National Geographic Writer Visits Keystone


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The Keystone College Concerts and Lectures Series will present "An Evening with Priit Vesilind," a retired National Geographic writer and editor on Tuesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in Evans Hall, Hibbard Campus Center.

Vesilind worked as a senior writer and expeditions editor at National Geographic magazine for nearly 30 years. He has traveled the world for his assignments, including diverse stories on Brazil, Albania, East Berlin, the Monsoon world and cave diving in the Yucatan. During his presentation at Keystone, Vesilind will discuss his career with National Geographic and the role of cultural media in the vital flow of information to an educated nation.

Born in Estonia, Vesilind and his family immigrated to the United States in 1949. He is a graduate of Colgate University and received his master's degree in communications photography from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Vesilind served as a communications officer in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He has worked extensively in underwater exploration for National Geographic, most often with oceanographer Bob Ballard. His 2005 book, "Lost Gold of the Republic," documents the richest monetary and archaeological marine salvage in American history.

He also specialized in Eastern Europe affairs during the Cold War, writing and contributing photographs to an article about the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Baltic States, the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad. Vesilind was decorated with the Third Order of the White Cross by Estonian President Lennart Meri in 2001 for his contributions to Estonian independence. He has written and photographically illustrated three books about political and cultural affairs in Estonia, including "The Singing Revolution," which tells the story of Estonian history and resistance to Soviet occupation. He has also written for Sports Illustrated and photographed for numerous travel and trade publications.

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