Cathy Hunter

  The ancient scourge of rinderpest, a deadly disease capable of decimating herds of cattle, has been eradicated, according to veterinary epidemiologists. Although it does not infect humans, rinderpest is so devastating to agriculture that it has caused famines in the past. So far, smallpox is the only other disease that has been wiped off...

One of the joys of being an archivist here at the Geographic is that I never know what surprises the day may hold.  While searching through old polar material for an unexpected visitor from Canada, I came across a slim volume I’d not noticed before.  Vol. 395 of scrapbooks compiled by one of our founders, ...

“Universalis Cosmographia” by Martin Waldseemüller.   The Known World of Edward P. Jones’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is set in mythical Manchester County, Virginia before the Civil War and centers on the surprising and  little-known practice of free blacks who themselves owned slaves.  Jones’ depiction of life in that rural community is so detailed and nuanced,...

Bottlenose dolphin photographed by Joseph H. Bailey, c. NGS. So far, dolphin communication has been a one-sided affair with the intelligent sea creatures learning to understand us landlubbers. Now scientists are hoping for two-way conversation… For all the latest science news, check out the National Geographic’s twice-weekly news rundown, Earth Current....

Donald Macmillan, left, confers with A.W. Greely.   By Renee Braden When veteran Arctic explorer Captain Donald B. MacMillan set out on his 1923-24 expedition to northern Greenland and Ellesmere Island, he hoped to carry out an ambitious program of scientific research. But he also intended to discharge a very special duty. Within the hold...

The view from Everest’s summit by Barry Bishop, c. NGS It’s climbing season on Mt. Everest, so let’s take a look back at one of the pioneers of that deadly mountain. Thanks to his fortitude and harrowing tale of survival, Barry Bishop became the stuff of legend around National Geographic.  A barrel-chested man with a...

Vintage image of clock in Rouen, France by Gervais Courtellemont.   It seems we are always keeping track of time, but do we really even know what it is? Recent scientific studies are calling into question Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of time, including the idea that it represents a fourth dimension. For more of the...

By NG Archivists Cathy Hunter and Renee Braden Today the National Geographic Society celebrates 123 years of carrying out our mission to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge and to explore the world and all that’s in it. That very first gathering on January 13, 1888, is portrayed in a painting that hangs at NG headquarters...

By Cathy Hunter, Renee Braden, and Michael Jourdan Third in a three-part series commemorating Jacques Cousteau “In the middle ’50s, I saw the first of the Jacques Cousteau films, Silent World, and I wanted to do that–explore underwater using an Aqua-Lung. I used my paper route money to buy a ‘genuine French Squalle dive mask’...

By Cathy Hunter, Renee Braden, and Krista Mantsch Second in a three-part series commemorating Jacques Cousteau “Il faut aller voir.” (“We must go and see.”) – Jacques Cousteau Jacques-Yves Cousteau began his lifelong odyssey with the sea seeking a little adventure; by the end, he had inspired people around the globe to look more closely...

By Cathy Hunter, Renee Braden, and Krista Mantsch First in a three-part series commemorating Jacques Cousteau “The sea is everything. It covers seven-tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides. The sea is only...