Full Talent Lineup Announced for First-Ever National Geographic Explorers Festival: Weeklong Event Will Celebrate the Best in Science, Conservation, Exploration and Storytelling and Introduce 2017 Class of National Geographic Emerging Explorers

The National Geographic Society today announced the full talent lineup for its Explorers Festival, a weeklong celebration of exploration, science and innovation in Washington, D.C., June 12-18. This year’s event welcomes a fascinating community of scientists and conservationists, storytellers and changemakers for two days of inspirational and thought-provoking presentations. Vital topics include new challenges in conservation, how citizen science is making a difference, transformative technology, and how storytelling can change the world.

Event highlights include:

Red Planet vs. Blue Planet

Saturday, June 17, 9:30 AM ET

Our host for the day, the entertaining environmental anthropologist and National Georaphic 2011 Explorer of the Year Kenny Broad, hosts a journey from the surface of Mars to the depths of the ocean as the best and brightest explorers and storytellers discuss the future of exploration on this planet and across the galaxy. INCLUDES SPECIAL EVENT: Live StarTalk taping with Neil deGrasse Tyson and James Cameron

Celebration of Exploration

Saturday, June 17, 5:30 PM ET

The biggest names in exploration pay tribute to the visionaries who push boundaries and change our world for the better. Festivities will begin with a reception featuring cuisines prepared by D.C.’s most celebrated chefs, complemented by cultural performances highlighting Nat Geo’s work around the world. The evening will continue in Lisner Auditorium with a show honoring awardees, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, photojournalist Brian Skerry, and clean-energy visionaries Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg of Solar Impulse, hosted by writer and comedian Mo Rocca, with filmmaker and explorer James Cameron, TV host Jason Silva and special performances by X Ambassadors lead singer Sam Harris and singer/songwriter India.Arie.

Tickets for public events are on sale now here. Not in D.C.? Watch the festival via livestream or on Facebook and join the conversation with #NatGeoFest.

View the full list of speakers and performers below:

  • Joel Achenbach, author and staff writer for The Washington Post

  • Constance Adams, space architect

  • Jennifer Adler, conservation photographer and cave diver

  • Ella Al-Shamahi, paleoanthropologist

  • India.Arie, singer and songwriter

  • Jonathan Baillie, Chief Scientist and SVP, Grants at the National Geographic Society

  • Bob Ballard, ocean explorer and Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island

  • Erika Bergman, submersible pilot

  • Kenny Broad, environmental anthropologist

  • James Cameron, filmmaker and Explorer

  • Ryan Carney, evolutionary biologist and epidemiologist

  • Jean Case, National Geographic Chairman of the Board of Trustees

  • Adjany Costa, conservationist and ichthyologist

  • Jessica Cramp, marine conservationist

  • Ronan Donovan, photographer

  • Nadia Drake, science journalist

  • Sylvia Earle, oceanographer

  • Bethany Ehlmann, planetary geologist

  • Federico Fanti, paleontologist and sedimentary geologist

  • Ira Flatow, radio and television journalist

  • Keolu Fox, human geneticist

  • Joe Grabowski, educator and scuba diver

  • Colonel Chris Hadfield, astronaut

  • Kevin Hand, planetary scientist/astrobiologist

  • Sam Harris, lead singer of X Ambassadors

  • M Jackson, geographer and glaciologist

  • Gary E. Knell, President and CEO of National Geographic Society

  • David Lang, entrepreneur and writer

  • Danielle N. Lee, biologist and outreach scientist

  • Jennifer Lopez, technologist and data scientist

  • Ricardo Moreno, wildlife conservationist

  • Mateus Mutemba, park warden and conservationist

  • Hotlin Ompusunggu, dentist and conservationist

  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, environmental activist and geographer

  • Sarah Parcak, archeologist

  • Mo Rocca, CBS correspondent

  • Jane Root, CEO of Nutopia

  • Brooke Runnette, EVP and Chief Program Officer at the National Geographic Society

  • Enric Sala, marine ecologist

  • Jason Silva, futurist, philosopher, and host of Brain Games

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and StarTalk podcast host

  • Anand Varma, science photographer

  • Lucianne Walkowicz, astronomer

  • Grace C. Young, ocean engineer

  • Lily Zeng, Ph.D. candidate at Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Learn more about each of this year’s speakers and presenters here.


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