Changing Planet

Announcing the 2013 Class of Emerging Explorers

The Next Generation of Innovative Scientists and Visionaries Pushing Boundaries of Discovery, Adventure and Global Problem-Solving

Known for classic high adventure and discovery, National Geographic is redefining what it means to be an explorer in a new age of exploration. Around this time each year, NG selects a small group of movers and shakers called “Emerging Explorers” that are defining the way we explore new frontiers. Each Emerging Explorer receives a $10,000 award to assist with research and to aid further exploration as well as an invitation to the annual NG Explorers Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Past Emerging Explorers include personalities such as Monster Fish TV host Zeb Hogan, world-class climber and photographer Jimmy Chin, and modern day Jacques Cousteau Enric Sala (now an Explorer-in-Residence).

This year marks an unprecedented class of diverse and uniquely talented explorers. A roboticist, an astrobiologist, a glaciologist, a planetary geologist, an entrepreneur and an artist are among the 17 visionary, young trailblazers from around the world.

Meet the 2013 Class of Emerging Explorers:

Conservation Biologist Steve Boyes champions protection of Botswana’s uniquely pristine Okavango Delta as well as parrot species on the brink of extinction throughout Africa.

Conservation Biologist Erika Cuéllar empowers local people with scientific conservation skills to help protect the wild environment and rich biodiversity of South America’s Gran Chaco region.

Anthropologist Jason De León documents clandestine migration between Mexico and the United States to provide new insight into the complex, multilayered border-crossing phenomenon.

Planetary Geologist Bethany Ehlmann searches our solar system for once habitable environments, now using the Curiosity rover to analyze Martian rocks for clues of conditions that may have supported ancient life.

Archaeologist Sayed Gul Kalash strives to preserve one of the world’s oldest, most unique cultures and languages, her own critically endangered Kalash, still surviving in a remote region of Pakistan.

Computer Scientist and Roboticist Chad Jenkins works to make robotic technology more accessible, easy to use, and helpful to the public at large by teaching robots to learn from human demonstration.

Wildlife Filmmaker and Photographer Sandesh Kadur creates documentary films and books to raise awareness about the world’s threatened species and habitats and inspire his audience to protect them.

Artist Raghava KK blends creativity and technology to develop interactive art that considers issues from multiple perspectives, challenges perceptions, inspires tolerance, and engenders empathy.

Humanitarian Lale Labuko fights to end the ritualistic killing of infants and children in Ethiopia’s Omo River Valley and provides safe shelter, care, and education for the children he rescues.

Innovator and Entrepreneur Tan Le develops EEG innovations and a data-sharing platform that could dramatically accelerate research and understanding of the human brain.

Conservation Biologist Andrea Marshall leads groundbreaking research and conservation programs to save globally threatened manta rays and other vulnerable marine megafauna, and their critical habitats.

Science Educator and Astrobiologist Brendan Mullan inspires a new generation of scientists by making astronomy education and communication more accessible, engaging, and entertaining.

Geophysicist and Glaciologist Erin Pettit pioneers innovative techniques to aid in glacier exploration, analyzing findings from the ice to help understand and predict changing climate and rising seas.

Computational Geneticist Pardis Sabeti unravels complex genetic codes to detect evolutionary mutations that allow disease to spread and humanity to survive.

Engineer and Conservation Technologist Shah Selbe identifies innovative technologies that can be used to protect the world’s seas from illegal fishing through better monitoring, tracking, collaboration, and surveillance.

Data Artist Jer Thorp translates complex data sets into novel representations that make information more digestible, understandable, meaningful, and ultimately more human.

Adventurer and Conservationist Gregg Treinish connects research scientists with outdoor adventurers to collect data in hard-to-reach areas, using their findings and his own expeditions to advance conservation worldwide.

NEXT: 2012 Class of Emerging Explorers

  • Nahid N. Selbe

    I would like to thank the NG Explorers for the opportunity they have given to all these young Explorers. The appreciation and motivations that come from you will have a tremendous impact on their lives. Keep up the great work.
    Very proud mother of NG Explorers.

  • Admasu Lokaley Kidewa

    I’m very proud of seeing my friend Lale Labuko being in the list of Next Generation of Innovative Scientists and Visionaries of our globe. I have never dreamt that a man from Lower omo valley would come in such honorary position. Thanks to National Geography for digging in to deep of cultures of the indigenous people in Lower Omo valley. The assortment included Lale will encourage the upcoming generation strive for the development and well-being of this impoverished communities in the country.
    A childhood friend of Lale!

  • Hannah Johnson

    I can’t wait to be apart of your community. I know I will get there someday. I am on my way to college this year to study photography and history. I plan to become a wildlife and cultural photographer. I am grateful to see many people who want to change the future for the better.

  • Diego Alejandro Montoya Martinez

    gracias a todo el equipo de la ng por la oportunidad que le esta dando a muchos jovenes que quieren seguir sus pasos incluso me gustaria ser uno de ustedes

  • Steph S.

    Fantastic! We desperately need these folks, front & center

  • Chris Hattingh

    To the NG Explorers, the dedication and commitment you guys have, is unbelievable, congrats and thanks for doing what you are.

  • Sayan Jana

    Very interested to join with NG.But dont know how to join with ?

  • Sayan Jana

    very interested to join NG. but dont know how to join. i will be very thankful if u tell the waY.

  • viswamurthy

    After seeing lot of articles and exploring…i really wanted to join NAT GEO…if u help me it will be really helpful

  • Susan Hayward

    Congratulations to the Explorers, and many thanks to them for what they are doing. Some of them are discovering things that could help us with the conservation of wild life and wild places as well as the climate change crisis. How can we make the link between discovery/information and action?

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