Ideas & Insight from Explorers

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What Migrating Songbirds Tell Us About Our Planet

As part of a year of activities to support birds and their habitats, National Geographic, BirdLife International, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the National Audubon Society are convening an event featuring two expert panels to explore how technology is expanding our understanding of migration and how creative new solutions are advancing conservation and policy. Watch a live stream of the discussions here:…

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Days in the Bay of Bengal: Between Dreams and Reality

By Manzura Khan [Note: This is the fourth blog in a series about the WCS-led marine megafauna survey, which is gathering data on whales, sea turtles, sharks, and other marine species inhabiting the coastal waters of Bangladesh. Data from the effort will identify biologically important locations for future consideration as marine protected areas.] In 2011, I was…

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Top 25 Backyard Birds

Wild Bird Trust presents the Top 25 Backyard Birds! This week, in honour of the Great Backyard Bird Count, all birds featured are backyard birds. Backyards, or as some say, gardens, are excellent refuges for a wide range of birdlife. In a rapidly urbanising world gardens will become more and more important to sustaining bird…

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Addressing Cumulative Impacts of Climate Change and Development on Freshwater Fish in Northern Ontario

By Cheryl Chetkiewicz Ontario is a Canadian province built on mining and mineral exploration. Over the past two decades, the provincial government has encouraged and facilitated new mines in Ontario’s Far North—a large, remote and largely roadless region that is the homeland for nearly 40,000 First Nations. The “Ring of Fire” mineral belt, located approximately…

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Fossils and Taboos: What to expect when doing paleontological fieldworks in Madagascar

By Tsiory Andrianavalona

Nosy Makamby is a gem for paleontologists working on Miocene sedimentary formations in Madagascar. This small island is geologically rich, its sedimentary layers are very fossiliferous, and our discoveries until now are very encouraging. The proximity of the sea also brings in fresh breezes which are very welcome under the hot sun of August. I do love my job–it allows me to work with amazing teammates and discover my country from North to South. As a scientist, I tend to be objective and rational, but through my paleontological field experiences, I was exposed more than once to unusual situations that are tightly tied to people’s beliefs….

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Cuts for EPA, DOE in Trump Budget Proposal, as Congressional Budget Passes

President Donald Trump’s $4.4 trillion 2019 budget proposal, released Monday, echoed themes from the previous year’s budget priorities: steep cuts to domestic programs with large increases for defense. It outlines leaner budgets across federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Trump’s proposed budget, which was assembled before the…

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It always starts with a question: Teaching science in Madagascar

I wrote to you last as a Princeton doctoral student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, where I studied the transmission dynamics of potentially zoonotic–or human-infecting–viruses carried by Malagasy fruit bats. Disease ecologists like myself use mathematical modeling tools to understand how pathogens persist in finite host populations over time–and to predict when such pathogens are most likely to pass from one individual to another. I wrapped up that PhD a few months ago and started a postdoctoral fellowship with the Miller Institute at UC Berkeley, but I’m still chasing answers to many of the same questions as before….

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Conservation Accomplishment, Travel Adventure

Mexico’s Hidden Garden, the Sierra Gorda You can sum up the key to this Mexican conservation success in one word: “Inclusion.” So says the cofounder of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, the Sierra Gorda Ecological Group. That’s Pati, or more formally, Martha Ruiz Corzo, the charismatic changemaker who has spent much of her life working to…

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‘Movimiento’: Hymns to the Human Journey

What is a human being? This question hasn’t always — and arguably still doesn’t — have a definite answer. One of its answers comes from National Geographic Explorer Jane Goodall.  When she was 26, Goodall traveled to Tanzania, where she discovered that chimpanzees fashion tools from their environment for different purposes. Before Goodall’s observations, it…

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Wildfires, Mudslides in the Wake of Climate Change

“Enviromedics: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health” by Jay Lemery, MD and Paul Auerbach, MD was published this past October by Rowman & Littlefield. We asked Dr. Auerbach of Stanford University to comment on the aftermath of the recent wildfires in California. By Paul Auerbach The destruction from the wildfires in California (and…

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About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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