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2016 Emerging Explorers

About the Program

The National Geographic Society’s Emerging Explorer Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring scientists, conservationists, storytellers, and innovators—explorers who are already making a difference and changing the world. To help the emerging explorers realize their potential, National Geographic awards each of them $10,000 for research and exploration.


Meet This Year’s Class

Asha de Vos, Marine Biologist and Ocean Educator

Asha de Vos, Marine Biologist and Ocean Educator  

What makes a whale unorthodox? Asha can tell you.

Marina Elliott, Biological Anthropologist

Marina Elliott, Biological Anthropologist  

Marina proves how odd childhood fascinations can pay off, big-time.

Gao Yufang, Conservationist

Gao Yufang, Conservationist  

His parents didn’t love the idea, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a young force in wildlife conservation.

Panut Hadisiswoyo, Conservationist

Panut Hadisiswoyo, Conservationist  

How one orangutan inspired a human to begin a life in conservation.

Naftali Honig, Wildlife Crime Investigator

Naftali Honig, Wildlife Crime Investigator  

For Naftali, one trip into the Congo rainforest changed everything.

Arthur Huang, Engineer

Arthur Huang, Engineer  

You will think differently about your trash after you read this.

Jedidah Isler, Observational Astrophysicist

Jedidah Isler, Observational Astrophysicist  

Astrophysicist Jedidah is blazing trails in space and at home on Earth.

Yukinori Kawae, Archaeologist and Egyptologist

Yukinori Kawae, Archaeologist and Egyptologist  

He’s using new technology to answer age-old questions about Egypt’s pyramids.

David Lang, Maker and Writer

David Lang, Maker and Writer  

How robots and your curiosity could help solve undersea mysteries.

Picture of Jeffrey Marlow

Jeffrey Marlow, Geobiologist, Writer, and Educator  

He explores invisible worlds on Earth that could hold clues to life in space.

Thandiwe Mweetwa, Lion Biologist

Thandiwe Mweetwa, Lion Biologist  

By age 12, she’d lost her parents and moved to a wild, rural place. That’s where she found her calling.

Wasfia Nazreen, Activist and Climber

Wasfia Nazreen, Activist and Climber  

What’s left after climbing the Seven Summits? For Wasfia, plenty.

Genevieve von Petzinger, Paleoanthropologist

Genevieve von Petzinger, Paleoanthropologist  

Ice Age ancestors left geometric signs in caves. One woman is trying to understand them.

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Get Involved

Get updates about all of the things you can participate in during Explorers Week, and learn more about what’s happening at the National Geographic Society.

 

Meet Past Emerging Explorers

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Meet our Emerging Explorers from 2015 and previous years. See the remarkable range of work they’re doing across the globe and find out how they continue to make an impact as they explore and protect our planet.

Learn more