Announcing the 2012 NG Emerging Explorers

A cyborg anthropologist, a pilot, a digital storyteller and zoologist, a crisis mapper and a guerrilla geographer are among the 15 visionary, young trailblazers from around the world  who have been named to the 2012 class of National Geographic Emerging Explorers. Click the image to learn more. 

Meet 15 of the most  inspiring young adventurers, scientists, and storytellers at work in the world today. Meet the 2012 National Geographic Emerging Explorers.

Each year, National Geographic selects a small number of people who are pushing the boundaries of discovery, adventure, and global problem-solving while still early in their careers. Each Emerging Explorer receives a $10,000 award, made possible in part by the Panasonic Corporation, to assist with research and to aid further exploration, and an invitation to the annual NG Explorers Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Several recipients from previous years have gone on to become household names in the National Geographic world: Zeb Hogan, Spencer Wells, and Jimmy Chin from 2004, Enric Sala (now an Explorer-in-Residence) from 2007, and Ken Banks from 2010, just to name a few.


Class of 2012

This year’s class includes people working in a wide array of subjects. Amber Case studies the rapidly changing relationship between people and technology. Iain Couzin is at the forefront of using lab work and math to tease out the secrets of how and why cells, humans, and other animals organize and work together to achieve more than their members can individually. Meanwhile Guillermo de Anda is digging through records from the Spanish Inquisition as well as caves throughout Mexico to discover an incredible underground complex depicting the Maya pathway to the underworld.

Those three are just the tip of the iceberg. Read on to discover all 15 new National Geographic Emerging Explorers and the thrilling work they’re doing.

The future of exploration has already begun.


Human Journey