National Geographic Launches Global Exploration Fund

The National Geographic Society today announced the launch of its Global Exploration Fund, a new initiative to fund research, conservation and exploration projects through regional centers around the globe.

“With support from the Swedish Postcode Lottery, National Geographic opens its first regional fund and new operations in Stockholm to support scientists and explorers from the Northern European region who are advancing research and exploring solutions that benefit our planet,” National Geographic said in a news statement.


“We are at the beginning of our greatest age of exploration”


Terry Garcia, Executive Vice President, Mission Programs, National Geographic Society. Photo by Mark Thiessen.

“Some believe that the ‘golden age’ of exploration is behind us. On the contrary, I believe we are at the beginning of our greatest age of exploration,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president for Mission Programs.

“There is still so much to explore and discover about our planet.”

The Global Exploration Fund is modeled on National Geographic’s century-long approach to funding scientific field research, exploration and conservation projects through targeted grant programs, the Society news release explained.

A scientific advisory board composed of leading scientists from across the region has been appointed to evaluate projects for potential funding. Residents of the following 14 countries are eligible to receive grants: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

“The mission of the Postcode Lottery is to raise funds for NGOs and increase awareness of their work,” said Niclas Kjellström-Matseke, CEO, Swedish Postcode Lottery. “Supporting National Geographic’s Global Exploration Fund is an excellent way of fulfilling our mission.”

Niclas Kjellstrom-Matseke, CEO, Swedish Postcode Lottery. Photo by Magnus Sandberg.

National Geographic’s Stockholm office will be led by newly appointed Executive Director Stefan Nerpin. The team in Stockholm will serve as primary contact for prospective grant applicants, outreach and potential funders.

“I am excited to be part of this effort and hope to establish this National Geographic office as a significant source of funding for Northern European scientists and explorers,” said Nerpin. “It is also our goal to find additional sources of income, so that we can continue to grow this program to support even more explorers in the field.”

“Since 1890, the National Geographic has funded grants to every corner of the Earth — filling gaps in human knowledge, sometimes in spectacular ways,” the Society’s news statement said.

“Late in 2011, the total number of National Geographic grants reached 10,000, representing a combined value of $153 million. Scientific field research, exploration, conservation and adventure are the backbone of National Geographic’s grants; the scientific grants focus primarily on anthropology, archaeology, biology, geology, geography, oceanography and paleontology.

Stefan Nerpin, Executive Director, GEF – Northern Europe.

“National Geographic grants have led to countless discoveries that continue to shed light on the planet’s rich variety and diversity — and help preserve it. The results from field work are shared with audiences around the world through an array of National Geographic media, including print, broadcast and online outlets as well as events, exhibits and educational platforms.

“Past and current grantees include polar explorer Robert Peary; Hiram Bingham, excavator of the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu; anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey; primatologist Jane Goodall; Robert Ballard, underwater explorer and discoverer of the sunken Titanic; anthropologist Wade Davis; marine biologist Sylvia Earle; high-altitude archaeologist Johan Reinhard; and paleontologist Paul Sereno.


Information about the new Global Exploration Fund and how to apply for a grant is available at


National Geographic Explorer and Naturalist Jane Goodall grooms a wild chimpanzee accustomed to human contact. Goodall left her native England as a young woman with no field experience and went on to pioneer the first study of chimpanzees in the wild. Photo by Vanne Goodall.

12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn