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2016–2017 Impact Report

A Planet in Balance










9.8 billion people will inhabit the earth by 2050






You've helped us give more than


with the potential to change the world for the better



Since our first grant in 1890 to explore the uncharted Mount St. Elias region of Alaska, the National Geographic Society has awarded grants for conservation, education, research, storytelling, and technology to applicants working across the globe. We support projects that are bold, innovative, and transformative. And we invest in projects led by the best scientists and explorers, some early in their careers and others with a demonstrated history of impact in their chosen field.


Learn more about the programs you support





You've helped protect more than


of ocean habitat






Our Pristine Seas project has helped protect 17 places across the ocean where marine life can thrive.

The goal: Protect 20 of the ocean’s wildest places by 2020.


Learn more about Pristine Seas







You've helped prevent more than


Big cat mortalities





Our Big Cats Initiative supports scientists and conservationists working to help big cats and communities thrive together.

The goal: Stop the decline of big cats in the wild.


Learn more about the Big Cats Initiative









You've helped us explore


of the Okavango River Basin
to help protect it






The Okavango Wilderness Project is helping to save one of Africa's richest places for biodiversity, home of the world's largest remaining elephant populations and an area that sustains more than one million people.

The goal: Increase formal protection of the Okavango River Basin for generations to come.


Learn more about the Okavango Wilderness Project








You've helped document more than


to inspire people to save them





Photo Ark is a multiyear effort to photograph every species living in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts.

The goal: Protect at-risk species and their critical habitats before it's too late.


Learn more about Photo Ark







You've helped us embark on a 10-year journey along the pathways of human migration, exploring the issues of our time as told through the stories of everyday people




Guided by the latest scientific discoveries and propelled by insightful storytelling, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek is re-walking the original 21,000-mile route of the first human ancestors who migrated out of Africa during the Stone Age.

The goal: Explore and document cultures and landscapes along the path of human migration to gain a better understanding of who we are as a species and our relationship with the natural world.


Read Chapter 1: Out of Africa













You've helped wildlife and people thrive together in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem






National Geographic is working to restore the movement of animals large and small across Yellowstone and beyond.

The goal: Address the challenges of species recovery and migration across public and private lands while respecting the needs of local communities.


Learn more about Yellowstone









You've helped us empower the next generation of visual storytellers through photo camps in more than 20 countries across the globe






National Geographic has sponsored 79 Photo Camps reaching 2,500 students.

The goal: Help young people in underserved communities use photography to tell their own stories.


Learn more about Photo Camps









You've helped us put Explorer magazine in the hands of more than 10 million students






Explorer magazine engages students and teachers with content that celebrates the power of science and exploration.

The goal: Be a trusted and engaging source of information about the world for students and educators.


Learn more about Explorer magazine









You've helped 120 million students learn about our interconnected world through the National Geographic Bee



The National Geographic Bee is an annual competition that encourages young people to learn about the people and places of our world and awards scholarships to students in the United States. Students in grades four through eight from 10,000 schools compete for the title of National Geographic Bee Champion

The goal: Inspire a new generation of informed, geo-literate citizens.


Learn more about the Bee









You've helped us expand the field for women and early-career innovators






National Geographic is empowering women and promising young scientists by providing increased funding, training, and mentorship opportunities.

The goal: Build a more diverse scientific community.










You've helped nearly 500 scientists and explorers in seven countries use the power of storytelling to make a greater impact on our world


Sciencetelling™ Bootcamps teach National Geographic explorers, grantees, and educators how to communicate their important scientific discoveries through photography, video, and storytelling in ways that build global knowledge and empower us all to generate solutions for a healthier future.

The goal: Give explorers, grantees, and educators powerful tools to share their stories with the world.


Learn more about Sciencetelling Bootcamps








You've helped us share stories about science and exploration with more than 3 million people through exhibitions and live events


National Geographic inspires audiences of all ages and encourages lifelong learning through exciting public events and exhibitions. These unique experiences celebrate the power of exploration and discovery at the National Geographic campus in Washington, D.C., and in world-class venues across the globe.

The goal: Introduce audiences to the world's best explorers, scientists, photographers, and innovators.


See our events and exhibitions








With your support, we're doubling down on science and education





We're Investing in a healthier future

And working together to care
for the world we share

Thank you to those who made a significant investment in our work

Our Supporters

Your support is making a difference

See Our Financial Summary

You're changing the world
for the better

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Thank you







From top: Photographs by Randy Olson; Joel Sartore; George Steinmetz; Cory Richards; Justin Jung; NASA; Manu San Felix; Michael Nichols; James Kydd; Joel Sartore; John Stanmeyer; Joe Riis; Ed Kashi; Winn Brewer; Mark Thiessen; Aaron Sandel; Sara Manco; Rebecca Hale; Diane Cook and Len Jenshel; Brent Stirton; Mauro Sergio; Enric Sala; Michael Nichols; and Nathan Williamson


Video footage provided by Pristine Seas/Neil Gelinas; National Geographic Television; Okavango Wilderness Project/Neil Gelinas; and Nathan Williamson