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2017 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

Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Ryan Carney

Ryan Carney
Evolutionary Biologist and Epidemiologist

Combining math, tech, and art to investigate dinosaurs and disease

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Adjany Costa

Adjany Costa
Conservationist and Ichthyologist

Ensuring clean waters will always flow into the Okavango Delta

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Federico Fanti

Federico Fanti
Paleontologist and Sedimentary Geologist

Unearthing the details of Earth's great extinctions

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Keolu Fox

Keolu Fox
Human Geneticist

Shining an indigenous light on human genetic diversity

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Joe Grabowski

Joe Grabowski
Educator and Scuba Diver

Using technology to open the planet to classrooms

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Picture of  emerging explorer Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Environmental Activist and Geographer

Capturing indigenous wisdom on climate change

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer M Jackson

M Jackson
Geographer and Glaciologist

Following the shifting story of people and ice

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Danielle N. Lee

Danielle N. Lee
Biologist and Outreach Scientist

Bringing the natural world to an urban audience

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer W. Lopez
Technologist and Data Scientist

Making outer space more down-to-earth

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Ricardo Moreno

Ricardo Moreno
Wildlife Biologist

Lending a voice to Panama's jaguars

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Mateus Mutemba

Mateus Mutemba
Park Warden and Conservationist

Harnessing nature conservation for human welfare

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Hotlin Ompusunggu

Hotlin Ompusunggu
Dentist and Conservationist

Using dentistry to stop deforestation

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Anand Varma

Anand Varma
Science Photographer

Finding innovative ways to tell science stories

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Picture of 2017 emerging explorer Grace Young

Grace C. Young
Ocean Engineer

Charting the sea's unknowns as an aquanaut

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Top Image: Randall Scott