Alyson Foster

The thirty-three founders of the National Geographic Society were an adventurous and accomplished group.  They included scientists, explorers, a journalist and a superintendent of the National Zoo.  In recognition of the National Geographic Society’s recent 130th anniversary this series takes a look at their stories. By Mark Collins Jenkins On August 27, 1870, a young,...

This month marks the anniversary of the fall of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan—modern-day Mexico City—to the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés in 1521.  Cortés’ journey from Veracruz to Tenochtitlan was a winding route through tropical and mountainous terrain that took the Spaniards across more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) and changed the course of history. Over...

This month marks the anniversary of the fall of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan—modern-day Mexico City—to the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés in 1521.  Cortés’ journey from Veracruz to Tenochtitlan was a winding route through tropical and mountainous terrain that took the Spaniards across more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) and changed the course of history. Over...

National Geographic magazine’s 125th anniversary issue is out on newsstands this month. As we take a look back at our legacy so far, here are just a few of the ways that National Geographic has changed the world.  1. Standing up for endangered wildlife. National Geographic‘s articles have featured plenty of endangered species, but the...

National Geographic magazine’s 125th anniversary issue is out on newsstands this month. As we take a look back at our legacy so far, here are just a few of the ways that National Geographic has changed the world.  1. Standing up for endangered wildlife. National Geographic‘s articles have featured plenty of endangered species, but the...

National Geographic magazine’s 125th anniversary issue is out on newsstands this month. As we take a look back at our legacy so far, here are just a few of the ways that National Geographic has changed the world.  1. Standing up for endangered wildlife. National Geographic‘s articles have featured plenty of endangered species, but the...

  April 22nd through April 28th is National Park Week. It’s a celebration of the more than 400 national parks in the U.S., including canyons, forests, beaches, historic houses and battlefields.  While National Geographic can’t take any credit for these spectacular places, we do take a certain amount of pride in our long-standing connection to...

  Each spring, as the Japanese cherry trees bloom in Potomac Park and around the Tidal Basin, something tugs at our memories. Didn’t the National Geographic Society have something to do with getting those trees here? Wasn’t Eliza Scidmore, the first woman on our board of trustees, somehow involved? The Society itself had little to...

  Bumblebees may not have the large, highly-developed brains that certain other animals possess – us extremely intelligent primates, for example – but they can perform surprisingly sophisticated tasks, like using logic and picking up cues from their fellow bees.  Scientists at the Zoological Society of London have been examining social learning in bees and...

  Those of us who live in urban areas can get so accustomed to noise that we barely notice it.  But it’s a fact: cities are loud.  All that noise can have a deleterious effect on our lives, making it harder to sleep, relax, and stay focused.  Humans aren’t the only ones negatively impacted by...

  Forests in the eastern United States have become less green over the past decade.  That’s what scientists at NASA have concluded after analyzing a series of satellite images compiled between 2000 and 2010.  The scientists reviewed monthly images taken by NASA’s Terra satellite in four regions – the Upper Great Lakes, southern Appalachian, mid-Atlantic,...

  The rock hyrax is a sociable, furry mammal about the size of a guinea pig that can be found in Africa and Asia where it makes its nest in rock fissures.  What can this animal – or, more specifically, its pee – tell us about climate change?  More than you might think.  Thanks to...

  Bacteria with the ability to change ions into solid gold?  This scenario may sound like a biochemist’s version of a fairy tale, but it’s real and scientists at McMaster University have just described how the process works in a recent article published online in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.   The bacteria is called Delftia...

  Air pollution.  Light pollution.  Radical changes to local ecosystems.  The profound environmental impact of cities is a popular topic among scientists these days.  Now it appears that cities may actually be changing the weather — and the effects are being felt not just in urban areas, but in places thousands of miles away from...