure writer and journalist Jason Harper in giving a public presentation for The Explorers Club on disaster preparation and preparedness. I handled the "in the field" portion, while Jason tackled the "at home" section. We covered topics such as: essential gear, the importance of having a plan, and what to do in the case of specific disasters such as fire, flooding, storms etc.
If you missed it when it was live, the video of the event can be found online here.

The Explorers Club - When Disaster Strikes: Readiness in the field & home

Jan 25 2021 - Science Channel Filming
While Ontario remains on Covid lockdown with stay at home orders in place, there are a few exceptions being allowed, TV production being one of them. Yesterday and today I was doing on-camera interview commentary for the Science Channel program What On Earth?
We had some very strict Covid protocols in place, and it was just me & one cameraman. The director was on a Zoom call from England.
This is season 7 of the show, and I've been involved with it from the very beginning. Watch for new episodes airing on Science Channel later this year.

What On Earth?

Jan 24 2021 - Citation Of Merit
It was announced today that was the sole recipient of the 2020 Citation Of Merit award from The Explorers Club Canadian Chapter.
The Citation of Merit is awarded annually to recognize a commendable feat of exploration or services to the Canadian Chapter of The Explorers Club. It was awarded to me for my many years of volunteer service to the club at the regional, national and international level. Thank you to the Canadian Chapter for this recognition, and also a huge thank you to my good friend, and frequent expedition partner Mark Robinson for nominating me.
This is the second award I've received from the Canadian Chapter. Back in 2014 I was given the Stefansson Medal, the chapter's highest honour.

Citation Of Merit

Jan 14 2021 - Exodus Travels
Today I gave a webinar presentation for Exodus Travels about "Epic Adventure Challenges". Covid has kept most of the world locked down, with lots of avid travellers chomping at the bit to get back out there and now's the time to start planning for those future travels. I've worked with Exodus Travels for many years, and so I shared my experiences hosting trips for them, as well as stories from some of my other global travels and expeditions.
We had a great turnout, and there were so many great questions from everyone who tuned in.

Exoodus Travels

Jan 13 2021 - Victoria College
Many thanks to the Vic One program at Victoria College, part of the University of Toronto for inviting me to give a talk to their students about my global explorations.

Victoria College - University Of Toronto

Jan 10 2021 - What If? Discussed
I was invited to be a guest on 2 episodes of the popular web-series/podcast What If? Discussed. It is a fun show that poses some crazy off-the-wall theoretical situations, then discusses them using science.
The 2 episodes I appear in:
What If You Explored the Deepest Points of Earth?
What If a Tornado Hit an Active Volcano?

What If? Discussed

Dec 31 2020 - So Long 2020... Hello 2021
Happy New Year everyone. 2020 has been a really tough one for so many people, and the world won't simply reset at midnight... So, we're still in for some challenging times but I'm really enthusiastic about what 2021 may hold, and I hope you and your family & friends have a safe, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.
Here's to some better times and grand adventures in 2021!!

Happy New Year

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




















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