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Tracks – Out Now on Blu-ray and DVD – Extraordinary Female Adventurers

18 August 2014

The film TRACKS tells the remarkable true story of Robyn Davidson, a young woman who leaves her life in the city behind to make a solo journey through nearly 2,000 miles of Australian desert, accompanied by only her dog and four camels.

Along the way, she meets National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan who begins to photograph her voyage. Robyn’s trek through the massive desert soon becomes a life-changing journey of self-discovery and she inspires many others to follow in her footsteps.

To celebrate the Blu-ray and DVD release of TRACKS on 18 August, we take a closer look at Robyn Davidson, as well as some other famous female adventurers in history...

Robyn Davidson is an Australian writer and explorer best known for her book Tracks, which describes her 1,700 mile trek across the Australian desert. Davidson’s desert journey is remembered by indigenous Australians she encountered along the way, and it has been suggested that one of the reasons Tracks was so popular, particularly with women, is that Davidson "places herself in the wilderness of her own accord, rather than as an adjunct to a man".  Many of Davidson’s other travels have involved the study of the lifestyles of nomadic peoples, including those in India, Tibet, and Australia.  She has written about her various travels for 30 years.
Amelia Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. She received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for being the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and set many other flying records as well. Earhart also wrote many best-selling books about her experiences, helped establish an organisation for female pilots, and served as a visiting faculty member at Purdue University. Unfortunately, Earhart disappeared in 1937 while attempting to make a circumnavigation flight of the globe. Although many theories exist regarding her disappearance, no one still is sure what happened to Earhart on that solo flight. 
Jane Goodall is a British primatologist, ethnologist, and anthropologist  who is most famous for her 45 year study of chimpanzees in Tanzania.   Goodall had always been passionate about animals and Africa, and this passion brought her to the farm of a friend in the Kenya highlands in 1957.  From there, she obtained work as a secretary, and acting on her friend's advice, she telephoned Louis Leakey, a Kenyan archaeologist and palaeontologist, who sent Goodall to Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, where he laid out his plans.  Goodall observed chimpanzee social and family life and in doing so, challenged many scientific beliefs that had been held previously in her field. During the course of her life, Goodall has worked passionately on animal rights and conservation issues and has founded several organizations dedicated to these causes, including the Jane Goodall Institute.
Ellen MacArthur is a retired British sailor who gained international recognition in 2005 by breaking the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe. Although this record has since been beaten, MacArthur currently still holds other sailing records. MacArthur also established two charities; The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, a charity to help young people recover from cancer through sailing, and The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity dedicated to the transition to a circular economy. 
Sarah McNair-Landry is a Canadian explorer, the youngest person in the world to ski to the South Pole, and a winner of the National Geographic outdoor idol award in 2007. McNair-Landry, along with her brother, Eric, and their friend Curtis travelled 1,500 miles across the Greenland Ice Cap by dog-sledding, kiting, and skiing in 2003. McNair-Landry documented her travels on film and recently directed a documentary about Canada’s waste management issues. 
Sylvia Earle is an American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer who served as the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earle was named the first hero of the Planet by Time Magazine in 1998 and was also named a National Geographic explorer-in-residence that same year, a title she maintains to this day. In her lifetime, Earle has logged more than 7,000 hours underwater, led more than 100 expeditions, and won more than 100 national and international honours. 
Nalini Nadkarni is an American ecologist who pioneered that study of rain forest canopies in Costa Rica. Nadkarni was able to take inventory on the canopies by using mountain climbing equipment. Her research led to the understanding of how plant life is sustained in the rainforests despite poor soil conditions. Nadkarni is currently a professor at the Department of Biology and the director of the Centre for Science and Mathematics at the University of Utah. 

Eugenie Clark is an American ichthyologist known for her research on shark behaviour and poisonous fish. Clark is also considered a pioneer in the research field for her utilization of scuba-diving in her studies, which she has been conducting for over 50 years.  Clark's research has taken her around the world, and  she has carried the flag of the Society of Women Geographers to Ethiopia and underwater off Japan and Egypt.  She has also carried the flag of the National Geographic Society to Egypt, Israel, Australia, Japan and Mexico.

Clark remains active in scuba-diving-based field research on fish and submarine dives. 

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