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2018 Speakers and Entertainment

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Ameer A. Abdulla
Marine Ecologist & Conservationist, National Geographic Grantee
Ameer A. Abdulla
 Marine Ecologist & Conservationist, National Geographic Grantee
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Dr. Ameer Abdulla is Associate Professor in Marine Conservation Science with the Global Change Institute and the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science at the University of Queensland, Australia. Abdulla is a marine scientist by training and holds a PhD in Marine Ecology and a MSc in Marine Impact Assessment and Monitoring from James Cook University, Australia. He is particularly passionate about working in challenging geopolitical locations that are often overlooked or ignored and has over 20 years of experience in marine science and conservation in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, Great Barrier Reef and the Gulf of Mexico. Abdulla is Director of the Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Science Program at the NGO Nature Conservation Egypt, is Senior Advisor to the European Topic Center for Spatial Analysis and Synthesis in Spain, is a Senior Conservation Science Fellow with the Wildlife Conservation Society in the USA, and an expert member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. He is interested in developing and harnessing multi-disciplinary marine science for conservation planning and ecosystem-based management and adaptation in the context of global change. Abdulla is the author of a number of scientific papers, book chapters, and technical reports that address these themes globally. Back
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Aziz Abu Sarah
Cultural Educator, 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Aziz Abu Sarah
 Cultural Educator, 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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Aziz Abu Sarah builds relationships, not walls, amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His childhood as a Palestinian boy in Jerusalem was shattered when his brother was imprisoned, tortured, and killed. His teen years were spent in the resistance movement, but after high school, he gradually transformed from feeling like a victim to becoming a bridge builder. He now dedicates his life to using personal stories and cross-cultural learning to forge unprecedented understanding and positive social change at a people-to-people level. A Muslim, Abu Sarah works closely with other religious groups and he speaks Arabic, Hebrew, and English. His bridge-building tactics are as diverse as the religious, political, and social groups he works to bring together. Abu Sarah writes and speaks on multiple international platforms. He works with a joint group of Israeli-Palestinian parents who have lost children to the conflict and he is authoring a book with a Jewish friend. In the U.S., he is co-executive director of George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution. There, he builds alliances between Jewish and Arab Americans and he has launched a unique study-abroad program bringing students to the Middle East and beyond. Back
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Vinicius Alberici Roberto
Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Vinicius Alberici Roberto
 Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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While studying for his Ph.D., Vinicius Alberici Roberto has been collaborating with the Brazilian NGO ICAS (Institute for the Conservation of Wild Animals) to contribute to the Anteaters and Highways Project, which aims to assess the impact of roads on giant anteater populations in the Brazilian Cerrado. Back
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Mustafa Santiago Ali
Renowned Policy Expert
Mustafa Santiago Ali
 Renowned Policy Expert
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MUSTAFA SANTIAGO ALI is a renowned national speaker, policy maker, community liaison, trainer, and facilitator. He specializes in social and environmental justice issues and is focused on using a holistic approach to revitalize vulnerable communities. Mustafa joined the Hip Hop Caucus after working for 24 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he most recently served as senior advisor for environmental justice and community revitalization. A guest lecturer at many leading universities, including Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown, he is a former instructor at West Virginia University and Stanford University in Washington, and the former co-host of the Spirit in Action radio show. Mustafa has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, VICE, and Democracy NOW. He has also been featured in the Washington Post and GQ magazine and cited in over 100 publications.

Featured During:
SAVING OURSELVES FROM OURSELVES: Solutions for Creating a Planet in Balance

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Daniel Arauz Naranjo
Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Daniel Arauz Naranjo
 Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Daniel Arauz Naranjo manages a sea turtle project at Costa Rica’s Rescue Center for Endangered Marine Species (CREMA), where he catches, tags, and monitors sea turtles in foraging grounds in Costa Rica. He also coordinates a sustainable fisheries project, working with local fishermen to promote science and conservation. Back
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Evgenia Arbugaeva
Photojournalist, National Geographic Fellow
Evgenia Arbugaeva
 Photojournalist, National Geographic Fellow
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Evgenia Arbugaeva was born in 1985 in the town of Tiksi, in the north of Russia. In her work, she often looks into her homeland—the Arctic—discovering and capturing the remote worlds and people who inhabit them. Arbugaeva has won various competitions and is a recipient of the ICP Infinity Award and the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in such publications as National Geographic magazine, The New Yorker, and Le Monde. Back
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Vicki Arroyo
Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law
Vicki Arroyo
 Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law
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Vicki Arroyo is the founding executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she also serves as the assistant dean of Centers and Institutes and a professor from practice. Previously, she served for over a decade at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change as vice president for policy analysis and general counsel. She has served on several federal panels, including those reviewing economic modeling of climate legislation for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, on the National Science Foundation’s advisory committee to the geosciences directorate, and on a federal study informing climate change adaptation along the Gulf Coast. Her TEDGlobal Talk on preparing communities for climate change impacts has been viewed over one million times.

Featured During:
SAVING OURSELVES FROM OURSELVES: Solutions for Creating a Planet in Balance

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Jonathan Baillie
Chief Scientist and Executive Vice President, Science and Exploration at National Geographic Society
Jonathan Baillie
 Chief Scientist and Executive Vice President, Science and Exploration at National Geographic Society
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Jonathan Baillie is the National Geographic Society’s chief scientist, senior vice president of science and exploration, and vice chair of the Committee for Research and Exploration. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Oxford. Jonathan joined the National Geographic Society after 20 years at the Zoological Society of London, where, as conservation programmes director, he led projects focused on threatened species and their habitats in over 50 countries. He has also served as a specialist group co-chair at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and was responsible for the first IUCN Red List of Threatened Species to define all mammals. With a Ph.D. in biology, Jonathan has conducted extensive fieldwork, including researching and monitoring western lowland gorillas in Gabon, developing ecotourism sites in Central Africa, searching for extremely rare endemic birds in the Gulf of Guinea, and conducting behavioral studies of desert baboons in Namibia. His work has been fundamental in defining the status of the world’s mammals.

Featured During:
SAVING OURSELVES FROM OURSELVES: Solutions for Creating a Planet in Balance

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Bob Ballard
Oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-at-Large
Bob Ballard
 Oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-at-Large
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Bob Ballard is best known for his historic discoveries of hydrothermal vents, the sunken R.M.S. Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and numerous other contemporary and ancient shipwrecks around the world. During his long career he has conducted more than 150 deep-sea expeditions using the latest in exploration technology. Dr. Ballard also spends a great deal of his time involved in various educational outreach programs. In 2008 he secured the E/V Nautilus, which has become his flagship for exploration. He has received prestigious awards from the Explorers Club and the National Geographic Society—the Explorers Medal and the Hubbard Medal, respectively—as well as the Lindbergh Award from the Lindbergh Foundation. In 2003 President George W. Bush presented him with the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal in the Oval Office. Back
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Jacinta Catherine Beehner
Biopsychologist and Biological Anthropologist, National Geographic Grantee
Jacinta Catherine Beehner
 Biopsychologist and Biological Anthropologist, National Geographic Grantee
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Jacinta Beehner is associate professor of psychology and anthropology at the University of Michigan and co-directs the university's Gelada Research Project. In her work researching hormonal influences on animal behavior, she has spent nearly 15 years studying wild primates in remote locations in Africa and has five years of experience collecting data specifically on geladas in Ethiopia. She also has considerable experience extracting hormones from fecal samples, including developing a method of fecal extraction for use in remote conditions and has used this method successfully throughout her research. She has also analytically and biologically validated the methods for quantifying steroid hormones in gelada feces and recently validated the use of urinary C-peptide as a biomarker of energetic balance in wild geladas. In working with other research projects (e.g., Amboseli Baboon Project), she has gained experience working with large demographic datasets. Back
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Janni Benavides
Musician Educator
Janni Benavides
 Musician Educator
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Janni Benavides is a musician, educator, and empirical researcher of nature and traditional knowledge. She is part of the Jacana jacana project, which works on the storytelling of the tropical ecosystems of Colombia through songs and illustrated booklets for children. Jacana jacana is currently developing its second publication through a National Geographic grant. This publication focuses on the biodiversity of La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the relationship of its original peoples with nature. Listen to the music of Jacana jacana at www.jacanajacana.com Back
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Lee R. Berger
Paleoanthropologist, National Geographic Explorer-at-Large
Lee R. Berger
 Paleoanthropologist, National Geographic Explorer-at-Large
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Named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential persons in the world for 2016, Lee Berger is an award-winning researcher, author, speaker and paleoanthropologist. He is the recipient of the National Geographic Society’s first Prize for Research and Exploration and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, a Member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa and a Fellow of the Explorers Club. His explorations into human origins in Africa over the past two-and-a-half decades have resulted in many new and notable discoveries, including the most complete early hominin fossils found so far, which belong to a new species of early human ancestor, Australopithecus sediba, and, in 2013, the richest early hominin site yet found on the continent of Africa containing the remains of another new species of ancient human relative called Homo naledi. Among other positions, Berger serves on the advisory board of the Global Young Academy. Berger is the Research Professor in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Berger received the 2016 Explorer of the Year Award.

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Shivani Bhalla
Wildlife Conservationist, 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Shivani Bhalla
 Wildlife Conservationist, 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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Conservation biologist Shivani Bhalla, a fourth-generation Kenyan, is working to safeguard the future of Kenya’s rapidly declining lion populations. She is founder and executive director of Ewaso Lions, a conservation organization that uses scientific research and community outreach to promote coexistence between people and lions who share habitats. It is the only organization that focuses on lions that live both inside and outside protected areas in northern Kenya. There are now fewer than 2,000 lions in Kenya, and they could vanish within two decades if habitat loss and conflict with humans continues. Ewaso Lions’ innovative community outreach programs, which involve young tribal warriors as well as women and children, are helping foster local support for conservation. Bhalla’s team has dramatically changed local attitudes, and the lion population she monitors has grown to its highest numbers in a dozen years. Back
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Katlin L. Bowman
Oceanographer, National Geographic Grantee
Katlin L. Bowman
 Oceanographer, National Geographic Grantee
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Katlin Bowman is an oceanographer who studies mercury chemistry in marine environments. Mercury levels in the ocean are on the rise, due to human activities like fossil fuel combustion and gold mining. Bowman has spent nearly a year of her life at sea, spanning 12 expeditions. She has crossed the Atlantic, cruised through the tropical Pacific Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, walked across ice floes at the North Pole, and explored the seafloor in the deep-ocean submersible Alvin. Her work across the globe has helped scientists understand how mercury concentrations have changed throughout history. She uses a combination of chemistry and genomic techniques to hunt for bacteria that make methylmercury in the ocean. Currently, she is studying how microplastic pollution in San Francisco Bay impacts mercury cycling. Bowman supports young women in science through a mentoring program for underrepresented women applying to graduate school. She is the co-author and narrator of a children’s book, “To the Top of the World,” that tells the story of a research expedition to the Arctic Ocean. Originally from northeastern Ohio, Bowman now lives in Santa Cruz, California, as a researcher and educator. Back
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Kenny Broad
Environmental Anthropologist
Kenny Broad
 Environmental Anthropologist
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Kenny Broad has participated in extreme scientific and filmmaking expeditions on every continent to gather information and samples that shed light on little-known environmental and cultural subjects. Broad and the late Wes Skiles received the National Geographic Explorer of the Year award in 2011. He regularly collaborates with ecologists, climatologists, hydrologists, psychologists, and a range of other strange ‘-ologists’ and has published dozens of scientific articles on topics ranging from risk perception to venomous snakes to natural resource management. Broad is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain, a commercial helicopter pilot, and he holds multiple diving ratings. He is currently a professor at the University of Miami where he directs the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. He is also co-director of the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1999. Broad was elected a Fellow National of the Explorers Club in 2009 and was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2006. Back
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Gyaneshwer Chaubey
Biological Anthropologist, National Geographic Grantee
Gyaneshwer Chaubey
 Biological Anthropologist, National Geographic Grantee
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Gyaneshwer Chaubey has spent most of his research career in Estonian Biocentre and University of Tartu, Estonia, as a Ph.D. student and thereafter in scientist and senior scientist positions. He was also a visiting scientist to the Sanger Centre, United Kingdom. In October 2017, he returned to India and joined the Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, as a full professor. Chaubey’s research is focused on the peopling of South and Southeast Asia. He is known for his in-depth work on several ethnic groups of South Asia, including Andaman, Austroasiatic, Indian Jews, Siddi, Roma, and Parsis. Currently, by using various kinds of uniparental and biparental genetic markers, he is tracing the role of migration, drift, and selection in the peopling of South Asia by using available computational tools and developing new ones. Back
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Dekila Chungyalpa
Founder and Director of Sacred Earth and Associate Research Scientist at Yale FES
Dekila Chungyalpa
 Founder and Director of Sacred Earth and Associate Research Scientist at Yale FES
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Dekila Chungyalpa has worked extensively on community-based conservation in the Himalaya and led the development of regional climate change adaptation and sustainable solutions for hydropower in the Mekong region. An associate research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Dekila works on the Yale Environmental Training Initiative for Religious Leaders program.

She also serves as the environmental adviser for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, coordinating over 50 monasteries and nunneries in the Himalaya that are carrying out environmental projects. From 2009 to 2014, she founded and then ran Sacred Earth, an acclaimed faith-based conservation program at the World Wildlife Fund. Dekila received the prestigious 2014 McCluskey Award at Yale University in recognition of her innovative work, and holds an honorary fellowship at WWF.

Featured During:
SAVING OURSELVES FROM OURSELVES: Solutions for Creating a Planet in Balance

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Jessica Cramp
Marine Conservationist
Jessica Cramp
 Marine Conservationist
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Jess Cramp is an American shark researcher and marine conservationist. She is passionate about stopping the overexploitation of sharks and the degradation of the ocean—and believes that fostering a lasting impact requires a comprehensive approach and local buy-in. Because of this, Cramp prioritizes listening to local perspectives while actively engaging community members, community leaders, and government officials in her research and advocacy efforts. In 2011, while living in the Cook Islands, she co-championed a grassroots campaign that resulted in the 2-million-square-kilometer Cook Islands Shark Sanctuary. Cramp is currently pursuing a Ph.D. through James Cook University while residing in the Cook Islands. She is studying the effectiveness of large-scale marine reserves on wide-ranging sharks. She also advises national governments, foundations, and NGOs in marine reserve and fisheries policy in the Pacific and is the founder of Sharks Pacific—a nonprofit organization dedicated to shark and fisheries research, outreach, education, and advocacy. Cramp is a 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Back
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Katy Croff Bell
Archaeological Oceanographer, National Geographic Fellow
Katy Croff Bell
 Archaeological Oceanographer, National Geographic Fellow
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Dr. Katy Croff Bell is an ocean explorer, using deep sea technology to explore what lies at the depths of the ocean. For more than 15 years, she has participated in or led more than 30 oceanographic and archaeological projects. Katy’s current work involves the utilization of telepresence technology on ocean exploration projects for remote science and education. She works with a large team to implement this technology on multidisciplinary expeditions around the world aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus. Expeditions are shared with the world live on www.nautiluslive.org, revealing the wonders of the undersea world in real time, in an effort to engage and inspire a new generation of young explorers.

Katy received her S.B. from MIT in Ocean Engineering in 2000. In 2001, she was a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, after which she completed her Master's degree in Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton. Katy completed her Ph.D. in Geological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in 2011. She is a 2006 National Geographic Emerging Explorer and 2014 MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow.

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Asha de Vos
Marine Biologist, Ocean Educator, 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Asha de Vos
 Marine Biologist, Ocean Educator, 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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Asha de Vos is a Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator, and pioneer of blue whale research within the northern Indian Ocean. She has degrees from the University of St. Andrews, University of Oxford, and the University of Western Australia, but escaped academia to establish her own Sri Lankan-grown nonprofit, Oceanswell. She also runs "The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project," the first long-term study on blue whales in her region. Her work has led to many key research publications and is used to inform policy at the local and global level. Additionally, her work has been showcased internationally by Channel 7 Australia (2010), BBC (2010), New York Times (2012), CNN (2012), and WIRED UK (2014), among others. De Vos is the first and only Sri Lankan to have a Ph.D. in marine mammal research, the first Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation from Sri Lanka, and the first National Geographic Emerging Explorer from her small island nation. De Vos’s life work is to change the current marine conservation model, protect this unique population of blue whales, and inspire the next generation of ocean heroes from the developing world. De Vos is a 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Back
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Cory Doctorow
Technoblogger and Award-Winning Science Fiction Author
Cory Doctorow
 Technoblogger and Award-Winning Science Fiction Author
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Cory Doctorow is an award-winning science fiction novelist, blogger, and technology activist. He co-edits the popular blog Boing Boing, is a contributor to many magazines, websites, and newspapers, and is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a technology-focused nonprofit civil liberties group. Cory holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a visiting professor, and is an MIT Media Lab research affiliate. In 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. 

Cory has won the Locus, Prometheus, Copper Cylinder, White Pine, and Sunburst Awards, and has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and British Science Fiction Awards. His novels have been translated into dozens of languages.

Featured During:
SAVING OURSELVES FROM OURSELVES: Solutions for Creating a Planet in Balance

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David Doubilet
National Geographic Photographer and Rolex Testimonee
David Doubilet
 National Geographic Photographer and Rolex Testimonee
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David Doubilet is a photojournalist specializing in ocean environments. He is a contributing photographer and author for National Geographic Magazine producing over 70 feature publications ranging from equatorial coral reefs to life beneath the polar ice. David enters the sea as a journalist, artist and explorer to document both the beauty and the devastation in our oceans. Doubilet has spent over 26,000 hours in the sea creating a window into the hidden world beneath the surface since he first put his Brownie Hawkeye camera in a rubber anesthesiologist’s bag at the age of twelve. He has since spent five decades exploring the far corners of our water world from interior Africa, the marine riches of the coral triangle, temperate seas of Japan, Tasmania and New Zealand, mysterious and misunderstood world of the sharks, the Sargasso Sea, secret life of freshwater eels, ghosts of war WWII shipwrecks and recently life in the polar ice. He has been referred to as the “Audubon of the Sea” using photography as a universal voice for a vanishing ocean. Doubilet believes that photography has the power to educate, honor, humiliate, illuminate and influence change. He is currently documenting the UNESCO Marine World Heritage Site coral reefs at risk from climate change. Doubilet is a featured presenter for National Geographic Live, a columnist, contributing editor and author of twelve books. He is honored to be the recipient of the many international prestigious photographic awards and to have his image of coral reefs sent into interstellar space with the Voyager Mission. He is the recipient of The Academy of Achievement Award, The Lennart Nilsson Award for Scientific Photography and The Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award. He was named a Contributing Photographer-in-Residence at the National Geographic, a NOGI Fellow and is a member of both the Royal Photographic Society, International Diving Hall of Fame and a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. David Doubilet is honored to be a Rolex Testimonee since 1994. Back
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Sylvia Earle
Oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-at-Large and Rolex Testimonee
Sylvia Earle
 Oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-at-Large and Rolex Testimonee
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Sylvia Earle, National Geographic’s Rosemary and Roger Enrico Chair for Ocean Exploration, is an oceanographer, founder of Mission Blue, SEAlliance and Deep Ocean Exploration and Research. She is also the Council Chair of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, former chief scientist of NOAA and a founding Ocean Elder. Earle has been called “Her Deepness” by The New York Times and “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress and was Time magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet.” She has led over 100 expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater. She has authored more than 200 publications and lectured in 90 countries. A graduate of Florida State University with an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Duke University and 29 honorary doctorates, she serves on various boards and commissions. Her more than 100 honors include the 2013 National Geographic Hubbard Medal, 2009 TED Prize, Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark and medals from the Explorers Club, the Royal Geographical Society, the Lindbergh Foundation and the Dominican Republic. Earle is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Back
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Melissa Etheridge
Entertainer
Melissa Etheridge
 Entertainer
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Melissa Etheridge is one of rock music’s great female icons. Her critically acclaimed eponymous debut album was certified double platinum. Etheridge’s popularity built around such memorable songs as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs” and “Ain’t It Heavy” for which she won her first Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal. Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, Yes I Am, featuring the massive hits “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window,” a searing song of longing that brought her a second Grammy. The six times platinum album spent more than two and a half years on the album chart. Etheridge is also an Oscar winner for Best Original Song in 2007.

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National Geographic Awards

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Jamal Galves
Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Jamal Galves
 Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Jamal Galves, a Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellow, has been passionate about manatee conservation since he was 11 years old, and later jumped at the opportunity to join manatee scientists at Sea to Shore Alliance to assist with manatee captures and health assessments. In his time at Sea to Shore Alliance, he has risen in the ranks from field assistant to program coordinator for the Belize Manatee Conservation Program. Back
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Pablo (Popi) Garcia Borboroglu
Marine Biologist, Penguin Conservationist, 2018 National Geographic Society/Buffett Award Recipient
Pablo (Popi) Garcia Borboroglu
 Marine Biologist, Penguin Conservationist, 2018 National Geographic Society/Buffett Award Recipient
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Pablo (Popi) Garcia Borboroglu is the founder and President of the Global Penguin Society (GPS), an international science-based conservation coalition that protects the world´s penguin species. He is also the founder and co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Penguin Specialist Group, Researcher at the National Research Council in Argentina and Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington. Since 1989, he has worked in the field of marine conservation. His work focuses on different aspects of the ecology, management and conservation of seabirds, with special emphasis on penguins. He also works on marine conservation tools planning and implementation. In this role, he interacts with Government agencies, landowners and communities. He leads a global conservation effort to benefit penguins in several countries at different scales, including the creation of large marine protected areas in land and in the ocean and the improvement of penguin colony management. Examples of this are his efforts to designate the largest UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for Argentina (around 8 million acres). He also catalyzed the designation of 250,000 acres for the Punta Tombo Marine Protected Area in Patagonia Argentina that protects the feeding area of over half a million penguins. Another example was his effort to promote the establishment of the IUCN SSC Penguin specialist Group, that he Co-Chair, with a global impact on critical and global conservation issues. For a decade, he has coordinated an educational program targeting local communities and schools near penguin colonies in Chile and Argentina. He has taken about 6,000 kids to visit colonies and meet penguins for the first time and thousands of kids benefitted from our books donated to schools. More recently, he was part of a group that contributed to include the protection of the ocean as a Sustainable Development Goal into the UN Agenda 2030. With a strong recognition that improved stewardship of the ocean requires both science and communication to modify people’s attitudes and behavior, he works extensively with international media. Borboroglu received his Degree as Licenciado in Biological Sciences at the National University of Patagonia San Juan Bosco in 1998 and received his Ph.D. in Biology in 2003, with honors from the National University of Comahue in Argentina. He has received the Duke University Global Fellowship in Marine Conservation 2001, Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation 2009, the Whitley Award 2010, the National Geographic Buffet Award 2018 and the Whitley Gold Award 2018. Back
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Yajaira García Feria
Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Yajaira García Feria
 Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Conservationist Yajaira Garcia Feria is a Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellow. She studies the volcano rabbit, one of the smallest species of rabbit in the world that is found only on four volcanoes in Mexico. During her master’s degree, she worked with Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Natural Areas on an initiative to implement a monitoring system for volcano rabbits across their range. She has also contributed to a number of research projects at the National Autonomous University of Mexico focused on the biology and ecology of captive volcano rabbits. Back
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Shane T. Gero
Marine Biologist, National Geographic Grantee
Shane T. Gero
 Marine Biologist, National Geographic Grantee
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Shane Gero is a Canadian marine biologist and assistant professor in the Marine Bioacoustics Lab at Aarhus University in Denmark. In 2005, he founded The Dominica Sperm Whale Project and has since spent thousands of hours in the company of sperm whale families. Gero’s research is motivated by a desire to understand animal societies, how and why they form, and, by necessity, what happens when they fall apart. His current field expeditions play sounds back to the whales to discover how whales recognize each other. In addition to visiting classrooms digitally and in person, Gero frequently speaks about his science and the conservation of our oceans at museums and universities around the world and most recently on the TEDx stage. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, and his research has been featured in dozens of magazines and on radio and television, most recently in BBC’s “Blue Planet II.” Gero hopes to create a new dialogue around conservation of whale populations that is about more than just numbers, but about recognizing biologically important divisions between communities of whales, respecting their identity, and including cultural diversity in our definition of biodiversity. You can meet the whales at www.thespermwhaleproject.org and follow live tweets from the field @DomWhale. Learn more about Shane at www.shanegero.com and get in touch @sgero. Back
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Jonatha Giddens
Deep-sea Research Ecologist
Jonatha Giddens
 Deep-sea Research Ecologist
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Jonatha Giddens is a deep-sea research ecologist with the Fisheries Ecology Research Lab at the University of Hawaii, and an ocean ecosystems and climate change specialist with NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. With National Geographic’s Exploration Technology Lab, Giddens is developing a research program to define and assess indicators of deep-sea health through the global Deep-ocean Dropcam program. By operationalizing deep-sea exploration technology, this program will establish an index of ecosystem health to protect biodiversity in the deep sea. Giddens previously held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her doctoral research on the impacts of introduced marine species to near-shore coral reef ecosystems. This research took a multiscale and multidisciplinary approach, shedding new light on the paradox of introduced species in oceanic island systems. With a background in natural and social sciences, and with training in art and traditional storytelling, and inspired by travel across land and sea, Giddens has a vision to contribute to a planet in balance through collaboration, exploration, and expression of discovery into public consciousness.  Back
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Sean Robert Gerrity
Conservationist, Founder & Managing Director of American Prairie Reserve, Former National Geographic Fellow
Sean Robert Gerrity
 Conservationist, Founder & Managing Director of American Prairie Reserve, Former National Geographic Fellow
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Sean Gerrity, CEO of American Prairie Reserve, (APR) is committed to wildlife conservation and hopes to create the largest wildlife complex ever assembled in the continental United States. When complete, the reserve will comprise some 3.5 million contiguous acres (more than 5,000 square miles) of native grassland in northeastern Montana, with a goal of restoring the wildlife abundance the landscape once contained. American Prairie Reserve was featured in National Geographic's American Serengeti, an hour-long film featured on the National Geographic Channel.

Gerrity and his colleagues are dedicated to building the reserve for the benefit of humanity—from Native American and other local communities neighboring the reserve to the global visitors now enjoying the reserve's growing educational and recreational opportunities. The project is now entering an exciting phase of enabling 300-mile dispersion corridors for grizzly bears, cougars, wolves and other wildlife between the American Prairie Reserve eco-system, which includes Grasslands National Park in Canada, The Yellowstone ecosystem surrounding Yellowstone Park, and the Crown of the Continent ecosystem that includes Glacier National Park.

Gerrity grew up primarily in Montana. Prior to joining the American Prairie Reserve, he co-founded Catalyst Consulting, a Santa Cruz, California-based company, specializing in organizational alignment, strategy development, and implementation primarily applied in the for-profit, business world.

Leading the American Prairie Reserve project has enabled Gerrity to combine his upbringing in and knowledge of Montana, his business skills, and his passion for education, nature and wildlife to focus on an effort that will leave an extraordinary, nature-based legacy for future generations.

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Susan Goldberg
Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners and Editor in Chief of National Geographic Magazine
Susan Goldberg
 Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners and Editor in Chief of National Geographic Magazine
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Susan Goldberg is editorial director of National Geographic Partners and editor in chief of National Geographic magazine. Under her leadership, National Geographic has received numerous awards for photography, journalism, and graphics across platforms, and in 2017 was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for its issue about gender.

Previously, Susan was an executive editor at Bloomberg News, and before that editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the San Jose Mercury News. She has received multiple awards, and was named one of Washington’s most powerful women by the Washingtonian in 2017. She is on the boards of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

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Dominique Goncalves
Ecologist & Conservationist
Dominique Goncalves
 Ecologist & Conservationist
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Dominique Gonçalves is a Mozambican ecologist focused on elephant conservation in Gorongosa National Park. Her interest in biodiversity protection and human population increase inspired her to earn her MSC in Conservation Biology at Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at University of Kent. Gonçalves currently serves as Manager of the Elephant Ecology Project where she investigates elephant movement and range expansion in relation to habitat use and Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC). Working with law enforcement and sustainable development colleagues, she hopes to build coexistence between communities and wildlife throughout the buffer-zone surrounding the park. In addition to this, Gonçalves works closely with park Girls’ Club programs; promoting education and health to prevent early marriage.

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Brian Gratwicke
Conservation Biologist, National Geographic Grantee
Brian Gratwicke
 Conservation Biologist, National Geographic Grantee
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"Brian Gratwicke is a conservation biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute where he leads the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. This project established a new research facility the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama that houses captive assurance colonies of amphibians threatened with extinction by a frog-killing fungal disease. Brian is also leading a research project to develop solutions to help manage the disease that will eventually lead to successful reintroductions of captive amphibians back into the wild. Brian’s previous experience includes working as assistant director of Save The Tiger Fund at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation where he helped to manage grant-making programs, evaluation and fundraising activities. Brian received a Ph.D. in Zoology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Zimbabwe." Back
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David Gruber
Marine Biologist, 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
David Gruber
 Marine Biologist, 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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David Gruber is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, marine biologist, coral reef and photosynthesis expert, underwater photographer, submersible designer, and professor at City University of New York. He and his collaborators have discovered scores of novel fluorescent compounds from marine animals. Several compounds have been used as tools to study cancer drugs and understand the brain. Gruber discovered the first biofluorescent sea turtle in the Solomon Islands and developed a “shark-eye” camera to gain a shark’s perspective of the underwater world. He was awarded the National Geographic Innovation Challenge grant with Harvard roboticist Rob Wood to develop “Squishy Robot Fingers.” They are developing and testing devices that can study delicate animals, such as jellyfish, from submarines and remotely operated vehicles. This is part of Gruber’s effort to design delicate and noninvasive mechanisms for marine biologists to study and interact with deep-sea life. Gruber swam with sharks in many parts of the world for the 2016 National Geographic/PBS NOVA documentary “Creatures of Light,” Shark Week’s “Alien Sharks,” and BBC’s “Shark.” He is the chief scientific advisor to the upcoming National Geographic “Encounter: Ocean Odyssey” exhibition in Times Square. Back
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Sayed Gul Kalash
Archaeologist, 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Sayed Gul Kalash
 Archaeologist, 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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Sayed Gul Kalash works to preserve the endangered Kalash culture and language in a remote region of Pakistan. A member of the indigenous community herself, Gul Kalash works to keep traditional beliefs, language, dress, religion, art forms, and other cultural elements alive. As the first Kalash archaeologist and only Kalash woman trained as a scientist, she’s a compelling representative of a culture under threat. Once powerful and widespread, the Kalash civilization numbered tens of thousands of people, yet only about 3,500 Kalash people now remain. Gul Kalash laments that as their landscape changes, Kalash people continue to be marginalized. They are Pakistan’s smallest religious minority and not officially recognized. Gul Kalash excavates the world-renowned Taxila archaeological sites, yielding ceramics, jewelry, and weapons, and revealing clues about unique funeral rituals and burial practices. Such artifacts and other iconic elements of Kalash heritage will be part of a new multicultural museum opening soon. Gul Kalash hopes Kalash culture and land will ultimately be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, helping mobilize international cooperation and assistance. She participates in conferences to advance this effort, documenting elements such as villages, language, religion, and music in need of preservation. Back
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Kavita Gupta
Educator, National Geographic Fellow
Kavita Gupta
 Educator, National Geographic Fellow
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For over 20 years, Kavita Gupta has worked tirelessly to bring access and relevance to science education nationwide alongside policymakers and educators. She has been selected to speak at national STEM events and has planned national conferences such as the STEM Forum and Expo and the National Science Teachers’ Association’s National Conference. She has also been published in educational journals and won accolades from leading higher education institutions such as Stanford and MIT for her outstanding teaching methods. In 2017, Gupta was selected as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, which enabled her to share her experiences exploring the Galápagos Islands to bring advocacy to climate change with her community at large. She has organized annual events in partnership with The Tech Museum in San Jose, where over 750 students across STEM and non-STEM disciplines related their textbook learnings to movie documentaries such as “Before the Flood.” Gupta continues to inspire and share best practices with science educators through multiple mediums. She actively contributes to the field of science education as a presenter and as an author. She has written articles for educational journals and published a book called “Reaction Prediction: Made Easy.” Back
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Charlie Hamilton James
Conservation Photojournalist, National Geographic Fellow
Charlie Hamilton James
 Conservation Photojournalist, National Geographic Fellow
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"Charlie Hamilton James is a National Geographic Society Fellow. His role is to develop and work with complex apparatus for photographing wildlife in new and exciting ways. When he's not doing that, James is working as a conservation photojournalist for National Geographic magazine. His stories tend to be based on the conflict between animals and people. Much of James’ work is done in North America, East Africa, and the Amazon, where he has been drifting into anthropological work while covering stories. A few years ago, James accidentally bought an illegal coca plantation in Peru; his adventures and misadventures have been featured in National Geographic magazine and the BBC. When he’s not photographing in the field, James shoots natural history films for clients, including the BBC, through his and his wife’s production company, Halcyon Media LTD. He is also a TV presenter for various BBC programs, including Halcyon River Diaries." Back
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Dan Hammer
Environmental Data Scientist
Dan Hammer
 Environmental Data Scientist
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Dan Hammer is the winner of the Pritzker Environmental Genius Award. He is a Fellow at National Geographic, a TEDx speaker, and founder of Earthrise Media. Hammer works to make satellite imagery of the Earth more accessible to journalists and educators. He was a senior advisor in the Obama White House, a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA, and an adjunct professor at both Georgetown University and the University of San Francisco. Hammer served as the chief data scientist at the World Resources Institute, and while there, co-founded Global Forest Watch to monitor deforestation from satellite imagery. He also founded Spaceknow, a satellite image analytics start-up. He received his Ph.D. in environmental economics at UC Berkeley, where he was a Fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. Hammer received his B.A. in mathematics and economics with high honors at Swarthmore College, where he was a Lang Opportunity Scholar. Hammer spent almost two years in the South Pacific as a Watson Fellow, building and racing outrigger canoes. Back
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Ben Harper
Singer-songwriter
Ben Harper
 Singer-songwriter
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Ben Harper grew up in the tree-lined Southern California college town of Claremont, literally surrounded by music. His grandparents had opened the Folk Music Center in 1958 as a music store and impromptu gather place for a thriving folk music scene. Artists like Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, Doc Watson, and John Fahey were known to drop by and play. Ben’s mother, Ellen, was a folk singer, and his dad, Leonard, was a talented musician as well. Ben worked at the family music store, where he learned how to repair and build instruments, became a masterful player and gifted songwriter, and eventually a Grammy-winning artist and producer of worldwide acclaim.

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Victoria Stephanie Herrmann
Victoria Stephanie Herrmann
 
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National Geographic Explorer Victoria Herrmann works with coastal communities in the United States and U.S. territories on climate change adaptation. Over the past two years, as lead researcher for America’s Eroding Edges project, she traveled across the country interviewing 350 local leaders to identify what’s needed most to safeguard coastal communities against the unavoidable impacts of climate change . Her current project, Rise Up to Rising Tides, is creating an online matchmaking platform that connects pro bono experts with climate-affected communities. The project seeks to safeguard heritage by connecting national expertise to some of the 13 million Americans at risk of being displaced due to rising waters in the coming years. Herrmann is also the president and managing director of The Arctic Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Arctic security research. Her research focuses on human security of remote indigenous communities in the circumpolar north. Herrmann teaches sustainability management at American University; science communication at the University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland; and public speaking at National Geographic Sciencetelling Bootcamps. Back
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Naftali Honig
Wildlife Crime Investigator, 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Naftali Honig
 Wildlife Crime Investigator, 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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Naftali Honig is a wildlife crime investigator on a mission to protect wildlife. After college, Honig took a backpacking trip that led him to Central Africa. While living in the rain forest of the Republic of the Congo’s Conkouati Douli National Park, Honig met activists who showed him the dynamics of Congo’s illegal wildlife trade and how to combat it. Not long afterward, he witnessed a commercial bushmeat bust and realized the poacher would never face serious punishment. Incidents like this inspired Honig to do something about wildlife trafficking and weak governance. Honig co-founded EAGLE (Eco-Activists for Governance and Law Enforcement) to bring justice for targeted wildlife. He has also built a unit of wildlife crime detection dogs in the Congo that can detect, among other things, the presence of ivory. He has trained national parks staff in Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Chad to fight wildlife crime through investigations, legal work, and communications. Honig’s horizons widened after conflict broke out in the Central African Republic, bringing rebels to the borders of Congo. Honig now works for African Parks in Garamba National Park in the eastern DRC. In 2016, Honig became a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Back
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Arthur Huang
Structural Engineer, Founder & CEO, Miniwiz & National Geographic Explorer
Arthur Huang
 Structural Engineer, Founder & CEO, Miniwiz & National Geographic Explorer
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National Geographic Emerging Explorer and engineer Arthur Huang has spent over a decade turning post-consumer waste into innovative products for businesses and consumers through his company, Miniwiz. Co-founder and CEO of Miniwiz, Arthur is focused on accelerating the shift to a closed-loop circular economy, in which all products are made from recycled materials and are then eventually recycled themselves. Today, Miniwiz is a global leader in transforming post-consumer products into retail store interiors, factory campuses, and consumer goods.

Four National Geographic channel episodes have been dedicated to Miniwiz’s projects, from constructing an entire nine-story museum using post-consumer materials to designing a portable trash collection system.

Under Arthur’s leadership, Miniwiz has received the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer title, the Financial Times’ Earth Award, and the Wall Street Journal’s Asian Innovation Award, among other honors.

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Stephen D Humphreys
Archaeologist, National Geographic Grantee
Stephen D Humphreys
 Archaeologist, National Geographic Grantee
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Stephen Humphreys is the CEO and co-founder of American Veterans Archaeological Recovery Program, a nonprofit organization intended to measurably enhance field archaeology in order to build supportive, long-term peer networks among disabled military veterans while facilitating training in transferable skills. Humphreys served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and deployed to the Middle East multiple times. In this role, he was typically responsible for the performance and welfare of up to 70 airmen and assets valued at up to $2.6 billion. He served as an assistant professor of aerospace studies at Texas A&M University and worked closely with the university's ROTC. He received a B.A. in history from the University of North Texas and an M.A. in theology and archaeology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He will complete a Ph.D. in archaeology at Durham University in early 2019. He is a dedicated field archaeologist with excavation experience in Israel, Cyprus, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His research interests revolve around the impact of charity and charitable organizations in antiquity, and the use of archaeological excavation as a tool for improving the health and wellbeing of participants. Back
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Jenna Romness Jambeck
Environmental Engineer, National Geographic Grantee
Jenna Romness Jambeck
 Environmental Engineer, National Geographic Grantee
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Jenna Jambeck is an award-winning explorer, associate professor, and director at the University of Georgia. She has been conducting research on solid waste issues for over 20 years with related projects on marine debris since 2001. She also specializes in global waste management issues and plastic contamination. Her work on plastic waste inputs into the ocean published in Science magazine has been recognized by the global community and translated into policy discussions by the Global Ocean Commission, in testimony to U.S. Congress, in G7 and G20 Declarations, and the United Nations Environment Programme. She conducts public environmental diplomacy as an International Informational Speaker for the U.S., including multiple global programs of speaking events, meetings, presentations to governmental bodies, and media outreach around the world. In 2014, she sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with 13 other women in eXXpedition to sample land and open-ocean plastic and encourage women to enter STEM disciplines. She is co-developer of the mobile app Marine Debris Tracker, a tool that continues to facilitate a growing global citizen science initiative that has documented the location of over 1 million litter and marine debris items removed from our environment throughout the world. Back
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Corey Jaskolski
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Developer, National Geographic Fellow
Corey Jaskolski
 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Developer, National Geographic Fellow
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Corey Jaskolski is an engineer, specializing in creating technologies for some of the most challenging environments on Earth. He is currently developing new imaging solutions to help National Geographic explorers—and others—capture imagery that lets us all see the world in new ways. He also runs Hydro Technologies, a company that engineers wireless sensors that can be used to help prevent subsea oil and gas leaks. Jaskolski grew up fascinated by technology and imaging. After earning bachelor's degrees in both physics and mathematics, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the DuPont Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Fellow, as well as the Shell Ocean Engineering Fellow. While at MIT, he headed up the Bluefin Robotics team, developing the world's first pressure-tolerant lithium-polymer battery pack, used by autonomous underwater vehicles for ocean exploration. The battery pack was designed to withstand the crushing pressure of deep-ocean deployments without needing to be protected inside a pressure vessel. The technology was also used to power tiny remote-operated underwater vehicles that explored the inside of the Titanic. Jaskolski had the opportunity to descend to the wreck of the Titanic (12,500 feet deep) in a three-man Russian submersible to support these robotic operations. Following these adventures, Jaskolski founded Hydro Technologies in 2002. He took a brief hiatus from the company to serve as the Director of Technology for Remote Imaging at National Geographic. Now, he splits his time between Hydro Technologies and specialized engineering projects. One of Jaskolski's latest pursuits includes the development of an ultrahigh-resolution robotic camera system. It was recently used to take the world's highest resolution underwater image in Hoyo Negro, a cenote in Mexico. Back
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Dereck Joubert
National Geographic Explorers-at-Large, Co-founders of the Big Cats Initiative
Dereck Joubert
 National Geographic Explorers-at-Large, Co-founders of the Big Cats Initiative
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Dereck and Beverly Joubert are globally recognized, award-winning filmmakers, conservationists, and National Geographic explorers-in-residence based in Botswana. Their mission for more than 30 years has been the conservation of key wildlife species, with a focus on large predators. In 2009, National Geographic, along with the Jouberts, founded the Big Cats Initiative, a long-term effort to halt the decline of big cats in the wild and protect the ecosystems they inhabit. The Jouberts have published 12 books, produced 30 films for National Geographic, and written half a dozen scientific papers as well as many articles for National Geographic magazine. Beverly is also an acclaimed photographer for National Geographic, and has had exhibitions displayed globally. They have received 8 Emmy Awards (and 22 Emmy nominations), a Peabody Award, a Grand Teton Award, multiple Golden Panda Awards, a World Ecology Award (along with Britain’s Prince Charles, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle, and paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey), and a Presidential Order of Merit awarded by Botswana’s president, Seretse Khama Ian Khama, for their conservation work. The Jouberts’ films have received widespread attention. More than a billion people across 127 countries are estimated to have viewed one of their early films, Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas. Their 2011 documentary The Last Lions, filmed in Botswana, has become a powerful ambassador for lions in the wild, reaching over 350 million people globally. The Last Lions won Best Theatrical Film at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, among other awards. The Jouberts are leading conservationists as spokespeople and change-makers. One example is their project Rhinos Without Borders to relocate 100 rhinos out of the highest poaching zones of South Africa to Botswana. The Jouberts’ efforts—as filmmakers, conservationists, and explorers—have one aim: to save the wild places of Africa, and to protect the creatures that depend on them. Botswana President Ian Khama recently said it well: “Theirs is a lifelong passion; for each other, for big cats, for Africa…they are true ‘children of Africa.’” Back
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Gladys Rhoda Kalema-Zikusoka
Wildlife Veterinarian, Conservationist, National Geographic Grantee and 2010 Jury Member Rolex Awards for Enterprise
Gladys Rhoda Kalema-Zikusoka
 Wildlife Veterinarian, Conservationist, National Geographic Grantee and 2010 Jury Member Rolex Awards for Enterprise
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Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is a wildlife veterinarian and conservationist working with the critically endangered mountain gorillas of East Africa. Her work has been featured in the National Geographic documentary “Wildlife Guardian” and an article entitled “Lair of a Silverback.” After graduating from University of London, she established the first veterinary department in the Uganda Wildlife Authority. During this time, she led a team that investigated the first scabies outbreak in mountain gorillas that resulted in the death of an infant and sickness in the rest of the affected gorilla groups. It was eventually traced to people living around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park who have inadequate access to health care and other needs. This led her to establish Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), a grassroots NGO and nonprofit that promotes coexistence of people, gorillas, and other wildlife through addressing human and wildlife health together and improving alternative livelihoods in communities sharing their habitats with gorillas. Funding from National Geographic is enabling CTPH to expand this award-winning model to additional parishes around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and other protected areas in Africa. Through her work, Kalema-Zikusoka is also advocating for integrated approaches that balance human needs with conservation concerns. Back
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Kakani Katija
Bioengineer, 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Kakani Katija
 Bioengineer, 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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Bioengineer and 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Kakani Katija is dedicated to developing underwater technologies to better observe biological and physical processes where they happen in the ocean. Her research and engineering development efforts have contributed to our understanding of nutrient cycling in the oceans, biologically induced mixing of the oceans, the ecology of gelatinous and soft-bodied invertebrates in deep-sea environments, and bioinspired design. She is currently a Principal Engineer and Principal Investigator at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (www.mbari.org), and heads the Bioinspiration Lab (www.bioinspirationlab.org). Katija and members of her team develop tools and platforms that include (1) advanced imaging tools (DeepPIV; www.mbari.org/technology/emerging-current-tools/instruments/technology-deeppiv/) to measure biological-physical interactions in the ocean, (2) electronics tagging packages (ITAG; https://animalbiotelemetry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40317-015-0076-1) to deduce organism behavioral response to a changing environment, and (3) autonomous underwater vehicles using stereo tracking to address a wide range of marine science questions. A former ice dancer and member of the U.S. International Figure Skating Team, Katija is an active scientific diver, conducting field expeditions in various locations around the world using technologies she has developed. Katija was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2011 and a Kavli Research Fellow in 2013, and she has received generous funding support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the National Science Foundation. Although her education began in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington, Katija received her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology. When not in the lab or ocean, she can be found with her husband and dog roaming around the West. Back
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Peg Keiner
Educator, National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow
Peg Keiner
 Educator, National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow
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Peg Keiner is the Director of Innovation at GEMS World Academy Chicago, Global Goal Ambassador for the United Nations Association Chicago Chapter, Google Earth Education Expert, and 2017 National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions Grosvenor Teacher Fellow. During her expedition to Antarctica in December 2017, she collected audio and 360 videos to immerse her community in the great white continent. Keiner’s focus is on creating environments for people to use technology to investigate problems, design solutions, and take action. She leads research in Field Studies at her preschool-12th grade private school in downtown Chicago, where students use the city as a landscape for learning. As a  Google Earth Education Expert, she creates curriculum to increase geospatial thinking through storytelling. As a Global Goal Ambassador through the United Nations Association Chicago Chapter, she plans events to that bring awareness to our world’s most pressing issues. On May of 2017, she hosted the first GEMS Global Design Challenge, where students across the Chicagoland, with the help of industry experts, spent a weekend researching and designing solutions to 5 of 17 United Nations Global Goals.

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Jeffrey T. Kerby
Ecologist and Photographer, National Geographic Grantee
Jeffrey T. Kerby
 Ecologist and Photographer, National Geographic Grantee
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Jeff Kerby is an ecologist and photographer. His work spans multiple systems, from the Arctic to the mountains of East Africa, and focuses on how climate and seasonality affect how species interact with each other in extreme environments. This often means balancing analyses of satellite imagery with spending long periods in the field documenting the rhythms, or phenology, of what’s happening on the ground to understand how natural systems are changing. Kerby is also an award-winning photojournalist, documenting rare behaviors and remote regions. His first feature story in National Geographic magazine was published in 2017 on gelada monkeys living in the highlands of central Ethiopia. He is the recipient of several National Geographic photography and research grants. As technical director of ConservationDrones.org, Kerby blends his photographic and ecological backgrounds to bring artistic, scientific, and technological tools to pressing conservation challenges in countries as diverse as Suriname, Congo, Tanzania, and Greenland. Currently, Kerby is a Neukom Fellow at Dartmouth College, where he focuses on using drones and quantitative imaging techniques to understand Arctic tundra change and its impacts on the ecology of the region. Back
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Mimi E. Kessler
Ornithologist, Wildlife Biologist, National Geographic Grantee
Mimi E. Kessler
 Ornithologist, Wildlife Biologist, National Geographic Grantee
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Mimi Kessler is a wildlife biologist focusing on the conservation of bustards, large grassland birds, in Central Asia. She uses satellite telemetry, remote sensing, GIS, and movement analysis to characterize migratory pathways, causes of mortality, and reproductive success of these birds. Kessler works with stakeholders to advance bustard conservation. She carries out environmental education programs for rural youth, develops media, trains young conservation biologists, and develops conservation policy. Using satellite telemetry, Kessler’s team discovered the long-distance migratory pathway of East Asian populations of the great bustard and named the poaching and poisoning along the migratory pathway as major barriers to the conservation of these rare birds. Between 2014 and 2017, Kessler and her partner successfully proposed an increase in the global level of protection afforded great bustards under the Convention on Migratory Species and established a period of Concerted Action among Asian governments as they focus on conservation of this bird. With the support of National Geographic, Kessler is searching for great bustards breeding spots in remote corners of Central Asia, where likely less than 500 of these birds remain. There, her team evaluates threats to the species’ survival and reproduction. Back
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Natalie Kofler
Molecular Biologist. Founder of Editing Nature, Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies
Natalie Kofler
 Molecular Biologist. Founder of Editing Nature, Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies
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Natalie Kofler is a molecular biologist and the founder and director of Editing Nature at Yale University, a global initiative to steer the responsible development and deployment of environmental genetic technologies. At Editing Nature, she builds processes and platforms to guide projects that aim to genetically alter wild species with goals such as preventing disease transmission, eliminating invasive species, or aiding species adaptability to changing climates. Natalie received her M.S. in human nutrition and metabolic studies and her Ph.D. in cellular, molecular, and medical biosciences from Columbia University. She is a leading voice for the advancement of inclusive science and the need for integrated deliberative models, and has authored numerous scientific research articles, review articles, and commentary pieces.

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Heather J. Koldewey
Marine Biologist, National Geographic Fellow
Heather J. Koldewey
 Marine Biologist, National Geographic Fellow
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Heather Koldewey is a 2018 National Geographic Fellow supporting the NGS Ocean Plastics Initiative. She started working for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in 1995, initially as a postdoctoral research scientist, then as curator of the ZSL London Zoo Aquarium, and currently as head of marine and freshwater conservation. She finds solutions through interdisciplinary research and conservation action at the interface between communities and environment. Examples include: co-founding Project Seahorse in 1996, recognized as the world’s leading authority on seahorses; developing Net-Works, an award-winning project that has developed a novel community-based supply chain for discarded fishing nets that are recycled into carpet tiles (with Interface Inc.), addressing issues of marine debris and poverty alleviation in coastal communities (removing over 160 tonnes of waste nets and benefiting 62,000 people); co-ordinating the Bertarelli Programme of Marine Science, a research and conservation program for large marine reserves, involving 14 organizations focused on the Chagos Archipelago; and leading the Our Sea Our Life project in Mozambique to improve the resilience of coastal ecosystems and community well-being. Koldewey uses collaborative approaches to communicate and engage people in marine conservation, including One Less, a campaign to build a more ocean-friendly society through working to make London the first capital city to stop using single-use plastic water bottles. www.onelessbottle.org Video about Heather's work: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/06/heather-koldeway-explorer-nets-plastic-philippines-ocean-culture/?beta=true Back
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David Lang
Entrepreneur, National Geographic Fellow
David Lang
 Entrepreneur, National Geographic Fellow
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David Lang is an entrepreneur and writer. In 2012, along with Eric Stackpole, he co-founded OpenROV to create a low-cost robot to explore an underwater cave. Since then, OpenROV has raised over $900,000 on Kickstarter and become one of the largest underwater drone manufacturers. The team also created OpenExplorer as a digital field journal to empower and connect citizen scientists and explorers. Lang is the author of Zero to Maker—part memoir and part guidebook for participating in the growing maker movement. He is also a member of NOAA's Ocean Exploration Advisory Board and a TED Senior Fellow.

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Erika Larsen
Photographer, Multidisciplinary Storyteller, National Geographic Fellow
Erika Larsen
 Photographer, Multidisciplinary Storyteller, National Geographic Fellow
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Erika Larsen is a photographer and multidisciplinary storyteller known for her essays, which document cultures that maintain close ties with nature. Larsen has shot multiple stories for National Geographic magazine and she was part of the team that produced the magazine’s 2016 single-topic Yellowstone Issue. She is also one of the featured photographers in National Geographic’s popular “Women of Vision” exhibit. Larsen has been a Fulbright Fellow for her study of the North Sámi language, resulting in her first monograph, “Sàmi, Walking With Reindeer,” released in 2013. For her fellowship, she will continue her ongoing project of documenting the ancestral and contemporary connections between animals and the indigenous people of the Americas. Back
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Julia Lee
Behavioral Scientist
Julia Lee
 Behavioral Scientist
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Julia Lee is an assistant professor of management and organizations at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, and studies the psychology of social- and self-narratives as well as behavioral ethics. Lee received a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University, where she was trained in organizational behavior, psychology, and behavioral economics. She is also a non-resident Fellow at Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and was selected as a Lab Fellow in Institutional Corruption at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard and as a Research Fellow in the Women and Public Policy Program.

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Laly Lichtenfeld
Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Grantee
Laly Lichtenfeld
 Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Grantee
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National Geographic Explorer Laly Lichtenfeld believes wild animals and humans can coexist in harmony. Residing in Tanzania, Lichtenfeld co-founded African People & Wildlife in 2005 to help rural communities conserve and benefit from their wildlife and natural resources. She first traveled to the African continent with the National Outdoor Leadership School in 1992. Moved by the remarkable wildlife, cultures, and landscapes of East Africa, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to evaluate a community-based conservation project in southern Kenya. In 2005, Lichtenfeld received her Ph.D. from Yale University for novel research combining wildlife ecology and social ecology in an interdisciplinary study of human-lion relationships, interactions, and conflicts on the Maasai Steppe of northern Tanzania. Today, with 20 years of on-the-ground experience in East African wildlife conservation, Lichtenfeld specializes in human-wildlife conflict prevention, species conservation focusing on lions and other big cats, community empowerment and engagement in natural resource management, conservation education, and the development of conservation incentives for rural people. An accomplished speaker, Lichtenfeld is a Distinguished Alumni of Yale’s Tropical Resources Institute and a recipient of the 2016 Lowell Thomas Award for Open Space Conservation from the historic Explorers Club. For more information, visit africanpeoplewildlife.org. Back
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Albert Lin
Research Scientist and Engineer, 2010 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Albert Lin
 Research Scientist and Engineer, 2010 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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"Albert Lin is very literally a high-tech explorer, having become part-man, part-machine due to the recent addition of a high-tech prosthetic leg. Exploring what he calls the “human frontier”, he has continued to press into the most remote and physically engaging parts of the world to take a technologist’s approach to uncover some of humanity’s most charismatic stories and explore the frontiers of the human experience. He began his career with the Valley of the Khans Project, a technology-enabled search for the tomb of Genghis Khan. Tools such as satellite imagery, crowdsourcing engines, machine learning, drones, and ground-penetrating radar permitted Lin to search for archaeological sites through a vast area while respecting traditional beliefs of indigenous people that called for non-invasive investigations. He has since applied similar approaches to survey the First Emperor’s tomb in China and most recently the Mayan temples of Northern Guatemala. He is responsible for National Geographic’s first crowdsourcing effort to survey satellite imagery in archaeology, which he turned into the platform Tomnod (meaning “big eye” in Mongolian), which has been used by millions on projects ranging from search and rescue to humanitarian and environmental monitoring. Inspired by the idea that science could be democratized through our connectivity, he later co-founded the education company Planet3 Inc. to combine video game design with crowdsourcing to break down the walls of the classroom. Back
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Jennifer Lopez
Technologist and Data Scientist, 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Jennifer Lopez
 Technologist and Data Scientist, 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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Jennifer Lopez is a technologist and data scientist with missions to make the world better through technology and to use citizen science to help unravel secrets of the cosmos. A founding member of NASA’s Datanaut Corps, Lopez continues to shape the program’s direction. It aims to inspire future engineers, data scientists, and entrepreneurs who share a passion for learning and exploration to engage with NASA’s open data, answering challenges posed by technology, aeronautics, the International Space Station, our planet, and the solar system. Lopez is the founder and CEO of Wisenn & Co., an international agency providing solutions in social impact, innovation, and philanthropy to address some of the world’s most complex social issues. She is an Innovation Fellow at the Disruptor Foundation; a key influencer at the Tomorrow Lab for Humanity, a digital platform that supports the work of the Weizmann Institute of Science; and was recognized by Fast Company as one of the “5 Best Leaders of 2015.” Currently, Lopez is the commercial innovation technology lead at the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, identifying, developing and fostering space-based commercial R&D and breakthrough innovations for the International Space Station. Back
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Emma Marris
Environmental Writer, National Geographic Fellow
Emma Marris
 Environmental Writer, National Geographic Fellow
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Emma Marris is an environmental writer for National Geographic, Wired, the New York Times, Outside, and many others. She is also an Institute Fellow at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. She has a Master of Arts in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University and worked for many years as a reporter for the journal Nature. In 2011, she published her first book, “Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World.” In 2016, she gave at TED talk about seeing the hidden nature that surrounds us, which has been watched over a million times. She grew up in Seattle, and lives with her husband and two children in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Back
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Leland Melvin
Leland Melvin
 
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Leland Melvin is an engineer, former NASA astronaut and NFL player, photographer, and musician. He traveled twice on space shuttle Atlantis to help build the International Space Station, worked in NASA’s Langley Research Center, and served as NASA’s associate administrator for education. He has also co-chaired the White House’s Federal Coordination in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Task Force and acted as the US representative and chair of the International Space Education Board, a global collaboration in space. He is a judge on ABC’s BattleBots and the former host of Lifetime’s Child Genius. The holder of four honorary doctorates, Leland has been selected as an ICON MANN and awarded the NFL Players Association Award of Excellence. His memoir, Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances, was published in 2017.

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Imogen E. Napper
Marine Biologist, National Geographic Grantee
Imogen E. Napper
 Marine Biologist, National Geographic Grantee
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Marine Biologist Imogen Napper is a National Geographic Sky Ocean Rescue Scholar. She developed her love of the ocean from a young age as she learned to sail and surf in her seaside home town of Bristol, UK. Once she began noticing the effects of plastic contamination on beaches, her passion to be part of the solution arose. Imogen received a BS in Biomedical Science and an MS in Biotechnology. She is now finishing her PhD in Marine Science at Plymouth University, focusing on the sources of plastic in marine environments. Her work recently helped influence the ban of microbeads in cosmetics internationally. Her research was also the first research piece that specifically analysed different fabric types (such as polyester) to further understand how many plastic fibres come off during clothes washing. Her research found that up to 700,000 fibres could potentially come off from a single wash of acrylic clothing. Imogen will be working to identify the most effective technology for capturing the tiny micro plastic fibers that are released when modern clothes are washed. “The results will be used to help educate the public that behavioral changes in their lifestyle can be a major solution to the plastic problem,” she says. Back
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Ravi Patel
Actor and Director
Ravi Patel
 Actor and Director
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Actor and director Ravi Patel just finished shooting the 2019 comedy Flarsky with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron, and can most recently be seen in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Master of None and TBS’s comedy series Wrecked. Before this, he was a series regular on Fox’s Grandfathered; he can also be seen in the current Sundance hit Band Aid. In 2014, Ravi wrote, co-directed, and starred in Meet the Patels, a documentary he created with his sister, Geeta, that won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the LA Film Festival. The duo currently have a deal with Fox Searchlight Pictures to adapt the documentary into a feature length film. Outside of acting, Ravi is the co-founder of This Bar Saves Lives, which donates a meal packet for every granola bar sold.

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National Geographic Awards

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Thomas Peter Peschak
Conservation Photographer, National Geographic Photographer and Grantee
Thomas Peter Peschak
 Conservation Photographer, National Geographic Photographer and Grantee
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Thomas Peschak is a photographer and explorer for National Geographic who specializes in documenting both the beauty and fragility of the world’s oceans, islands, and coasts. Trained as a marine biologist, he embraced photojournalism after realizing his photographs could have greater conservation impact than scientific statistics. For National Geographic magazine, he has produced 10 stories that cover a variety of natural history and conservation issues. His work has won 10 Wildlife Photographer of the Year and six World Press Photo awards. Peschak is a founding/associate director of the Manta Trust, a senior fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a speaker for the National Geographic Live! series, and, in 2015, gave the TED talk, “Dive into an ocean photographer’s world.” He has written/photographed seven books. “Seabird Crisis” is Peschak’s most recent project supported by National Geographic. In the last 60 years, seabird populations declined by more than 70 percent and became the most endangered group of birds in the world. To document seabirds and the threats they face, Peschak mounted expeditions to some of the most remote islands in the world. His photographs and stories shine a spotlight on the plight of seabirds and aim to elevate them to the status of lions, rhinos, sharks, or other iconic endangered wildlife. Back
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Losang Rabgey
Tibetan Social Innovator, 2006 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Losang Rabgey
 Tibetan Social Innovator, 2006 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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Losang Rabgey holds a Ph.D. in gender and anthropology from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, where she was the first Tibetan to become a Commonwealth Scholar. She and her sister, Tashi Rabgey, co-founded Machik, whose mission is to incubate social innovation for Tibet. In 2006, Rabgey was recognized by the National Geographic Society as an Emerging Explorer for her innovative work in gender equality and bridging cultural divides. She is a frequent public speaker and has presented at the Nobel Peace Forum, Yale University, and Harvard University. Her current research interests include gender equality, social entrepreneurship, and conservation in Tibet. Born in India and raised in Canada, Rabgey first returned to Tibet with her family in 1987. Back
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Steve Ramirez
Neuroscientist, 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Steve Ramirez
 Neuroscientist, 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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National Geographic Emerging Explorer and neuroscientist Steve Ramirez creates and deletes memories in the brains of rodents. His eventual goal: to use his current work to wipe out bad memories and enhance good ones in humans to help alleviate symptoms associated with PTSD and depression. Ramirez is an assistant professor of neuroscience at Boston University and a former Junior Fellow at Harvard University. He received his B.A. in neuroscience from Boston University and went on to receive his Ph.D. in neuroscience at MIT. Ramirez has received the Smithsonian’s American Ingenuity Award and been recognized on Forbes' “30 Under 30” list and MIT Technology Review’s "35 Innovators Under 35.” He has given two TED talks. Back
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Andrew Revkin
National Geographic Society Strategic Adviser for Science and Environmental Journalism
Andrew Revkin
 National Geographic Society Strategic Adviser for Science and Environmental Journalism
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One of America’s most honored and experienced journalists focused on environmental sustainability, Andrew Revkin has written on global environmental change and risk for over 30 years, reporting from the North Pole to the White House, the Amazon rain forest to the Vatican. In 2018, he joined the staff of the National Geographic Society as strategic adviser for science and environmental journalism. A staff reporter for the New York Times from 1995 to 2009, Andrew wrote his award-winning Dot Earth blog for the newspaper from 2010 to 2016. He has also worked at ProPublica and been Pace University’s senior fellow for environmental understanding. An innovative science communicator and the author of award-winning books, Andrew has won the top awards in science journalism multiple times, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship and Investigative Reporters and Editors Award

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Amber Riley
Actress and Singer
Amber Riley
 Actress and Singer
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Actress and singer Amber Riley is best known for her role as ‘Mercedes Jones’ in the Golden Globe Award-winning musical comedy, “Glee.” She will next be seen in Tyler Perry’s new movie The List set to premiere in Fall 2018. The film also stars Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, and Whoopi Goldberg. Riley recently wrapped a year-long run in her West End debut of the revival production of Dreamgirls in the iconic role of Effie White The production marked the UK premiere of the award-winning production. Riley won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. In 2013, she won season 17 of ABC͛s hit competition series “Dancing with the Stars” alongside her partner Derek Hough. Additional recent television appearances include a starring role in the UPtv original movie, “My One Christmas Wish” and a starring role alongside Queen Latifah, Mary J Blige and new comer Shanice Williams as Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, in NBC’s live production of “The Wiz.” Riley’s numerous theatre credits include Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Into the Woods and Mystery on the Docks with the Los Angeles Opera. In November 2012, she made her New York stage debut to rave reviews in New York City Centers Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Parade.

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Lyndon Rive
Entrepreneur, Co-founder of SolarCity
Lyndon Rive
 Entrepreneur, Co-founder of SolarCity
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Solar energy pioneer and entrepreneur Lyndon Rive most recently served as president, global sales and service, in Tesla’s energy division. He co-founded and was CEO of SolarCity—the number one solar company in the world to consumers and businesses—for 10 years before it was acquired by Tesla in 2016. Under his leadership, SolarCity completed more than 300,000 U.S. solar installations, generated funds to finance more than $10 billion in renewable energy projects, and created 15,000 full-time jobs.

Prior to SolarCity, Lyndon co-founded Everdream, an industry leader in software and services for large-scale, distributed computer management, which was acquired by Dell Computers in 2007. A lifelong entrepreneur, he founded his first company at age 17. 

Lyndon currently serves on the boards of three nonprofit organizations: the National Geographic Society, GivePower Foundation, and World Spine Care.

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Marina Rivero Hernandez
Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Marina Rivero Hernandez
 Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Marina Rivero Hernandez is currently studying for a master’s degree at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur. She has contributed to a number of research projects focusing on a variety of mammal species in Mexico. She is a Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellow. Her EDGE project will be part of the tapir recovery program in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and will be carried out in collaboration with the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas and Centro GEO. Back
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Tatjana Rosen
Conservationist, National Geographic Grantee
Tatjana Rosen
 Conservationist, National Geographic Grantee
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Tatjana (Tanya) Rosen joined Panthera in 2012 as the Snow Leopard Program coordinator, based in Tajikistan. Before joining Panthera, Rosen received a Master of Science in social ecology at Yale University, a Master of Laws at Harvard University, and a Juris Doctor from Italy’s Universita Statale di Milano. After practicing law in the United States and Italy, Rosen’s interest in large carnivores led her back to school. She studied bear ecology with the USGS Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team and conducted work on human-carnivore conflict in Yellowstone and in Italy, and in Pakistan with Project Snow Leopard. Prior to joining Panthera, Rosen worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society on human-wolf conflict in Montana, and developed a framework for trans-boundary Marco Polo sheep conservation between Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and Tajikistan. Rosen is a member of the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group, IUCN Sustainable Use Group, and the species focal point for the Convention on Migratory Species Central Asian Mammals Initiative. In her free time, she likes to explore wild places with her three Akhal-Teke horses, two Taigan sighthounds, husband, and teenage daughter. Back
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Stephanie Ruhle
Anchor at MSNBC and Correspondent at NBC News
Stephanie Ruhle
 Anchor at MSNBC and Correspondent at NBC News
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An anchor at MSNBC and correspondent at NBC News, Stephanie Ruhle regularly interviews titans in politics, business, entertainment, and sports. She previously served as anchor and managing editor for Bloomberg Television and editor at large for Bloomberg News, where she co-hosted the morning program Bloomberg Go. Stephanie has contributed to multiple documentaries including Sharkland: A Mission Blue & Fusion Expedition, The Making of Trump, and Haiti: Open for Business?, which she produced and hosted. She was the first journalist to break the 2012 story of the “London Whale,” identifying the trader behind the JPMorgan Chase $2 billion trading loss. Prior to Bloomberg, Stephanie was a managing director at Deutsche Bank and she began her career at Credit Suisse, where she was the highest-producing credit derivatives salesperson in the United States.

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Enric Sala
Marine Ecologist, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence
Enric Sala
 Marine Ecologist, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence
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Dr. Enric Sala is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence dedicated to restoring the health and productivity of the ocean. His more than 120 scientific publications are widely recognized and used for real-world conservation efforts such as the creation of marine reserves. Enric is currently working to help protect the last pristine marine ecosystems worldwide, and to develop new business models for marine conservation. He founded and leads National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, a project that combines exploration, research, and media to inspire country leaders to protect the last wild places in the ocean. To date, Pristine Seas has helped to create 13 of the largest marine reserves on the planet, covering an area of over 4.5 million square kilometers. Enric has received many awards including 2008 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, 2013 Research Award from the Spanish Geographical Society, 2013 Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club, and a 2013 Hero Award from the Environmental Media Association. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Enric’s experience and scientific expertise contributes to his service on advisory boards of international organizations and governments. Back
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Cara Santa Maria
Science Journalist and Correspondent on National Geographic’s Explorer
Cara Santa Maria
 Science Journalist and Correspondent on National Geographic’s Explorer
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Cara Santa Maria is an Emmy and Knight Foundation award-winning journalist, science communicator, television personality, producer, and podcaster. A correspondent on National Geographic’s Explorer and Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World, Cara is also the creator and host of science podcast Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria and cohost of the podcast Skeptics' Guide to the Universe. She is also a founding member of the organization Nerd Brigade and co-founder of the science communication retreat #SciCommCamp. Cara has appeared on Nat Geo WILD, BBC America, the Travel Channel, and many other outlets, and is a contributor to the online news program The Young Turks. Before her career in media, Cara taught college and high school biology and psychology courses; her published research has spanned topics ranging from clinical psychological assessment to the neuropsychology of blindness.

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Joel Sartore
Photographer and Founder of National Geographic Photo Ark, National Geographic Fellow
Joel Sartore
 Photographer and Founder of National Geographic Photo Ark, National Geographic Fellow
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Joel Sartore is a photographer, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic Fellow, and a regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine. His hallmarks are a sense of humor and a Midwestern work ethic. Joel specializes in documenting endangered species and landscapes in order to show a world worth saving. He is the founder of The Photo Ark, a multi-year documentary project to save species and habitat. In his words, “It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity. When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.” Joel has written several books including RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, Photographing Your Family, Nebraska: Under a Big Red Sky, and Let’s Be Reasonable. His most recent book, The Photo Ark, is now available wherever books are sold. In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, Joel has contributed to Audubon Magazine, Time, Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and numerous book projects. Joel and his work are the subjects of several national broadcasts including National Geographic’s Explorer, the NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Weekend Edition, an hour-long PBS documentary, At Close Range, and a regular contributor on the CBS Sunday Morning Show. Joel and the photo Ark are also the focus of RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark, a 2017 PBS series. Joel is always happy to return to home base from his travels around the world. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife Kathy and their three children. Back
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Lillygol Sedaghat
Humanitarian Journalist, Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storyteller
Lillygol Sedaghat
 Humanitarian Journalist, Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storyteller
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Lillygol Sedaghat is a Fulbright-National Geographic Storyteller documenting Taiwan’s waste management system and innovations in plastics and electronics recycling. She hopes to inspire conscious consumerism—the realization that every choice we make affects the environment—and spark a global discussion on trash with #MyWasteMyWay. Using visual art and digital media to promote environmental education, she aims to transform people’s perceptions of trash from something disposable to something valuable. Sedaghat received her B.A. in political economy from UC Berkeley and is an avid freestyle dancer. Follow her journey: @LillySedaghat Back
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Brian Skerry
National Geographic Fellow and 2017 Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year
Brian Skerry
 National Geographic Fellow and 2017 Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year
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Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998 he has been a contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine, covering a wide range of subjects and stories. An award-winning photographer, Skerry is praised worldwide for his aesthetic sense, as well as for his journalistic drive for relevance. His uniquely creative images tell stories that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea but also help to bring attention to the large number of issues that endanger our ocean and its inhabitants. His nearly year-round assignment schedule frequently brings him to extremely contrasting environments, from tropical coral reefs to polar ice. While on assignment, he has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats, and traveled in everything from snowmobiles to canoes to the Goodyear Blimp to get the picture. He has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater over the past 30 years. Skerry has covered a wide range of stories for National Geographic, from the harp seal's struggle to survive in frozen waters to the alarming decrease in the world's fisheries, both of which were cover stories. Other features have focused on subjects such as the planet's last remaining pristine coral reefs, the plight of the right whale, bluefin tuna, marine reserves, sea turtles, and squid. His next feature to appear in the magazine will focus on dolphin cognition, and he is currently at work on four new stories about sharks. His latest monograph, Ocean Soul, has received worldwide acclaim. Skerry frequently lectures on photography and conservation issues, having presented at venues such as TED Talks, the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the Royal Geographical Society in London, and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He is also the explorer-in-residence at the New England Aquarium in Boston, a marine fellow with Conservation International, and a member of the World Wildlife Fund's National Council. In 2010 National Geographic magazine named one of Skerry's images among their “50 Greatest Photographs of All Time”. He has had recent exhibits at Visa Pour l'Image in Perpignan, France, as well as in cities such as Geneva, Barcelona, Lisbon, and Shanghai. In 2012 he was honored with the Peter Benchley Award for excellence in media. An exhibit of his work is currently open at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Back
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Iain Stewart
Geologist and Director, Sustainable Earth Institute, University of Plymouth, UK
Iain Stewart
 Geologist and Director, Sustainable Earth Institute, University of Plymouth, UK
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Renowned professor of geoscience communication at the UK’s University of Plymouth, Iain Stewart spends much of his time writing and talking about the planet—how it works, its volatile history, and what its future holds for those living on it. His research focuses on contested Earth science issues that are relevant to sustainable development. Throughout a 15-year partnership with BBC Science, he presented numerous award-winning documentary television series, many in collaboration with National Geographic and Discovery Science channels. 

President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Iain is also the Scottish Geodiversity Forum patron and a Royal Society of Edinburgh fellow. He has received awards from the American Geophysical Union and European Federation of Geoscientists, among many other scientific bodies, and his Plymouth post is recognized as a UNESCO Chair of Geoscience and Society. 

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The Suffers
Band
The Suffers
 Band
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When The Suffers step on the stage, the energy is combustible, and contagious. A contemporary version of the great R&B/funk bands of the '70s and '80s—Rufus, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang—this eight-piece band’s sound is steeped in what its members call "Gulf Coast Soul," as well as elements of ska, Southern hip-hop, classic soul, rock 'n' roll, and reggae. Founded in Houston, Texas, in 2011, the band has grown in popularity, garnering national awards and recognition along the way. They’ve played sold out shows in Japan and Latin America, turned out audiences at the Newport Folk Festival and Afropunk Festival, and appeared on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah and the Late Show With David Letterman.

Featured During:
Party for the Planet

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Laura Sydell
Digital Culture Correspondent, NPR
Laura Sydell
 Digital Culture Correspondent, NPR
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Laura Sydell is the digital culture correspondent for NPR’s All Things ConsideredMorning EditionWeekend Edition, and NPR.org. Her work focuses on the ways in which technology is transforming cultures around the world and how people live. Over her career, she has covered politics, the arts, media, religion, and entrepreneurship. Before joining NPR, Laura served as a senior technology reporter for American Public Media’s Marketplace and prior to that as a reporter for NPR member station WNYC in New York. Her reporting for WNYC was honored with awards from The Newswomen’s Club of New York, The New York Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, and others. Her work has since been recognized with a Gerald Loeb Award and by American Women in Radio and Television, The National Federation of Community Broadcasters, and Women in Communications.

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Tarin Toledo-Aceves
Forest Ecology Researcher, National Geographic Grantee
Tarin Toledo-Aceves
 Forest Ecology Researcher, National Geographic Grantee
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Tarin Toledo-Aceves is a researcher at the Instituto de Ecologia A.C. in Xalapa, Mexico. She coordinates research projects aimed at the restoration and sustainable management of tropical montane cloud forests, an ecosystem of global priority. Her recent scientific work focuses on how tree regeneration responds to climate change and the implications of that response for forest dynamics and management. Toledo-Aceves studied biology at the Universidad Nacional Autinoma de Mexico, did a master’s in forest ecology and management at Instituto de Ecologia A.C., and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Toledo-Aceves was distinguished by Rainforest Alliance as a Kleinhans Fellow, an international award given to promote research to improve non-timber forest product management. Recently, she was appointed scientific advisor to the Fund of the Mexican Forestry Commission in partnership with the Mexican Council of Science and Technology. This fund supports scientific and technological projects to provide solutions to problems in the forestry sector. As part of her contribution to strengthening tropical forest management practices, she has coordinated more than 25 workshops in rural communities. She has planted more than 5,000 cloud forest trees and plans to continue doing so. Back
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Jessika Trancik
Associate Professor, Energy Studies, MIT
Jessika Trancik
 Associate Professor, Energy Studies, MIT
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Jessika Trancik is an associate professor in the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research examines and explains the dynamic costs and environmental impacts of energy technologies to inform technology design and policy, and her projects focus on electricity and transportation, with an emphasis on solar energy conversion and storage technologies. Jessika received her B.S. from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Before MIT, she spent several years at the Santa Fe Institute, where she is currently an external professor, and at Columbia University as an Earth Institute Fellow. Her work has been published in journals such as Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been featured by news outlets such as the New York Times and NPR.

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Deogratias Tuyisingize
Conservation Biologist, Field Ecologist, National Geographic Grantee
Deogratias Tuyisingize
 Conservation Biologist, Field Ecologist, National Geographic Grantee
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Deogratias Tuyisingize is a wildlife biologist researcher and conservationist involved in biodiversity conservation in Rwanda. Since 2006, he has been working as a researcher at Fossey Gorilla Fund International-Rwanda programs, collecting long-term behavioral data on the golden monkey in the Volcanoes National Park. His entire professional career has focused on the golden monkey and its habitat, and a large focus has been on conservation and management efforts to protect Rwandan biodiversity. He has investigated the population size and range of the golden monkeys in Rwanda, the distribution of large mammals, and the phenology of bamboo, and has been involved in the extensive common bird survey and herpetofauna surveys. In addition, he acts as a trainer on applied conservation biology field courses for university students. He is currently completing Ph.D. research on the conservation ecology of the golden monkey and its remaining habitats in Rwanda while remaining the biodiversity manager at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. He is also an active member of the conservation scientists group of Rwanda, which helps to identify and develop wildlife conservation initiatives in the country. His expertise includes the development of meaningful conservation and management recommendations based on field research findings. Back
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Ian Urbina
Investigative Reporter for the New York Times
Ian Urbina
 Investigative Reporter for the New York Times
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Ian Urbina is a New York Times investigative reporter based in Washington, D.C. His most recent series, The Outlaw Ocean, chronicles crimes offshore, from the killing of stowaways to intentional dumping. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and the Middle East. Ian has also written extensively on criminal justice issues, including the U.S. Defense Department’s dependence on prison labor. Several of his stories have been made into feature films. Ian was a member of the reporting team that broke the story about then-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his use of prostitutes, a series for which the New York Times won a Pulitzer in 2009. In 2016, he won a Polk Award for The Outlaw Ocean series and several other awards for a series called Drilling Down, about fracking.

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Anand Varma
Science Photographer, National Geographic Fellow
Anand Varma
 Science Photographer, National Geographic Fellow
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Anand Varma is a science photographer who works to tell the story behind the science of everything, from primate behavior and hummingbird biomechanics, to amphibian disease and forest ecology. Varma started photographing natural history subjects while studying integrative biology at UC Berkeley, and spent several years assisting other photographers before receiving a National Geographic Young Explorer grant to document the wetlands of Patagonia. He has since become a regular contributor to National Geographic and his first feature story, called “Mindsuckers,” was published on the November 2014 cover of the magazine. Varma grew up in Atlanta and currently resides in Berkeley. Back
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Xaquin Veira Gonzalez
Visual Journalist
Xaquin Veira Gonzalez
 Visual Journalist
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Xaquín G.V. is a Galician visual journalist, instructor, and consultant. He is an expert in data visualization, visual explanations, and interactive storytelling. He has served as senior editor for interactives at National Geographic and graphics editor at the New York Times. He led the Interactive Graphics desk at El Mundo, and headed a cross-disciplinary desk of graphics, interactive, multimedia, and picture editors at the Guardian. He has collaborated with Google, the Washington Post, the Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom, and the United Nations Environment Programme. He was on the National Geographic team that received the Peter Sullivan Award for Best in Show in 2013 and was part of the Washington Post team that won the Equality and Women’s Promotion Best Graphic Online Award in 2018 at the Malofiej Awards—the most important awards for information graphics. He was also part of the New York Times team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2013 with “The iEconomy.” Additionally, he has been honored by the Society for News Design Awards, Online News Association, National Press Photographers Association, Information is Beautiful Awards, and Webbys. His most recent obsessions are emotional connections in data visualization, automation of data-driven visual narratives, new formats on mobile devices—and molecular gastronomy. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in computer engineering at the Universitat de Girona, Spain. Back
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Topher White
Engineer and Physicist, 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Topher White
 Engineer and Physicist, 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer
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Using recycled cell phones, engineer, physicist, and inventor Topher White has come up with an ingenious method of detecting illegal logging and poaching in remote rain forests. Deforestation is one of the main contributors to climate change and the extinction of endangered species. INTERPOL estimates 50-90 percent of rain forest logging is illegal. In 2012, White founded Rainforest Connection, which, according to the organization’s website, works to “transform recycled cell phones into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can monitor and pinpoint chainsaw activity at great distance, providing the world’s first audio-based logging detection system, pinpointing deforestation activity as it occurs and enabling real-time intervention.” The organization has helped stop illegal logging and poaching operations in Sumatra and is expanding its activities to rain forest reserves in Africa and Brazil. White, who has a B.A. in physics from Kenyon College, is currently working in Brazil, helping the indigenous Tembe people in the northern Amazonian state of Para monitor their lands to prevent poaching and illegal logging and settlement. White is a 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Back
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Martin Wikelski
Zoologist, Physiological Ecologist, National Geographic Fellow
Martin Wikelski
 Zoologist, Physiological Ecologist, National Geographic Fellow
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Martin Wikelski is director at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology based in Radolfzell, Germany, and professor of ornithology at the University of Konstanz. He is also a member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. He received his Ph.D. at Bielefeld University in Germany and then did postdoc work at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Wikelski was assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1998 to 2000, and then assistant and associate professor at Princeton University from 2000 to 2008. He is currently investigating global migratory patterns in animals, with particular emphasis on conservation, detection of disasters, disease spread, and global change. He is leading the ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) initiative, aimed at installing the “Internet of Animals” and aided by a small-object tracking system at the International Space Station. He has authored more than 250 scientific publications. Back
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Erika S. Woolsey
Marine Biologist, Technologist, National Geographic Grantee
Erika S. Woolsey
 Marine Biologist, Technologist, National Geographic Grantee
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Erika Woolsey has been exploring and diving on coral reefs for over 15 years. Her research on the Great Barrier Reef investigates how warming oceans affect coral health, specifically how rising temperatures alter growth and development in young corals following mass spawning events. Woolsey is dedicated to translating scientific discovery into public understanding while generating human connections to threatened ocean ecosystems. She is CEO of The Hydrous, a nonprofit that uses technologies such as virtual reality and underwater photogrammetry for ocean education. A divemaster and experienced field biologist, Woolsey leads diving expeditions around the world as part of the Hydrous's mission to promote science learning and collect data-rich visualizations. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she conducted her Ph.D. at James Cook University with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. She earned her Master of Applied Science in coastal management from the University of Sydney and studied biology and art history at Duke University. In her free time, Woolsey is a volunteer diver at the California Academy of Sciences and a kayaking guide for people with disabilities. Learn more about Woolsey and the Hydrous at www.thehydro.us.. Back
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Kim Young
Educator, National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow
Kim Young
 Educator, National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow
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Kimberly Young is a world history teacher at Weston High School in Weston, Massachusetts. She cultivates her students' identities as explorers by bringing the world into her classroom through artifacts, technology, and experimentation. As a 2017 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, she explored Arctic Svalbard and was part of the the National Geographic Channel special “Land of the Ice Bear.” Her classrooms regularly participate in the Out of Eden Learn platform with a focus on “Stories of Human Migration,” communicating with students from Indonesia, Canada, China, and Jordan. She recently began collaborating with photojournalist and National Geographic Young Explorer Hannah Reyes Morales as part of the Educator + Explorer Exchange. Expanding students’ global competence is her core source of passion in teaching. As an explorer herself, Young has traveled to over 30 countries, with a focus on the Middle East. Her next adventures will take her to Germany to study refugee integration and to the northern slope of Alaska to study changes in permafrost.

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TOP IMAGES: Audrey Lew, Taylor Mickal, Mark Thiessen