Carolyn Barnwell

Threads That Speak: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Inca

The Inca Empire stretched from Colombia to central Chile and ruled more than 12 million people. They built organized cities and advanced road systems, yet they had no system of hieroglyphic writing, as the Maya did. Instead, they communicated via a ...

This Peruvian Beach Town Has 3,500 Years of Cultural Continuity

National Geographic explorer Gabriel Prieto was perhaps destined to become an archaeologist. He was raised in Huanchaco, Peru, a city built on the foundations of ancient structures. It’s been continually occupied for more than 3,500 years and home to the ...

How 3-D Imaging Helps Archaeologists Preserve the Past

Archaeologist and National Geographic explorer Luis Jaime Castillo and archaeologist Carlos Wester have been working on the north coast of Peru for decades. They’ve focused on a large complex of pyramids called Chotuna-Chornancap, which was built by the Sicá...

High-Resolution Satellite Imagery at the World’s Fingertips

A little over a hundred years ago, American explorer Hiram Bingham captured the world’s attention when his account of his expedition to Peru made the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1913. Relying on local knowledge, he visited the crumbling ...

Transforming Haiti With An Endless Local Resource

Everyone poops. But not many people really think about what happens to it. We flush the toilet and it is out of sight and out of mind. Sasha Kramer, on the other hand, has poop on her mind all the ...

Bison Hunting on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

By Sharon Pieczenik At first glance, explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli might seem like your cliché New Yorker: brash, assertive, an avid talker, and someone who might think that New York City is the center of the universe. ...

Best Job Ever: Hunting for the Bones of a Loch Ness-Like Monster

By Sharon Pieczenik As it turns out, the Jurassic Park films are not entirely accurate. Aubrey Jane Roberts, a National Geographic Young Explorers grantee and professional dinosaur hunter (aka paleontologist) loves the films but laments the fact that they have ...

Kayakers Explore Alaska’s Newly Revealed Class V Gorge

Imagine being dropped off by a tiny bush plane into a remote wilderness, knowing you are about to brave the biggest challenge you have ever faced. Todd Wells did just that when he led an exploratory kayaking expedition into the ...

Capsized by a Hippo on the Okavango Expedition

Steve Boyes is a conservation biologist and National Geographic explorer. He is dedicated to the preservation of the Okavango Delta, the last wetland wilderness in Africa. He and his brother, Chris Boyes, led an expedition over 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) down the ...

Would You Walk Into a Room With Millions of Bees?

Cross-cultural explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli visited Uganda to discover how fair trade benefits local farmers. He met 76-year-old Kibwana Paulo in the Ruwenzori Mountains. Bashinelli explained, “Kibwana started selling fair-trade vanilla and as a result made enough ...

Best Job Ever: Mapping “California’s Galápagos”

Cartographers and National Geographic grantees Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue traveled to the little-known Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to document the scientists who live there and to create an interactive digital map to allow the public to explore the islands ...

Tracking Tigers Is Just As Dangerous As It Sounds

Matthew Luskin is a conservation biologist, wildlife ecologist, and National Geographic grantee. He spent a year in the rain forest of Indonesia tracking tigers through the remaining three largest national parks—and it was seriously dangerous. “When there’s a ...

Best Job Ever: Lion First Responder Team

Paola Bouley is on call as a first responder for lions in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. She is a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee and the director and co-founder of Projecto Leões da Gorongosa. It’s the ...