Changing Planet

Meet Explorers on All 7 Continents

Did you miss our Google+ Hangout? Watch it here!

Explore the January 2013 issue of National Geographic Magazine at

UPDATE 1/13/2013: Thanks everyone for coming together today to kick off National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary! This is just the beginning. Join the Society at and be a part of exciting Google+ Hangouts with explorers every month. It’s a new age of exploration. Be a part of it!


[Begin original post.]

Join some of National Geographic’s biggest names in exploration and innovation January 13th for our most epic Google+ Hangout to date. Be part of the conversation with a diverse group of explorers, including such legends as Robert Ballard and Jane Goodall. We’ll also chat with cave diver Kenny Broad, Crittercam engineers Greg Marshall and Kyler Abernathy in Antarctica, wildlife conservationist Paula Kahumbu in Kenya, archaeologist Cecilia Mauricio in Peru, paleontologist Mike Archer in Australia, conflict resolution specialist Aziz Abu Sarah in Israel, biologist Krithi Karanth in India, research engineer Albert Lin in California, and NG Weekend host Boyd Matson (view map of the explorers and key locations from their adventures).

For 125 years, National Geographic has been at the leading edge of exploration, conservation, and scientific research. Now technology is allowing us to go places and make discoveries not possible before. This is a new age of exploration. We invite you to join us on the journey–and get closer to our explorers along the way.

Send in your question for the explorers and it may be asked on air. You may even be invited to join the Hangout and ask your question live. Submit your question by:

  • Uploading a video question to YouTube with #NatGeo125
  • Posting a question on Google+ or Twitter with #NatGeo125
  • Leaving a comment on this Facebook post, or
  • Commenting directly on this blog post
Since the 1970s, Robert Ballard has been traveling the world's oceans, making one earth-shattering discovery after another, from the scientifically revolutionary discovery of the first life to exist without using energy from the sun, to culturally significant expeditions to locate the wrecks of Titanic, Bismarck, and more. Today he orchestrates a global team of experts, ships, and robots continually pushing into realms that no one has visited before. Photo by Emory Kristof/NGS

Follow National Geographic on Google+ or tune in right here on this blog to watch the Google+ Hangout Sunday, January 13th at 1 p.m. ET (6 p.m. UTC).

Other Hangouts from National Geographic:
Hangout with Climbers on Mt. Everest
Hangout with a Guerrilla Geographer
Hangout With an Archaeologist in the Field

Learn More

“125 YEARS” Home Page

Interactive Map of the Hangout’s Explorers

Jane Goodall Institute

Bob Ballard’s Nautilus Live


[List of Participants Updated 1/13/2013]


  • fargo chan

    how do i get my foot in the Natgeo. i have always wanted to be a Natgeo photographer.

  • Florin Poenariu

    My question for these fine explorers is this :
    In all your travels, have you noticed global warming having a big impact on life and in what ways? What are the consequences you fear for the future?


  • stijbob

    This picture of a little monkey is amazing, I am looking forward to this hangout please keep me posted. Excellent website too well done Lauren.

  • shashi bhushan singh

    how u people are brave to go any part of the world without any fear?

  • Lyana Snow

    My daughter is 8 and showing great interest in animals, even saying that she would like to be a zoologist or a marine biologist. She loves to go to our local zoo and, when we lived near one, Sea World.
    What can I do now, on a reasonable budget, for her at this time, not living in a very “interesting” area for animal study (no jungle, desert, ocean, etc.), to cultivate and support this desire?
    Thank you.

  • David Railsback

    If I had to sum up what I’d like to say to theses explorers in one word It would be “Jealous” Now I am sure that not every day was a picture perfect day in the fields that you three have chosen to pursue as a career path? On the other hand You did not have to punch a time clock the majority of your lives as I have! It seems we humans are a funny breed aren’t we? On one hand we love to serve each other in any fashion of the sense, and on the other hand some days we are at each others throats in a manner of speaking or at least we seem to be at times. I am jealous yes of these Three Explorers because they have seen and been places that I will only ever see from the chair in my living room on my television set which also shows us all the negative news of this ugly world nowadays.More than any one person should have to put up with. So I say Bravo to you Three Wonderful People who brought a smile to my face most times while watching your programs in bewilderment and awe at times also. I would like to tell all Three of you Thank You most sincerely for being so genuine and good at what you have brought to us during your years of work for Nat.Geo. It has been a pleasure watching and I hope that Nat.Geo. Never stops bringing us the world into our homes.
    Thank You All
    David Railsback

  • Berhanu Kebede

    I Like Most Of The adventures u go through to show the world the amazing beauty of God’s Hand In Addition It Is Also Entertaining ..i Wish U Could Give The Chance To Explore The Universe With U

  • Katrin

    Hi Explorers,

    looking forward to Sunday and the chats. My question for the explorer would be:
    When was the moment you realized that dedicating your life to nature and research was the right thing to do?


  • Karen

    What will it take to stop the poaching realistically? I read just recently there were so many rhinos slaughtered for their horns. It seems Asian are the worst offenders with so many species of animals, fish, etc. Is it man-power that is needed most, or money, or both?

  • Annie

    The natural world is such a pretty place, but yet so boundless and full of unexpected surprises. How do you have the courage to step beyond what you know and search for the unknown? Moreso, I’m almost beginning uni and feel kind of directionless with my life at the moment; how did you know this was what you wanted to do? And are there lots of jobs out there like this?

  • Amarta qasmani

    Hi i’d like to ask ‘which is the best place to feel the nature v.closely,to xperience the most mysterious things and to enjoy the challenging adventures of life”
    i’d be v.glad if i get chance to work with Nat Geo 🙂

  • Marcio Nogueira

    I’d like to ask you a question why you never came explore Portugal, we have plants that only exists here, caves that never been explored, we have a huge area of sea, we also have a rich story which was never rebuilt, we are very little but have not yet been discovered.Why not this time.

  • Vlad Corduneanu

    would have a question for Mrs. Goodal: If you would have another lifetime to explore whatever you want (other than primates – including humans), what else would be the subject of your study?

  • Martina

    Are there any ornithologists? Like the two men who photographed all of the birds-of-paradise? Or maybe the woman who studied the club-winged mannikins? Well, for all of the biologists, any advice for an aspiring ornithologist (at the least.)? Thank you!

  • Antonio Guedes

    I’d like to ask you a question why you never came explore …Portugal’s Douro Valley , created through a collaborative process with local organizations, will highlight the natural, historic, and cultural assets unique to the area. In this partnership, our region benefits from National Geographic’s considerable map-making expertise. But the project could not work without input from people like you who know what makes this place truly unique and noteworthy.

  • Chloé Maréchal


    I would have a couple of quesions for the explorers:
    What is the driving force behind your desire for exploration and do you think you could ever loose it?
    Would you have advices for futur explorer?
    What was the strongest moment of your life?
    Who inspire you today?
    What is your next goal?

    I can not wait to be sunday. 🙂


  • Chloé Maréchal

    My questions for the explorer would be:
    What is the driving force behind your desire for exploration and do you think you could ever loose it?
    What is your next goal?
    Who inspire you today?
    What was the strongest moment of your life?
    Would you have advices for futur explorer?

    I can not wait to be sunday. 🙂


  • josephine Reynolds

    I have always been awed by the photographs of archeological sites like Machu Piccu — they are so serene. Yet now I realize that with all those workers, (and no cell phones) there must have been constant yelling, in addition to the noise of building materials. hammering, etc. for years. Are there articles about the noise?

  • Christopher Lett

    I’ll be finishing my B.S. in environmental science in October 2013. I love most if not all outdoor activities. What does in take to become national geographic explorer? Or at least an intern with an explorer? Any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • Christina Blount Presnell

    Would love to hear more about Robert Ballard’s recent findings regarding ancient catastrophic flooding and the plans to further investigate and the technology that may be used to excavate parts of it.

  • Mike Nelson Pedde

    Can’t think of any questions to ask, but it sounds amazing!


  • Dawn Wells

    Looking forward to this exciting Google + event. There is another exciting event coming up to save the dates for!
    The 3rd Annual New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival on January 30 – February 2, 2013
    More info here:

  • Britt Sjöqvist

    First of all I would like to tell you how great it is to read about everything the National Geographic does. There are so many fascinating things out there!
    My question is: what would be the best way for a biology student at the university to become an National Geographic Explorer? (Scientist/Adventurer) You know, work for NG as a scientist and get to travel and study interesting biological things.
    Also, hopefully you’ll put a link up on FB to the Google+ Hangout, though I’m really guessing you will.

  • Virtual explorer Alice

    How do the explorers feel about the decline of geography being taught in school and the general decline of public knowledge of geography?

    What would the explorers’ advice be to young children who currently have a passion for geography but wonder “What can I do with geography?”

  • Jiggar Patel

    Nat Geo has been the foremost institution in opening the eyes of people on mother natures ultimate beauty. Explorers such as Jane Godall has given their lives after conservation. Having been raised in Kenya , i still remember my science teacher (a former teacher in a Ugandan school who used to eat Bush Meat) Calling Jane Godall as the ” Mother nature’s daughter ” for her excellence in caring for the Chimpanzees.
    Conservation has become the top notch issue in the current century , though technology has made us discover the hidden Pandora of nature in the most spectacular way such as the Dive by Mr J. Cameron, the lagging of technology to invigorate conservation of nature hasn’t been striding along. Technology has take quantum leaps in the mobile sector but though still we rely on old technology for tracking, monitoring, protecting and studying animals. Keeping this in Mind, what would the panel of pundits of Nat Geo here do to promote the injection of technologies in the now second phase of discovery; that is conservation. How can we increase the awareness in bringing in the large Tech companies such as Google, IBM, Apple or Cisco to benefit the conservation efforts to bring a revolution in conservation and foster it as an avenue not only for protection but a business opportunity.

  • Laurel Chor

    Thank you to the explorers for taking the time to do this!

    Question for Jane Goodall, Krithi Karanth and Paula Kahumbu: I work with western lowland gorillas in the Central African Republic, and one of the biggest obstacles to successful conservation is that local populations don’t see the point in saving animals and their habitat. How do you encourage people to take ownership and pride in their own country’s natural heritage?

    Questions for everyone:
    – How do you think technology will change the nature of exploration in the near future?
    – What have you done or what do you think should be done to encourage more girls and women to become scientists and explorers?
    – In the face of ever more dire predictions for the future of the planet, how do you stay hopeful and maintain the drive to do what you do?

    Thanks! I can’t wait. What an awesome event.

  • Bosco

    I always open Google Earth and dream about exploring random places on Earth. How do you choose the places you want to explore? What’s the process like?

  • Jiewen Wu


  • Patrick Glover

    What advice would you give to young explorers like myself who are interested in learning more about geography and turning their passion into a career?

  • Teja Appilla

    Dear Explorers,

    I believe that everyone is an explorer-by-heart. We are all curious about things.
    However, only few take action. My inspiration is Robert Falcon Scott. In order to become an explorer we need to be effective in various things. Which is why I have recently taken up Hiking, Rowing, Kayaking, Boating and Photography as hobbies. I further want to be able to fly a plane, mountaineer and go diving.

    My question revolves around how you create an exploration programme and how the expenses are covered.
    For example, if I wanted to do a research about the 17 species of penguins (of which many are in Antarctica). What does the process of getting to Antarctica involve? Also, how would the project be funded?

  • Marco Marsh

    Happy New Year to all the explorers and I wish you the best of luck on the intrepid adventures you have lined up for 2013. My two questions for them are:

    1) Here on Earth, where does the next frontier (or indeed frontiers) of exploration lie?

    2) Exploration can be an expensive endeavor. What advise would you give to those who do not have an abundance of wealth but desire to explore?

  • Nancydiner

    Jane Goodall, where you ever discouraged by something or someone to abandon your pursuits due to the fact you were a woman? Did any one thing or person almost almost succeed in stopping you?

  • David G

    Science teaches us that everything we are and everything we see and that time and space itself are nothing more than a collection of incredibly combined atoms of endess energy. How has your exploration altered, if at all, your view of whether a there exists some sort of Supreme Being or whether we are indeed ultimatlely bit role players in this terrific ongoing purely scientific experiment?

  • Molly Frisch

    What are some words of advice for all of us young people who are chasing the dream of becoming explorers?

  • Tim Southernwood

    This question is for all of you.

    In your travels around the globe have you witnessed evidence of global warming. In your minds as scientists do you agree with the science that global warming is changing our planet.
    Can you tell the people listening in.. what kind of effects on many of the sensitive environments will global warming have? How will many creatures (especially those closest to extinction) be affected by global warming?
    How will these extinctions affect us now and in the future?

    Thanks for this opportunity!

  • Alannah Dawe

    My question is directed to everyone:

    I would like to know what your driving force is to explore. Where your desire comes from to search for and learn new and amazing things, and to do things no one has done before.

    I would also like to know who, (if any) has inspired you to explore and pursue careers in your feilds.


  • Jewell B.

    Did you have to overcome any fear or doubt to get where you are today? If so, how did you handle it?

  • Jenny

    As an aspiring young explorer, I just have a few questions that I think many people my age would like to ask if given the chance:

    1. What are some surprising aspects of being an explorer that you did not foresee when you first “signed up?”
    2. What are some challenges that the next generation of explorers will face that you did not face?
    3. What are some sacrifices you have made for the success of your career?
    4. What kinds of interactions do you typically have with the communities in close proximity to your sites of exploration, and what have you learned from these interactions?
    5. What is the most important piece of advice that you received when you were a young explorer?

  • Leonora Amkreutz

    Hi There,

    How would you define an explorer?

  • G. Patey

    Explorers? Get ready for alot of Kraft dinner, Kaiser buns and water. Will not be recognized for your efforts but keep trying.

  • Andrew

    Thank you National Geographic for hosting this event and thank you to all of the explorers who are participating.

    In situations where your goal for research/exploration was conservation, have you ever felt that national/international laws for conservation have been slow to adapt to your findings or otherwise inadequate? Where do you see gaps between your work and laws aimed at conservation? How could those gaps be filled? What opportunities might those gaps present for young explorers to contribute to conservation efforts?

    Have you ever encountered a situation where it was, or would have been, useful to have someone with a background in law on an expedition or in the field? What role did that person play or would they play?

    What process, or steps, do you go through to take an idea for research/exploration/conservation from conception to reality?

    What are the top factors that have helped you succeed in bringing your conceptions to reality? What are the most common challenges or risks that need to be overcome to bring your conceptions to reality and how have you overcome them?

  • Dr. Mustafa Mubasher

    i would like to explore to you and to the world a history of a couple who are of different religions and races and succeeded to complete their 50 years of marriage happily and without any problem. This couple wants to show that people of different religions can live safely. Are you interested?

  • Dr. Mustafa Mubasher

    A history of a couple who are of different religions and races and celebrated their Golden anniversary with peace and love.

  • Tom B.

    my question, for any of these admirable explorers, would be this: where do you see exploration going in the next century? We’ve been to Antarctica, the deep sea, and the moon, all as technology and motivation allows. Where would each of you go, if given the means that we may not have today?


  • Dav

    How is study in the field whilst exploring translated into science: ie Medical Cures, Theory, behavioral study comparisons ect, is it solely based upon your research diary?

  • Peter Kinchington

    I started scuba diving in 1977. In the subsequent 35 years I have seen huge changes in my local marine environment particularly in Port Phillip and Westernport Bays. This has largely been brought about by introductions of exotic pests from the northern hemisphere such as the Northern Pacific Seastar and European Fan Worm. These pests have been introduced predominantly as larval stages present in ballast water. This could have been prevented by flushing the ballast tanks mid ocean to remove coastal organisms. If such a simple measure has not been taken in the past – What can we do in the future to reduce the impacts of more complex challenges such as global warming on our marine environment?

  • Nicholas Rau

    I think what these explorers have done is amazing and incredible and help us to understand the world around us by going into dangerous remote places to help us “see” what is truly out there. My guestion is what did these experiences show you that you didn’t expect , that made you see something that you never thought possible, or made you change the way you think about things?

  • Diksha Chhetri

    Jane Goodall… Do you like The Wild Thornberry’s? I loved the episode where you have voiced your own self. It was a true inspiration for me.

  • Anthony

    The forests are not only havens for plants and animals.The trees produce oxygen through photosynthesis and they regulate rainfall by recycling water.They are also amazing places to visit.However in some native forests in Australia visitors are not welcome.Indeed the foresters who are cutting them down can be very unfriendly.They might tell you that they are acting lawfully and are supported by the state police.
    Some Australians like to think that we are a enviromentally responsible nation.The fact is that most of the forests in Australia have been cleared over the last 200 years and that the destruction continues,despite the forestry industry describing the logging as sustainable.It seems that instead of planting enough sustainable farm timber they rely on clear felling native growth forests,as it much more profitable to do so.Forestry is after all an industry that runs on money.
    The forestry industry as well as previous Tasmanian governments have argued that more logging means more jobs.However historically this is far from the truth.Advacements in forestry technology mean machines are more efficient and that in fact fewer workers are needed now than ever.
    In 2007 Robert Ballard in an article of The Monthly,an environmental magazine said
    “85% of Tasmania’s old-growth regnans forests are gone, and it is estimated that fewer than 13,000 hectares of these extraordinary trees remain in their old-growth form. Almost half of them are to be clearfelled. Most will end up as paper in Japan.”
    Since then due to the efforts of people such as former politician Bob Brown there has been a large increase in wilderness areas.(search wikipedia for Bob.)
    It is known here that in the process of clearfelling native trees native animals are deliberately poisoned and the remaining forest is burnt, leaving a scene of complete destruction,where before existed a vibrant ecosystem.Hopefully this practice will soon be ended forever.
    There have been agreements made where world heritage areas, which are apparently protected ,that conserve native flora and fauna,have been established.However clear felling sometimes proceeds right to the boundary of the world heritage area.Some years ago I met a biologist who was doing research into the Daintree.He said to me that it was obvious that the actions of humans at the boundary extended deep into the forest.I think that if we need more tree plantations they should not be on land where a magnificent native forest was recently standing.
    There are some environmental protesters that argue that vast tracts of forest that still need protection from destruction.
    From the site, ,a letter is sent to the Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.
    “…Tasmanian wilderness and tall wet Eucalypt forests bordering the World Heritage Area..Unique in the world, these forests are home to endangered species, such as the Tasmanian devil, they are the most carbon rich forests on the planet, helping to keep our climate cool and are exceptionally beautiful and irreplaceable.. I am shocked to see these forests remain unprotected, many clear felled and cable logged. From the air, these areas look devastated. Large tracts of burnt, cleared land bordering the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.”
    Speaking of activist Miranda Gibson.”.I believe Miranda is a true champion of democracy and standing up for what you believe in. For OVER ONE YEAR now she has remained at the top of a threatened old growth Eucalypt tree in the Tyenna Valley near the Styx valley in Tasmania’s Southern forests.”
    ..” She has vowed to stay up the tree until the forest receives the protection it deserves and is added into the World Heritage Area. If not for Miranda I believe the magnificent forest she lives in would have already been destroyed for short-term profits but at an unmeasureable cost to the environment. These forests are some of the most majestic, unique and tallest forests on the planet. I urge you to act immediately for their protection by adding them to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.”
    I just wanted to congratulate Miranda ,I hope someday your efforts wil be fully rewarded.

  • zeina sibai

    i would like to ask is exploring fun and when your exploring do u face problems during your adventure?do you have to start exploring when your big or you can explore even if your small? how do u change the world

  • Zolboo

    What is your next project?
    How you people choose your next project?
    What is the most scientific answer for Bermuda triangle?

  • Maya and Youssef Khachab

    As a father of 9 year old twins, I thank National Geographic and the explorers for a great educational exercise.

    I am going to join them in the hangout and learn with them as well.

    They are a fan of all of you but they love James Cameron.

    The Khachabss

  • Maya Khachab

    Which ocean will James Cameron explore next? and reasons?

  • Youssef

    I have 4 questions for Mr. James Cameron Please:

    1) Why did he choose to be an explorer?
    2) Which exploration was the most challenging?

    Youssef Khachab, Age 9, Wellspring Learning Community

  • Hatice Benan

    How did you end up being an explorer? Is that what you always dreamed of? What is the key of your success?

  • Vickie Weiss

    Will the session at 1:00 be archived so I can show it to my elementary students?

  • Youssef Khachab

    To Mr. James Cameroon,

    How many persons work with you usually on deep sea explorations ?

    How did you learn how to use your submarine?

    Last question, would the Mediterranean Sea be of interest to you to explore?

    Youssef Khachab, age 9.
    Wellspring Learning Community

  • Albert van der Heijden

    If chimpanzees would evolve into religious beings, how would an outline of their religion look like?

  • tejasvi rathee

    What are some sacrifices you have made for the success of your career?

  • Pranav Ghodgaonkar

    Remarkable journey through the universe that we live in. My question is,
    All the changes that we see in the world around us including the one due to human activity like warming, flooding, extinction of species, pollution , famine and so on. Are these changes not a the life cycle of a planet and there is little we can do to speed it up or stop.In my understanding it is a far greater phenomenon to be affected by humans. Comments:::::::::

  • Judith Lane

    I am becoming of the mind that unless mankind can quickly and effectively address and reverse what it is contributing to the demise of this planet through ignorance, the hunger for profit, the unwillingness to work together as a global people, that everything else will not matter–that there will come a time when it will not matter what questions we have to ask. But for now, please talk about how, in your explorations, you are able to address your own concerns about these things to heads of nations, to people who may be in positions to help us turn things around.

    Thank you,


  • Pinar

    So, being explorers and all, you guys must know a lot about what you study. How do you think of your career as a job? Did you always want to be an explorer and had a set path, or did it just come to you in an epiphany? How did you think you were going to get employed? Or did you believe in freelance? Even after choosing to be an explorer, how did you know what you were going to do? Where you wanted work at? Or, was it pre-planned for you?

    Thanks, Pinar

  • Venkatesh

    We wish the team members of ‘The National Geography’ magazine, all the good luck and immense satisfaction in their en devour .

  • Shinatria Adhityatama

    I want to be one of the NG explorer 🙂

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