women of exploration

The Mekong River is the 12th longest river in the world and the third most biodiverse river in terms of fish next to the Amazon and the Congo. It boasts the world’s largest inland fishery, providing food and livelihood for millions of people. It is a transboundary river that runs through six countries: China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and supports hundreds of extraordinary species –- from birds to mammals, reptiles, and fish. It is also important habitat and the last remaining stronghold for species at the brink of extinction, including the giant freshwater stingray, giant ibis, Siamese crocodile, and the Mekong giant catfish. Since it is a transboundary river, there is a need for people to work together for the effective conservation and management of the river ecosystem.

As part of National Geographic’s Mentorship Program, I had the chance to participate in a Workshop on Saving Species on the Edge of Extinction, co-organized by my mentor, Dr. Zeb Hogan. The workshop was part of the USAID-funded Wonders of the Mekong project, a joint initiative that seeks to understand and share the value of the Mekong River ecosystem….

Changing Planet

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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. …

Human Journey

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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….

Wildlife

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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…

Wildlife

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For more than half a century, Jane Goodall has been a researcher, conservationist and champion for one of the world’s most enigmatic primates, the chimpanzee. She started her career in 1960 in what is today Tanzania, and through painstaking observation and detailed recording of what she saw, opened new windows on the behavior of one…

Wildlife

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Sarah Parcak is a space archaeologist. And, with National Geographic’s help, she wants you to be one, too. An Egyptologist by training (that’s the “archaeologist” part of her title), Parcak uses satellite imagery (there’s the “space” part) to uncover clues about ancient sites possibly hidden in vegetation and land-use patterns. Processing satellite images in near-infrared…

Human Journey

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Oceanographer Sylvia Earle is probably more at home under the sea than she is on dry land. At least, that’s where this National Geographic Explorer in Residence has made her biggest impact as a scientist and storyteller. Called by Time Magazine a “Hero for the Planet”, Earle has been featured in numerous National Geographic articles,…

Human Journey

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Shivani Bhalla is a scientist and explorer working with National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative and Kenya’s Samburu communities to reduce livestock loss to carnivores. In particular, Bhalla monitors the movement and health of Kenya’s 2,000 remaining lions—lions that live both inside and outside protected areas. Despite being one of the continent’s most iconic species, lion…

Wildlife

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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.”…

Human Journey

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Generations of women have explored our world with the National Geographic Society, and three generations of women explorers from the Leakey family have brought the history of the world to our community. In 1978, Mary Leakey and her team left a lasting impression on the world of paleoanthropology when they discovered the “Laetoli Footprints,” trace…

Human Journey

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Eliza Scidmore’s writings impressed the scientists and other eminent men who founded the National Geographic Society in 1888. Two years after she joined in 1890, they elected her corresponding secretary, making her the first woman on the Society’s board. A contributing writer and editor of National Geographic magazine for two decades, her article “Young Japan” in the July 1914 issue was probably the first time a woman had photographs in National Geographic. Captivated by the beauty of cherry blossoms the first time she went to Japan, in 1885, she carried home an idea that indelibly shaped the public landscape of the U.S. capital: the flowering cherry trees that bloom every spring in Potomac Park, attracting more than a million visitors each year….

Human Journey

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