Amy Bucci

Geography Awareness Week, established by presidential proclamation in 1987, is an annual public awareness program led by National Geographic, that celebrates the importance of geography education. Each year, more than 100,000 Americans take part in Geography Awareness Week activities through programs in their schools, local communities, and even their own backyards. This year’s “Geography: Declare…

Changing Planet

Emerging Explorer and data scientist Jake Porway is part of a new genre of National Geographic explorer in that his expeditions are occurring digitally. He is connecting nonprofits with data scientists eager to make a difference and help solve social, environmental, and community problems. What project are you working on now? I’m working on running…

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Elena Garcea, a member and leader of multiple National Geographic archaeological projects in Africa, has always been interested in studying ancient people’s lifestyles. When she’s not in the field, she teaches paleoethnology and interprets the data from the field. What project are you working on now? My current field research takes place in a small…

Human Journey

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In recognition of her pioneering work with chimps on the savannas of Senegal, Jill Pruetz was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2008. Over the years she and her team have discovered that chimps were using tools to kill bush babies, chimps stayed in caves to keep cool, and even successfully returned a lost…

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In 2011, astronomer Knicole Colón received a Young Explorers grant to examine “hot-Jupiters,” Jupiter-size, gas giant planets orbiting close to their host stars, and “super-Earths,” rocky planets about ten times larger then Earth. What project are you working on now? Being an astronomer, I’m currently analyzing data from the 10.4-meter Gran Telescopio Canarias. Specifically, I…

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What’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Hanging out in a field of monkeys, especially the gelada monkeys of Ethiopia. Biologist Jacinta Beehner received two grants from National Geographic to study the introduction of new males on gelada females and how geladas assess potential rivals and mates. What project are you working on now?…

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As Sea Otter Awareness Week comes to a close, we wanted to highlight one of our explorers, Lily Maxine Tarjan or “Max”, who received a grant from National Geographic in August of this year to conduct the first in-depth analysis of the sea otter mating system. What are your favorite and least favorite things about…

Changing Planet

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Updated on 9/29/12 Rather than pursuing a childhood dream of being an orchestra conductor, Martin Nweeia chose to be a dentist and marine mammal biologist instead. With help from a National Geographic grant, he sought to uncover the secrets behind the extraordinary tusk of a whale—the narwhal—that resembles the horn of a unicorn. In 2000,…

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Jennifer Burney, named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2011, continues her work on agricultural solutions for struggling farmers. She observes, for example, that “as great as local organic food may be in my own kitchen, we’ll never feed the whole world that way. Like it or not, ‘Big Agriculture’ is why we’ve been able…

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Rayna Bell received a grant from National Geographic in 2010 to research patterns of diversification in a species-rich genus of reedfrogs from Central Africa. Inspired by stories from her high school biology teacher about fieldwork in Africa, Bell decided to pursue research in evolutionary biology as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. Now a graduate student…

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Explorer Tshewang Wangchuk possesses an unusual collection of three hundred scat samples from elusive snow leopards in Bhutan. He gathered these samples with a grant from National Geographic in 2009 to examine the snow leopard population status and its relation to livestock predation using non-invasive tactics. More recently, Wangchuk just returned from the field this…

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Emily Ainsworth was so determined to travel and photograph the world that she worked multiple odd jobs, even scrubbing toilets to follow her dream. Her fascination with the human spirit brought her to photograph spiritual life on the Ganges, the Hutong maze of Beijing, and nomads in Mongolia. “I find it compelling how, working as a photographer and anthropologist gives…

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