This year has unexpectedly grounded us. We’ve canceled vacations, rescinded reservations, and instead become all too familiar with every little detail of our homes. National Geographic’s Explorers have been grounded as well, but they’ve continued to push boundaries — even from home. Our storytellers continue to document and share stories of their communities, reflecting on the concepts of identity, migration, and social justice. Educators are adapting curriculums to reach students outside of the classroom. Scientists have refocused their research and observations to their own backyards, rather than in the field. Despite their circumstances, our Explorers have remained committed to illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world. This fall, you’ll have the chance to hear directly from them about their groundbreaking work. We’re looking forward to the day we can travel again, but until then our virtual events season is your ticket to the world from the comfort of your home, no passport required.
On October 1, we’ll embark on an expedition around the world with our 2020 Emerging Explorers — incredible changemakers who are transforming their fields. We’ll travel to Trinidad and Tobago to hear about the weird and wonderful animals that live in deep-sea habitats. Then we’ll head off to Ghana to learn about the social implications of artificial intelligence. We’ll continue on to the Democratic Republic of Congo where efforts are being made to protect Congolese biodiversity. We’ll join photographers on assignment in Chile and Nigeria, and take an intimate look at human and sociocultural issues and begin to question our assumptions about them. Our journey will also take us to Mexico City, where we’ll learn about rural and urban rainwater harvesting, to Nepal to hear how technology is being made accessible to all literacy levels, and back to the United States to learn how science exploration and outdoor field studies help prepare students for the modern workforce.
Next, we’ll visit Paradise, California, on November 10 with National Geographic Fellow and photographer Pete Muller. He’ll give us an in-depth look at the concept of solastalgia, which describes the emotional and existential distress caused by environmental change. He’ll discuss solastalgia through the lens of current events, including climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and the devastating fire that ripped through Paradise, California in 2018. He’ll share powerful photographs of the fire and its aftermath, as well as clips from Rebuilding Paradise, an inspiring documentary about the fire. The powerful film, directed by Ron Howard, will air commercial-free November 8 on the National Geographic Channel.
On November 22, we’ll head to the American Prairie Reserve in northern Montana and to Iberá National Park in northeastern Argentina, where keystone species are being reintroduced in order to benefit the ecosystems and people who depend on them. Learn how conservationists are working to protect these threatened landscapes with a double feature of short films, Last Wild Places: American Prairie Reserve and Last Wild Places: Iberá National Park. Following the films, will be a discussion with the people behind the rebirth of these areas — including American Prairie Reserve CEO Alison Fox and Kris Tompkins, the co-founder and president of Tompkins Conservation — and the filmmakers who brought their incredible stories to life.
Finally, on December 3 we’ll travel to the Philippines to meet National Geographic Explorer and photographer Hannah Reyes Morales, who has documented how bedtime stories and children’s songs around the world reflect major global issues like conflict, migration, public health, and climate change. Her project, Living Lullabies, explores families’ nighttime rituals to illuminate critical issues facing women and children. Morales will share audio clips of lullabies from around the world, as well as stunning photographs of caregivers and their children during the intimate moments they share before drifting off to sleep.
Your fall itinerary is planned and all our virtual events are free — no need to pack your bags, plan for the weather, or request days off from work. Travel looks different this year, so we’re committed to bringing the world to you. The National Geographic Society invests in innovative and inspiring Explorers like those featured in this fall’s virtual events season. We are grateful for the generous support of our donors and supporters who help make this important work possible. Visit natgeo.org to learn more about our upcoming virtual events and how you can help make an impact on our planet.