Vision. Tenacity. Ingenuity. These are among the many traits of the trailblazing female National Geographic Explorers who are advancing the frontiers of science, exploration, and conservation featured in January’s issue of Explorer magazine, the National Geographic Society’s classroom magazine for grades K-5/6.
The second annual Women in Science issue celebrates the important work of conservationist Kim Williams-Guillén, geoarchaeologist Beverly Goodman, and ecologist Dominique Gonçalves—all driven by a fierce determination to advance our understanding of our world and help change it for the better.
Kim Williams-Guillén works to save sea turtles in Costa Rica and Nicaragua by outwitting egg poachers. With the use of a 3D printer, she developed artificial sea turtle eggs containing GPS-enabled technology to track the movements of wildlife poachers from the sea turtles’ nests to where the eggs are finally sold for food. Through this unique invention, Kim is helping to fill in knowledge gaps about the illegal wildlife trafficking trade in Central America.
Beverly Goodman combines archaeology, geology, and anthropology to explore the complex ways nature and humans impact coastlines. Her work focuses on the causes and effects of ancient environmental events like tsunamis and floods to better understand which coasts are at greatest risk and what kind of damage to expect. As Beverly describes it, “The past is a window into the future, and by reconstructing the histories of our coastlines we can know what could be waiting for us in the future.”
Dominique Gonçalves manages and protects elephants in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique—one of the greatest areas of plant and animal life in Africa. She investigates the elephants’ movements, habitat use, and conflict with humans. Dominique is also deeply committed to community development and disrupting traditional gender roles. She works with the park’s Girls’ Club program to empower young women by promoting education and healthy lifestyle practices.
“These remarkable women are not only making profound contributions to science, exploration, and education, they are also breaking new barriers,” said National Geographic Society Executive Vice President and Chief Education Officer Vicki Phillips. “When we teach young people about real-world pioneers and role models, we enable them to explore opportunities beyond what they thought was possible and, in doing so, lift and inspire the learning environment.”
In the first Women in Science special issue, Explorer magazine celebrated three generations of women whose work has already left an indelible impact on their fields of study, including the legendary primatologist Jane Goodall, linguist Sandhya Narayanan, and polar explorer Jade Hameister.
“Last year’s Women in Science issue really resonated with our readers,” said Explorer Managing Editor Brenna Maloney. “Telling the stories of working scientists and explorers inspires all of our young readers. But we strive for our young women readers, in particular, to see themselves in our pages. Dominique, Beverly, and Kim were just like so many of them. If they can do it, then our readers can, too.”
To continue to celebrate National Geographic women on the front lines of science and exploration throughout the year, the Explorer magazine team also created a poster-sized, 12-month calendar available to magazine subscribers.
This special edition will be available for grades 2 (Lexile levels 250L-550L), 3 (350-750L), 4 (450L-850L), and 5/6 (520L-950L). Spring subscriptions are available until November 15. The deadline for digital subscriptions is January 15. More information is available at ExplorerMag.org.
National Geographic Women of Impact
National Geographic has a long history of investing in bold people with transformative ideas. We continue to invest in intrepid female scientists, explorers, educators, and storytellers who have forged ahead into the unknown—sometimes at great risk—to bring back their findings, experiences, and stories.
To mark the centennial of U.S. women winning the right to vote, National Geographic launched a year-long project celebrating women’s impact in the world. The November 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine is entirely dedicated to women and, for the first time ever, all of the magazine’s content was written and photographed exclusively by women. National Geographic also released the book, “Women: The National Geographic Image Collection,” containing 450 stunning photographs of women drawn from their unparalleled image archives. Additionally, a selection of the book’s most powerful images are now on display at the National Geographic Museum in Washington. D.C. The images featured in the “Women: A Century of Change” exhibition span nine decades and reveal the lives of women from more than 30 countries with each image offering a glimpse into the lives of women worldwide.