The executive director of Historic Yellow Springs in West Pikeland recently presented a paper at an international conference.Specifically, Rob Lukens, of West Chester, presented the paper at the Philadelphia's American Philosophical Society at "North by Degree: An International Conference on Arctic Exploration 1850-1940."
Lukens' paper is based on his doctoral dissertation. Lukens said his paper, "Samuel J. Entrikin and the Peary Greenland Expedition of 1893-1895: Gender, Race and Society at the American Frontier" chronicles the work of Samuel J. Entrikin, a Chester County resident who was involved with Peary's expedition.
Lukens said that he got the idea for his presentation from work he had done previously at the Chester County Historical Society. Between 1998 and 2003, he was the collections manager there and said he came across artifacts from Samuel Entrikin.
"It peaked my interest," Lukens said.
When Lukens went to work on his research paper for his doctorate degree, he went back to the library at the county's historical society and found diaries, photographs and correspondence related to Entrikin.
A publication from the international conference's proceedings will include Lukens' essay along with work of other Arctic scholars. The conference was held in conjunction with the 2007-2009 "International Polar Year," a global effort to better research and understand the polar regions, according to Lukens.
In addition to his work at Historic Yellow Springs, Lukens serves as a 2008-2009 "Commonwealth Speaker" with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council with his talk "Drawn to the Northern Climes: Arctic Exploration and the Delaware Valley." Also, Lukens still works closely with the county's historical society and will host an exhibition on the county's arctic explorers in September 2009.