Geography Awareness Week

Geography Awareness Week is November 14 – 19

Geography helps us to understand and engage with the world around us. Supporting science, exploration, education, and storytelling—and understanding geography—is more important than ever.

The geographic perspective is at the core of our work at National Geographic Society.

It’s a way of looking at the world, a way of understanding why things are where they are and how people’s movements and cultural, societal, and political interactions and movements impact all of us.

Our mission

We use the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.

As we head into our 135th year in 2023, we’re committed to pushing the boundaries of science, storytelling, and education, and we’re making exploration more inclusive. We’re tapping scientists, educators, and storytellers in more than 140 countries; amplifying the voices of diverse groups of Explorers; and working closely with local communities.

We invest every philanthropic dollar—100 percent of donations—directly into our Explorers and programs.

This is what a Geographer looks like

Geography is inherent to every Explorer’s work. The geographic perspective helps us to identify connections and interactions within the world around us and inspire people to do the same through storytelling and education.

National Geographic welcomes Explorers from around the globe and seeks to build a community reflecting the diversity of our world. Everyone can be a geographer—the possibilities are infinite.

Geographical Information Systems Specialist

Ketty Adoch

A Geographical Information Systems Specialist, Ketty Adoch has worked on a wide range of environmental projects with international organizations, governments and the private sector.

Her past and present work involves developing technology tools to manage geography data in areas such as agriculture (developing algorithms for food security management), energy (developing models for off-grid energy planning), and environmental sensitivity mapping for oil and gas projects in East and West Africa, including organizational capacity building at national, regional, and continental levels.
Ethnobotanist, Cultural Geographer, Public Speaker

Maria Fadiman

Maria Fadiman’s research focuses on ethnobotany, the study of the relationship between plants and people. She works primarily in rural areas with Indigenous people and how they live from the land.

She is currently focused on climate adaptation in Micronesia where inhabitants of the small Pacific atoll called Kapingamarangi (population 100 approximately) have the environmental knowledge to detect subtle changes in the land and sea environment that are not documented by scientists. She and her team will work in collaboration with the community to preserve their environmental expertise.
Climate Change Storyteller

Victoria Herrmann

National Geographic Explorer Victoria Herrmann works with communities in the United States and U.S. territories to identify what is needed—to protect areas from the inevitable impacts of global climate change, including rising sea levels.

Herrmann leads Preserving Legacies: A Future for Our Past, is a multi-year project which aims to use science, storytelling, and community capacity building to protect heritage sites against climate change impacts.
Geographer and Glaciologist

M Jackson

M Jackson is a geographer, glaciologist, National Geographic Explorer, TED Fellow, three-time U.S. Fulbright Scholar, public speaker and author. She has worked for over a decade across the Arctic chronicling the effect of climate change on communities, guiding backcountry trips and exploring glacial systems.

Jackson travels extensively with National Geographic Expeditions, giving public talks and lectures on climate change and women in science. Jackson’s 2019 book, The Secret Lives of Glaciers, explores the complex impacts of glacier change for communities along the southeastern coast of Iceland.

Tom Matthews

Tom Matthews is a climate scientist based at King's College London. He has broad interests in the societal impacts from climate change, with a specific focus on severe weather events. This drives Matthews to understand the planet's most extreme climates. From deadly tropical heat waves to severe, cold-weather mountain windstorms, Matthews’s research aims to map the limits of Earth's climate envelope (the climate where a species currently live) and chart its course as it is shifted by human-caused climate change. Most recently, Tom's passions have called him to ascend Mount Everest (twice in three years) to install the highest weather station in the world as part of Perpetual Planet Expeditions, the Society’s research collaboration with Rolex.
Founding member of the Ceibo Alliance

Hernan Payaguaje

Hernan Payaguaje is a founding member and the General Coordinator of theCeibo Alliance,an indigenous-led organization in Ecuador’s Amazon that trains youth and leaders in participatory territorial mapping methodologies to effectively defend and manage their territories.

Dan Raven-Ellison

Dan Raven-Ellison is a former geography teacher and National Geographic Emerging Explorer combining creative exploration, geography and communication to tackle social and environmental challenges.

Raven-Ellison is the founder of the world's first London National Park City. He has walked across all of the U.K.’s national parks and cities and recently founded the Slow Ways project mapping walking routes across Britain. He has climbed the equivalent height of Everest using stairs in London buildings, authored children’s books and is a regular speaker on adventure, exploration, play, education, conservation, technology and cities.
2021 Young Explorer

E Wen Wong

E Wen Wong founded Plastic Solution for Our Beaches in 2016 to improve education and action on plastic pollution and related environmental issues. She was named New Zealand's top scholar in geography in 2019. E Wen studies at the Australian National University and works at European Energy, where she uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in renewable energy development.

Join us in celebrating Geography Awareness Week

National Geographic helped to establish Geography Awareness Week to inspire everyday people to be part of a geographically-minded global community that understands geo-spatial issues and recognizes our impact on the world around us, and its impact on us.

Together, we can chart our path to a better world.

Organize a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Day Event

GIS Day is the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week. Organize your own GIS Day event to explain what GIS is and the importance of it. Visit for more information.

Apply Your GIS Skills to Give Back

Utilize GIS in your classroom, home, or office to solve real-world problems and offer solutions to your school, college or university, community, or organization.

Collaborate With Others Around the World

Join with another school or classroom to encourage collaboration and cross-cultural engagement. A number of platforms allow for this, such as ePals and iEarn International.

Pursue a Career in Geography

Explore careers in geography to further your interest in the field. The Association for American Geographers and ESRI provide resources on their websites to get you started! You can also explore opportunities to join the National Geographic team.

Partner With a College or University

Consider teaming up with a university geography department to participate in a service, mapping, or GIS project or simply to teach students the value of geography education.

Support Our Explorers

When you become a National Geographic Society member, you have the opportunity to further your impact, effect change, and leave a lasting impression on this earth. Join us.

Photo credits (from top of page): Gab B. Mejia, Mark Thiessen, Randall Scott, Tom Matthews, Dan Raven-Ellison, Ketty Adoch, Dan Raven-Ellison, Carmen Truong, Hernan Payaguaje, Alvera McMillan, Sylvia Johnson, Caroline Little, Kim Young, Gustavo Hinojosa Arango, Juan Pablo Mayorga, Aidan Maccormick, Nathan Mann (2), Yassine El Mansouri

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