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“The Expedition”

In this document, the term “Expedition” means “The 2005 Cordell Expedition to Kure Atoll, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.” This term means the entire project, including preparation and post-expedition activities, not just the actual voyage to Kure Atoll or just the onsite activities at Kure Atoll. Various terms will be taken as synonymous with “Expedition,” such as 2005 Kure Atoll Project, Kure Expedition, KA Expedition, etc.

“The Voyage”

The term “Voyage” refers specifically to the portion of the Kure Project that is the actual voyage to and from Kure Atoll, and the time onsite. The Expedition is planned to depart from, and return to, Honolulu, Hawaii. The planned dates are 16 Sept. 2005 –15 Oct. 2005. Various terms will be taken as synonymous with “Voyage,” such as 2005 voyage to Kure Atoll, voyage to Kure, Kure voyage, KA voyage, etc.


The term “Participants” includes all persons participating in the Voyage under the auspices of Cordell Expeditions (excluding the vessel crew and external scientific observers, if any). Other persons who act in a supportive or supplying role may be called “Team Members,” “Supporters,” “Sponsors,” and similar terms. Participation in this Expedition is only by invitation from the Board. Replacement of any Participant by another must be approved by the Board.


Participants agree to be bound by the rules, decisions, and directives of the Expedition Leader, or his representative, including the other members of the Board. Members of the Board are authorized to make decisions and take actions so long as there is no reasonable likelihood that such decisions or actions would be counter to existing policies or the expected positions and policies of the Expedition Leader. Decisions and actions taken by the Expedition Leader cannot be appealed.


In the event that there are insufficient financial resources, the Expedition Leader is empowered to cancel the Voyage and terminate the Expedition. In this event, personal donations and borrowed equipment will be returned, purchased equipment will be disposed by the Board, and financial obligations will be paid from the cash reserves. Any residual monies, after payment of expenses associated with termination, will be disposed appropriately by the Board. Acceptable disposal includes distribution to the participants, returning to donor organizations, and forwarding to another project.


Any member of the Expedition may bring any issue to the attention of any member of the Board. That member should consult the Board for resolution. In matters related to safety, mission goals, financing, and public relations, the decision of the Expedition Leader will prevail.


The following documents will be required for Participants:

q       Medical and emergency form (basic medical and emergency information)
q       Liability waiver for Cordell Expeditions
q       Policies document for Cordell Expeditions (this document)
q       Radio license (if operating radio)
q       Scientific collecting permit (if separate from the Expedition permit).

These documents will be provided prior to departure on the Voyage.


Donations from individuals other than Participants will be held until the Voyage is complete. Donations to the KA Project through Cordell Expeditions are tax-deductible and will only be used for the KA Project. In the event the Expedition is cancelled by the Board, these donations will be returned. Noncompletion due to Act of God or other circumstances beyond the control of the Board will not automatically require return of the donations.

Expedition property

Equipment borrowed for the Expedition will be returned at the conclusion of the Voyage. Equipment donated to Cordell Expeditions remains the property of Cordell Expeditions. Equipment purchased using Expedition funds will be disposed by the Board. By default, property not otherwise disposed becomes the property of Cordell Expeditions.


Participants will make a donation to Cordell Expeditions of $5000.

The donation includes all costs associated with the Voyage, from the date and point of departure (Honolulu, Hawaii) to the date and point of return (Honolulu, Hawaii), with the following exceptions:

q       Exceptional personal supplies, such as medical, food, liquor, sleeping, electronics.
q       Emergency services beyond first aid, such as medical consultation, drugs, post-voyage hospitalization
q       Extraordinary transportation, such as evacuation, optional preplanned return
q       Film, video and recording tapes, digital camera chips, notebooks,

The donation is payable in installments: $2500 upon acceptance by the Participant of the invitation from the Board, and the balance according to a schedule set by the Board..

The donation is not refundable. If a Participant wishes to withdraw, an acceptable replacement participant could take his or her place, and the payments can be applied to the replacement. Responsibility for finding the replacement rests with the Participant, but the Board my also provide a replacement and the refund, so long as there are no vacancies (i.e., the team is 13). Replacements must be approved by the Board.

If the Expedition is cancelled by the Board, all residual monies will be returned to the Participants. Specifically, if the Board or Expedition Leader, or the vessel or other authority requires premature termination of the Voyage, only residual monies will be returned. In no case will the Expedition be liable for refunds in excess of its current financial resources.

Financial management

Finances will be managed by the Expedition Leader, within the context of Cordell Expeditions. A separate bank account has been opened for the Project, and will be closed upon its completion. Residual monies left at the completion of the Expedition, if any, will be distributed by the Board.

Intellectual property

Photographs, video, sound recordings, field notes, sketches, drawings, paintings, and similar materials produced in connection with the Expedition are the property of the creator, who holds the copyright under the law of the United States. The Expedition is granted the right to freely copy any or all such materials for purposes of enhancing its programs, together with the right to royalty-free use in publications, programs, and similar promotional activities. The Expedition does not have the right to distribute such materials to third parties without consent of the copyright holder. Use of such materials by any member of the Project is subject to the consent of the copyright holder.


All participants in the Expedition will mutually exempt every other participant and organization, specifically including the Board and organizers of the KA Expedition and Cordell Expeditions, from any liability whatsoever. This waiver will include losses due to schedule changes, accidents, loss of possessions, medical conditions, ocean-related activities such as diving emergencies and sea creature attack, sunburn, insect and animal attack on land, unscheduled service requirements, food poisoning, electrical shock, and all other losses, regardless of nature and origin.

Personal communications

Participants will be allowed a reasonable amount of access to the communications facilities for personal communications. However, this is to be regarded as a privilege, and kept to absolute minimum. This privilege may be revoked by the Expedition Leader.

Personal property

Some personal gear and materials will be shipped and used in common with the Expedition. The owner of such gear and materials assumes the responsibility for controlling and protecting such gear and materials. Personal property remains forever the property of its owner; that is, it will not be disposed.

Personal satisfaction

Among the primary goals of the KA Expedition is personal satisfaction of the Participants. The Expedition will be managed and executed with special regard to personal satisfaction, and to mechanisms for enhancing it.


Kure Atoll is under the jurisdiction and protection of the state of Hawaii, and is the object of ongoing research activities by various organizations. Therefore, the Expedition will be brought into alignment with the policies and objectives of the appropriate governmental, scientific, and regulatory organizations. The Expedition will respect the rights, interests, and authorities of all persons with legitimate interests in Kure Atoll.


Participants will provide the following:

q       Travel to/from the point of departure (Honolulu, Hawaii)
q       Personal clothing, food, liquor, etc.
q       Personal sleeping gear (sleeping bag, pillow, etc.)
q       Personal computer, digital media, camera, film, processing.


The Participant is directly responsible for safety and security of the equipment and personnel of the Expedition. At all times he or she must act in accord with the goals and procedures established by the Board and other authoritative agencies. He or she is also responsible for securing his personal property, and taking all reasonable actions to similarly protect the persons and property of the Expedition, the vessel, and the environment at Kure Atoll.


The overriding consideration in all plans and operations will be safety of personnel and property. While some risk is inherent in an exploratory venture such as this, we will make no plan and take no action that involves significant risk to life, limb, or property. Plans for emergencies and contingencies will be an integral and priority part of this project.

Scientific property

Cordell Expeditions is the owner of scientific materials resulting from the KA Expedition. These include biological specimens, soil, water, and rock samples, logged data such as radio logs, meteorological and bathymetric records, photographs, videos, sound recordings, and similar materials that are primarily scientific data, historical materials, either records or artifacts, and all other similar materials that are reasonably part of the scientific record of the Expedition. The creator or supplier of such records has the right to freely copy the materials (at personal expense) for any use not inconsistent with the basic scientific nature of the Expedition.

Site resources

The Expedition will take exceptional measures to prevent damage to any resource on Kure Atoll. It will be our policy that any activity that is likely to cause significant impact to a sensitive resource at Kure will be terminated unless and until such impacts can be prevented or appropriately ameliorated.

Withdrawal and termination

Any Participant may withdraw from the Expedition at any time, and may refuse to participate in any activity at any time, without need of stated reason. The Expedition Leader may exclude any Participant from any activity for clear stated cause, which can include prior failure to perform expected duties. The Expedition Leader may terminate any Member’s participation in the Expedition for reasonable cause. A terminated Participant may be refunded part or all of his fees, at the discretion of the Expedition Leader, with the concurrence of the Board.

Copyright © 2011 Robert W. Schmieder All rights reserved. Last update: Tuesday, March 08, 2011