Using Science, Exploration, and Storytelling to Change the World in 2015

Every day, the National Geographic Society advances our legacy of studying, exploring, and protecting the planet. And this year proved that there’s still so much left to explore—from discovering a new human ancestor deep in a South African cave to protecting some of the last wild places in the ocean.

Watch our recap of captivating moments in science and exploration from 2015 in the video above, and explore the stories in depth below.

New Human Ancestor (Homo naledi) | ‘Sharkcano’

Pristine Seas: Desventuradas | Pristine Seas: Palau

Reducing Demand for Ivory | City of the Monkey God

Okavango Wilderness Expedition | Glowing Sea Turtle

BioBlitz: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Funded by the National Geographic Society

Learn more natgeo.org.

Changing Planet

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Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of nationalgeographic.com for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.