Detailed bios

Hi, Hallo, ¡Hola, 你好, Bonjour, こんにちは, Moien and утро, We Are the Young Polar Explorers!

My name is Olivier Kraus. I am an aspiring rock climber and engineer from New York City. I am 7-year old and a first-grade student from the Dwight School. I enjoy going to school to learn about myself, the art and science, the diverse community I live in and the world. On top of my favorite things to do is to travel! I have seen beautiful places and know wonderful people with fascinating stories in 23 countries. I loved our trip to the Arctic circle last winter and want to go to the Pole to learn about Polar Bears and how I can help keep many icebergs and a clean ocean for them to hunt. I am so excited to share my experiences throughout this journey and I can't wait to hear your questions!

Hi, I am Maika Kraus. I have loved animals since first visit to the Central Park Zoo when I was 3-month old. I have studied penguins, snow leopards, wolves, crocodiles, primates and other wildlife wherever I travel. I live in New York City with my twin brother, Olivier, my parents, the 2 dwarf hamsters (Super Hot Dog and Super Taco) and many good friends from the Dwight School and the Explorers Club. I am 7-year-old and a first-grader who loves to explore and tell stories about places, foods and people. I am proud to have visited 23 countries in 3 regions. I want to be a scientist and an entrepreneur. For now, I’m excited to share the stories of the NORTH POLE. I love to know your questions and ideas so we work together to build a better world.

Hi, I am Kinga Garriott de Cayeux. I will turn 6 this year and go to kindergarten at Avenues in Manhattan. I have already been on expeditions in Southeast Asia, Central America and Lapland. I enjoy doing scientific experiments while travelling and at home. I helped collect extremophile life samples from geysers in Central America, and my last scientific project at home was to dissect a frog! I hope to find microbes in the Arctic ice and look forward to sharing about our North Pole expedition with my schoolmates and kids all around the world!

Hi! My name is Ronin Garriott de Cayeux. I am 3 and a half years old. My parents took me on my first expedition (to Southeast Asia) when I was only 6 months old. After over a year with the young explorers program of the Explorers Club, I cannot wait for our North Pole expedition as I am now old enough to make measurements and take samples myself. I hope my science teacher at school, Mrs. Galapagos, or perhaps some of you, can help me identify the samples I bring back!

Hi I am Zach Dubno and am an 18-year old DevOps (Development Operations) Engineer at Mentat Advisors designing and implementing cloud solutions for a wide range of clients. I built my first robot with Dad while in kindergarten and have been programming, building and doing robotics ever since. I founded and served as president of our high school Robotics Club and have coached Special Olympics for six years. I am an avid learner, problem-solver, and team-player with a passion for using technology to do good. I enjoy exploring, hiking, snowboarding, diving, sailing, and being in the outdoors

Richard Garriott de Cayeux – Astronaut, Game Developer & Explorer

I am a seasoned explorer, and founding father of both the video game industry and commercial spaceflight industry. I have been on 5 Explorers Club flagged expeditions, from the depths of the oceans and hydrothermal vents, to the grave of the Titanic, up the Amazon River, and across the tundra of Antarctica. I enjoyed collecting exploration and scientific artifacts which range from billion-year-old meteorites to Ernest Shackleton’s sextant and compass. I authored ‘Explore/Create’ to discusses how exploring and creating are intertwined and as a way to share some of my explorations. I founded Space Adventures, the first company to arrange space flights for private citizens and in 2008, I became the first American second-generation astronaut when he flew on Soyuz TMA-13 to the International Space Station where he conducted scientific experiments, including studying human-caused environmental changes. I’m passionate about STEM education and the ISS mission resulted in many educational materials which have been  in use by students around the world.The most widely known term I coined is ‘avatar.’ I am the originator of the multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) genre and the pioneering Ultima series. My other endeavors include founding of The Challenger Center for Science Education which seeks to engage students and teachers in dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities that strengthen knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I am also a board member of the Explorers Club.

Martin Kraus – Explorer & Underwater Photographer

I am a Board Member at the Explorers Club in New York have been working for a United Nations organization for the past 20 years with assignments in Asia, Africa and Europe helping developing countries achieve the sustainable development goals on economic, social and environmental issues. 

I started travelling at the age of 10 days and since has visited 110 countries and lived in 10. My exploration focus is on how human activities affect our planet. I have participated in several expeditions to the Arctic documenting the underwater world in Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland and Norway, including the Elysium Artists for the Arctic flagged expedition (#101). I am an avid diver, and over the past 40 years have been fortunate to have experienced diving on six out of the seven continents. I am also very keen on understanding and interacting with local populations during overland trips in remote parts of Africa, Latin America and Asia and during longer stays in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, South Africa, and the Philippines.

Michael Dubno – Technologist & Entrepreneur

I am a founder and partner of Gadgetoff, a global firm which brings hundreds of innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs, thousands of patents and billions of dollars in net worth together annually. Till 2015, I was the Head of Global Markets and Risk Technology, in addition to managing the Quantitative Strategies group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch for 5 years. I also worked as the Chief Technology Officer and partner for Goldman Sachs, where I created Wall Street’s premier risk system and was responsible for the firm’s Institutional Portal and Private Wealth Management sites. In addition to pioneering the use of the Internet at Goldman Sachs I also created the Investment Research software platform. 

I am the co-chairman of FIRST, a New York City-based non-profit which inspires and engages students in the studies of science and technology. I’m currently on the board of Cerebellum Capital, an innovative hedge fund based on machine learning and have multiple public sectors engagements, including Senator Obama’s first presidential election campaign, Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee taskforce. I wrote a top selling video game; parts of the CP/M operating system and briefly attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. My hobbies include robotics, welding, machining, art, artificial intelligence, and volleyball.

Galya Morrell – Nomadic Artist

Following the steps of my Arctic ancestors, Komi reindeer herders and Pomor mammal hunters, I have travelled and lived in the Arctic for over 40 years. I use this time to explore the limits of the body and the possibilities of the mind, working in a rare genre of visual synthetic performance on the drifting sea ice. In art, I successfully fuses the traditional and modern, the indigenous and the exotic. However, my exhibitions are anything but settled. They are born as portable and nomadic and have traveled the world on a reindeer, Yakutian Arctic horse, dog-sled, donkey, camel, tractor and in a small open boat, among some of the smallest and hardest to reach settlements in Siberia, Greenland, Nunavut and Central Asia. I co-founded Expedition Avannaa, an eyewitness cultural expedition to the world’s most isolated communities affected by climate and societal change; Arctic Arts and Arctic Without Borders, a citizen diplomacy initiative to build cultural bridges among small circumpolar communities through collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Daphne Liu – Talent Accelerator & Adventurer

Started as a journalist and artist, I have then taken on multiple leadership roles in global financial services and technology firms. Committed to making an impact that matters to people around us and the communities we live in, I focus my energy on supporting individuals, teams, and organizations to thrive via innovation, leadership and technology, particularly in time of constant changes. I was a extremely curious child and continue to be an avid reader to date. The sense of curiosity has taken me to all 7 continents, including extensive work and travel in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. Since 2015, she has been an active participant of TEC’s programs and has supported the Young Explorers Program. I completed the sub-orbital spaceflight training in 2016 and hope to reach the space someday! I’m very excited to be part of the NORTH team and eager to learning about your questions, comments and dreams! 

Erich Schlaikjer – Technologist and Explorer

I studied Latin and Greek at Harvard College then lived for a while in Japan and had quite a few adventures in Asia before working at Goldman Sachs where I was a Managing Director in the quantitative trading group, which also took me from New York to London. I co-founded Cantab Capital Partners, a hedge fund where computers did the trading. Now I am retired I started a new phase of adventure in travel, photography, old books, renaissance music, math, computers, languages, research and anything beautiful and intriguing.