June 16, 2013: Underwater Cave Diving, Seeking a Man-Eating Catfish, and More

2006 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kenny Broad free dives into the eerie looking Devil's Ear in Florida. Broad and his filmmaking partner Wes Skiles encountered many dangers while making the movie "Extreme Cave Diving". (photo by Wes Skiles)
2006 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kenny Broad free dives into the eerie looking Devil’s Ear in Florida. Broad, and his filmmaking partner Wes Skiles, encountered many dangers while making the movie “Extreme Cave Diving”. (photo by Wes Skiles)

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend.

Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend, or pick your favorite segments and listen now below!

Episode: 1324 – Air Date: June 16

As National Geographic’s annual Explorer’s Symposium came to an end, we revisit some of our favorite adventures from the previous classes of Emerging Explorers. In the coming weeks and months, we will introduce the new class of Emerging Explorers on the show. Here are some of our favorites from over the years:


Caves are considered the most dangerous frontiers on the planet, and delving into their deepest crevices can be a monumental task. National Geographic grantee and 2006 Emerging Explorer Kenny Broad and National Geographic filmmaker Wes Skiles discuss the dangers they have encountered in their new NOVA/National Geographic documentary, Extreme Cave Diving.
Part 1: Listen here. Part 2: Listen here.

Some of the best and brightest computer programmers are creating apps that help us waste time. 2012 Emerging Explorer Jake Porway wondered what would happen if that wasted brain power was used in the service of humanity and created Data Without Borders to match data scientists with social change organizations. Listen here.

Ancient skulls speak to National Geographic 2010 Emerging Explorer Christine Lee. They tell stories of long-forgotten cultures, conflicts, lifestyles and love affairs. Lee talks about her work as a bio-archaeologist and how she combines physical anthropology and archaeology to study human remains, coaxing secrets from skeletons and civilizations millennia old. Listen here.

Boyd chats about intersection of faith and technology with futurist and 2005 Emerging Explorer Andrew Zolli.  Zolli explains how we are living in the most religious era yet and our high-tech world can actually act as a catalyst for different religions. Listen here.


DNA technology goes beyond the forensic work seen in crime TV shows. It can also tell the stories of animals long extinct. National Geographic 2010 Emerging Explorer Beth Shapiro travels through time — observing mammoths, dodos and other extinct animals through examining their DNA. Listen here.

Tales of a man-eating catfish in India didn’t convince 2004 Emerging Explorer Zeb Hogan that such a fish exists, but they did give him the desire to seek the truth. Hogan tells Boyd how he’s preparing to take the plunge to find out if there is any proof to the legend. Listen here.

National Geographic 2011 Emerging Explorer Çağan Şekercioğlu has seen thousands of bird species in more than 70 countries for the sake of researching how to save endangered birds. He talks about how the disappearance of many birds is having drastic consequences on our ecosystem. Listen here.

2008 Emerging Explorers Sol Guy and Josh Thome are modern day cultural storytellers. Their television show, 4Real, broadcasts the stories of everyday people who are radically effecting change in their communities. Both Guy and Thome reminisce on some of their favorite stories and how they give back to people that make a difference. Listen here.

In this week’s Wild Chronicles, Boyd reminisces on the days when he interviewed musicians for the Today Show, some famous, but some who sang about jambalaya, crawfish and life on the Bayou – all in French. Listen here.


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Meet the Author
Gina Cook is an intern for the weekly radio program National Geographic Weekend. She is a graduate student studying multimedia journalism at the University of Missouri.