David Maxwell Braun

What Migrating Songbirds Tell Us About Our Planet

As part of a year of activities to support birds and their habitats, National Geographic, BirdLife International, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the National Audubon Society are convening an event featuring two expert panels to explore how technology is expanding our understanding of migration and how creative new solutions are advancing conservation and policy. Watch a live stream of the discussions here:…

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Amelia Earhart, first woman to receive National Geographic’s special medal for exploration

Before one of the most distinguished audiences ever assembled in Washington, D.C., President Hoover presented Amelia Earhart with the National Geographic Society’s Special Gold medal for her solo plane flight across the Atlantic. It was the first of the Society’s historic medals to be bestowed upon a woman, National Geographic Magazine reported in its September 1932 issue. …

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Dian Fossey: Gave her life for the conservation of rare mountain gorillas

Dian Fossey was a National Geographic Explorer who devoted 20 years of her life — and may have indeed forfeited her life — to the conservation of Africa’s rare and endangered mountain gorillas.  Inspired by Jane Goodall and Louis Leakey, Fossey observed at close quarters the mountain gorillas of Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains from 1966 until she was murdered in 1985. Her death remains a mystery, but it was suspected that it might have been the work of gorilla poachers. She was buried in the mountains, alongside several gorillas killed by poachers….

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Tierney Thys, swimming with giant sunfish

Named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2004, Tierney is a California Academy of Sciences Research Associate, expert for National Geographic Expeditions, Daily Explorer in Animal Jam (Nat Geo’s online animal world), TED Allstar speaker and producer of numerous TEDed lessons listed below: Why are sharks so awesome The secret life of plankton How life begins in the…

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Elsie May Bell Grosvenor: ‘First Lady’ of the National Geographic Society

From early childhood to her last year at 86, Elsie May Bell Grosvenor was uniquely linked to the National Geographic Society, wrote Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor in a tribute published in the July 1965 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Responding to the many messages of sympathy he received from Society members when Elsie died, the former editor of the magazine said: “It reaffirms the unique spirit of the National Geographic Society as my wife and I envisioned it together nearly seventy years ago–the spirit of a great and enduring family dedicated to knowledge and understanding.”…

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Big Cat Week video: 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 tiger around you can’t sleep. You can barely eat. You can’t do anything because all you are…

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Big Cat Week video: Ride along with a team of lion protectors

Join 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Thandiwe Mweetwa on a mission to track down lions. This carnivore conservationist has dedicated her life to preserving Africa’s disappearing lion population through scientific research, animal rescue, and community outreach. The National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative supports scientists and conservationists working to save big cats in the wild….

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Critically Endangered Sumatran tigers born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom make first public appearance

With fewer than 500 left in the wild, Sumatran tigers are very near becoming extinct in their natural environment, which is why the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) is working with groups like the Wildlife Conservation Society on its Reverse the Decline initiative to develop strategies for saving the last of these big cats. The International…

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Big Cat Week video: Warriors on a mission to help lions and humans coexist

Jeneria Lekilelei, a warrior from the Samburu tribe of Northern Kenya, has dedicated his life to wildlife conservation. In 2010 he founded Warrior Watch to encourage Samburu men to conserve lions. Since then, the local lions population has risen from 11 animals to 50. However, increased periods of drought in recent years force wildlife and…

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Cheetahs in southern Africa are closer to extinction than thought, National Geographic–supported research finds

A comprehensive assessment of cheetah populations in southern Africa supported by the National Geographic Society reveals the dire state of one of the planet’s most iconic big cats, the Society said in a news statement today. “In a study published today in the open-access journal PeerJ, researchers present evidence that low cheetah population estimates in…

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Big Cat Week video: What it takes to rescue a fierce leopard

What would you do if you came face-to-face with a 175 pound, agitated leopard? If you’re conservation power-couple Marlice and Rudie van Vuuren, you’ve been on the receiving end of such a scenario about 112 times. The National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative supports scientists and conservationists working to save big cats in the wild….

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Big Cat Week video: Helping cheetahs find a mate

You may not have had “cheetah matchmaker” featured at your high school career fair, but that’s just what Vincent van der Merwe’s business card may as well read. But trying to repopulate the highly vulnerable species can be as dangerous as it is exciting. Watch the video to see what happens when van der Merwe tries to translocate a very…

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‘Planetary Boundaries’ a flawed mechanism to safeguard Earth’s biodiversity, scientists warn

The notion that human impacts will be fine, so long as we keep them within “planetary boundaries,” is seductive but deeply flawed scientifically. Worse, though well-intentioned, it encourages harmful policies, three of the world’s leading ecologists argue in a peer-reviewed commentary published this month in Trends in Ecology & Evolution. “A critical question is how…

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About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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