Our experts enhance
Travel Experts from National Geographic
Imagine observing lions on the prowl in the Serengeti with a wildlife biologist, examining ancient ruins in Peru with an archaeologist, or shooting images in Paris alongside a celebrated National Geographic photographer. National Geographic’s travel experts; researchers, explorers, writers, and photographers have brought the world to our members for more than a hundred years. Now, our experts bring you to the planet’s most intriguing places to share their knowledge and their insights. From photography to history to marine biology, our National Geographic experts are passionate about their fields, and they enrich the expedition experience through fascinating presentations and informal discussions. Meet our featured experts below.
Meet our featured experts below
Biologist Lucy Hawkes is fascinated by the movements of a wide range of exciting animals around the planet, from deep-diving basking sharks and bluefin tuna to high-flying geese and seabirds. She uses state-of-the-art small electronic tracking devices to follow animals’ movements, researching how they can achieve athletic feats humans can only dream of. Lucy studied for her PhD in marine turtle biology in the United States and the Cape Verde Islands, and was the first to discover that turtles from the Cape Verde Islands have a very different behaviour to turtles elsewhere. She is a current grantee of the National Geographic Society, studying one of the longest distance migrations on earth–by a small seabird called an arctic tern. Lucy has a passion for sharing science with the world and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter, UK.
Marine conservationist Brad Norman is a 2008 National Geographic Emerging Explorer with more than 25 years’ experience in research and conservation programs worldwide. As the founder and lead scientist at ECOCEAN Inc., Australia’s only not-for-profit organisation dedicated to whale shark research and conservation, he undertakes work in many stunning, yet isolated locations, including the World Heritage Areas of Shark Bay and Ningaloo Reef, and the Kimberley region of Western Australia. He leads cutting-edge research on the world’s largest fish and actively involves citizen scientists in work for the long-term conservation of this endangered species. An internationally recognised marine biologist, Brad holds a BSc, Masters and PhD from Murdoch University; is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia; and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland. For his efforts on behalf of whale sharks, he was named a Laureate of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise in 2006, and his project received the Western Australia Science Awards Outreach Program of the Year 2009. He was also named a National Geographic Ocean Hero in 2010, and in 2019 received an Order of Australia for his significant contribution as marine biologist.
Spoken Languages: English
Biologist & Filmmaker
Dr. Tierney Thys is a biologist, filmmaker and Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences. Tierney was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2004, and has since received numerous grants from the National Geographic Society for a diversity of projects including satellite-tracking marine megafauna, mapping connections between nature and human wellbeing through brain imaging, and quantifying nature’s effect on incarcerated populations. Tierney has traveled to more than 60 countries and joined numerous National Geographic Expeditions—from Baja to Bali and Antarctica to the Galápagos. As past Director of Research for Sea Studios Foundation, she helped produce award-winning PBS documentaries Strange Days on Planet Earth and Shape of Life, and is now an independent filmmaker and TED All-star speaker. She frequently contributes to TED-Ed, and her film about The Secret Life of Plankton earned recognition as a Wildscreen Panda Winner. Thys also serves on the science advisory board for the innovation think tank, Think Beyond Plastic, and is passionate about sharing the wonders of the world and promoting global stewardship.
Spoken Languages: English
Ulla Lohmann is a photojournalist, filmmaker, and adventurer based in the German Alps. Having studied natural resource management, geography and climatology, she has a special interest in volcanoes and glaciers and regularly contributes to research papers, media articles, and tv documentaries. In 2000, Ulla was featured in a National Geographic magazine story covering craters on the South Pacific island of Ambrym (“Inside the Volcano”), and she continues to explore volcanoes in some of the most remote places on the planet. Lohmann was recognized as a fellow of the prestigious Explorers Club in New York in 2015. Ulla has spent extensive time with indigenous cultures in Australia, New Zealand, and across the South Pacific, as well as producing work throughout Europe. She is a regular contributor to the National Geographic Channel and National Geographic Image Collection, and she published a book about Italy’s Dolomites with National Geographic Books. Her images have also appeared in the French and German editions of National Geographic magazine, the New York Times, GEO, the Sunday Times, Paris Match, Figaro, Image & Nature, VSD, and Roadtrip.
Spoken Languages: German (Native); English (Fluent); French (Fluent); Bislama (Vanuatu) and Pidgin (New Guinea) — Fluent; Spanish (Conversational); Italian (Basic)
Paolo Verzone has been photographing the world around him for nearly 30 years, from news reporting to environmental portraiture and documentary projects. Born in Italy, Verzone spent nearly two decades living in France and is currently based in Spain. He has been traveling to the Arctic since 2014 for a long-term project documenting scientific activities in Svalbard, Greenland, and Siberia with a special focus on climate change. His work covering a former coal-mining village in Svalbard that is now a leading center of Arctic research was published in a digital story for National Geographic. Verzone is a three-time World Press Photo award winner, and his images have been featured in numerous publications, including National Geographic, Le Monde, The Independent, Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, Geo, Mare, Courrier International, and Das Magazin.
Spoken Languages: Italian (Native); English (Fluent); French (Fluent); Spanish (Basic)
Acclaimed documentary photographer Chris Rainier specialises in highlighting indigenous cultures and natural wilderness areas and seeks to use images for social change. Chris served as the last assistant for famed photographer Ansel Adams in the early 1980s, was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London, and received the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club. He also has been a National Geographic Fellow as well as co-founder of National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project and director of the All Roads Photography Program. Today he directs The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation, whose mission is to create legally protected cultural zones around the world. Rainier has been on more than 20 trips to document the wilderness, wildlife, and landscape of the “White Continent” since 1989.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); French (Basic)
Based between French Polynesia and the United States, Josh Humbert specializes in photographing marine environments and images that tell a deeper story for conservation. In 2014, Josh documented a digital story for National Geographic about the conservation thread surrounding Tahitian pearl farming. Having arrived there at the age of two, he is deeply connected to Tahitian culture and has been involved in pearl farming for over 25 years through his own family’s pearl farm in the northern Tuamotus. Humbert’s professional career began by shooting photos amid the surfing waves of Tahiti, and his ability to get close to fish on breath-hold allows him to capture unique angles and content. Josh’s images are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection and have appeared in numerous magazines and books worldwide.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); French-Tahitian Native (Fluent); Tahitian (Conversational); Spanish (Basic)
Michaela Skovranova is an Australia-based photographer specializing in nature and underwater photography. Her work has focused on capturing environmental stories in extreme environments—from photographing the Great Barrier Reef and capturing the remote wilderness and diverse wildlife of the Kimberley to documenting the annual humpback whale migration in Tonga and exploring the underwater worlds of Antarctica. Michaela has covered coral reefs and Great Barrier Reef restoration for National Geographic, and she completed the first-ever underwater live video in Australia on World Ocean’s Day 2018, as part of the National Geographic Australia ‘Planet or Plastic’ campaign focusing on the impact plastic has on the marine ecosystem. She also runs regular photography workshops across Australia and is a trained freediver and a scuba diver.
Spoken Languages: Slovakian (Native); English (Fluent); German (Basic)
National Geographic Explorer Octavio Aburto focuses his photographic outreach and scientific research on the conservation of marine habitats and commercially important species and their fisheries. His projects have included a long-term reef monitoring program in the Gulf of California, a fish biomass study in Cabo Pulmo National Park on Mexico’s Baja peninsula, and a National Geographic-funded exploration of Mexico’s last untamed river and its influence for the sustainability of nearby wetlands. In collaboration with National Geographic Pristine Seas in 2016 and 2017, Octavio also played a large role in establishing Revillagigedo National Park, which now protects five percent of Mexican seas and became the largest marine reserve in North America. Octavio earned a Ph.D. at the Center of Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), where he currently serves as an associate professor and research scientist. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and was awarded the Conservation of Nature prize by the Mexican Ministry of the Environment in 2014.
Spoken Languages: Spanish (Native); English (Fluent)
Award-winning Danish photographer Sisse Brimberg has produced more than 50 stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines over the past 40 years. Most recently, Brimberg has resided in Glasgow, Scotland for five years, and she has made over 20 trips to Svalbard since 2005. Her stories have covered a wide range of subjects, from northern Europe’s Viking culture and the influence of the Hanseatic League around Lofoten to the global flower trade and the prehistoric cave art of southwestern France. For National Geographic (Scandinavia), Sisse also photographed the Russian colony in Barentsburg, Svalbard. Brimberg enjoys teaching photography and has joined National Geographic Expeditions for the past two decades.
Spoken Languages: Danish (Native); English (Fluent)
Writer & Marine Biologist
National Geographic grantee, writer, and marine biologist Greg Stone is a leading expert on ocean science and conservation. Having served as Chief Ocean Scientist at Conservation International for a decade, he has logged more than 8,000 scuba dives throughout the world, lived underwater for 30 days, and explored the ocean in submersibles to a depth of 18,000 feet. Greg’s articles for National Geographic magazine include a September 2012 story on seamounts. He has also written several award-winning books including Underwater Eden, which chronicles a National Geographic–funded project he led to create one of the world’s largest marine protected areas surrounding the Phoenix Islands in the Pacific—work featured in the January 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine. Greg is vice-chair of the World Economic Forum Oceans.
Spoken Languages: English
Geographer, glaciologist, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and TED Fellow M Jackson studies and writes about glaciers, people, and climate change. She earned a doctorate from the University of Oregon in geography and glaciology and holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Montana. She is a U.S. Fulbright Ambassador and three-time U.S. Fulbright Scholar. M authored two books, The Secret Lives of Glaciers and While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change, which explore the complex effects of climate change on communities. She has worked for more than ten years across the Arctic guiding backcountry trips and has served as an Expert for National Geographic’s student and adult expeditions in Alaska, Iceland, and Antarctica.
Spoken Languages: Icelandic (basic)
Award-winning travel and editorial photographer Susan Seubert has photographed more than 30 feature stories for National Geographic Traveler–from Canada to the Caribbean and from Europe to Asia. Seubert’s work has been recognized by Columbia University’s Alfred Eisenstadt Award and most recently by the North American Travel Journalists Association for excellence in photography. Based in Portland, Oregon and Maui, Hawaii, Susan travels throughout the world shooting a variety of subjects and capturing a sense of place through her wide-ranging imagery. She has worked in British Columbia for National Geographic Traveler magazine and joined numerous National Geographic Expeditions over the years, from Alaska to Antarctica. Susan’s in-depth knowledge of digital technologies and her multimedia skills keep her at the cutting edge of visual storytelling.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); French (Conversational)
Contibuting editor, National Geographic Traveller
Author, travel writer, and TV host Andrew Evans has completed some 50 assignments for National Geographic, reporting live from all seven continents and more than 100 countries. For years a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine and its “Digital Nomad,” Andrew holds degrees in geography and Russian foreign policy and is fluent in Russian and French. He is the author of five books, including two bestselling guidebooks, and his award-winning memoir The Black Penguin, which the New York Times picked as one of “Summer’s Best Reads.” Andrew has received four Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers. He will share his knowledge of the geography, history, and culture of Cape Verde, the Bijagos, and the Kurils on upcoming National Geographic expeditions with Ponant.
Spoken Languages: French (fluent), Russian (fluent), Spanish (conversational), Arabic (basic), Icelandic (basic), Swahili (basic)
Born in France, Matthieu Paley has traveled all over the world for National Geographic magazine. Focusing his efforts on regions that are misrepresented, he is passionate about issues relating to diminishing cultures and the environment, as well as self-sufficient communities, be it in the mountain or in the island world. Matthieu recently relocated to Portugal after a four-month journey across the country. Over the course of his career, he has learned six languages (including Portuguese and Hindi), feeding his desire to connect with the people he meets and helping him to instill a sense of intimacy into his images. Matthieu is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2017 World Press and a Photographer of the Year International Award. His images have also appeared in numerous other magazines including Le Monde and Geo.
Spoken Languages: French (Native); English (Fluent); German (Conversational); Spanish (Conversational); Hindi/Urdu (Conversational); Turkish (Basic); Persian (Basic)
Managing Editor, National Geographic Magazine
National Geographic magazine managing editor David Brindley oversees the editorial calendar and production of National Geographic’s flagship monthly publication. David will bring the world of National Geographic to life, sharing his insights on storytelling at the iconic magazine, how articles are chosen and developed, and the ways in which the publication has evolved over his more than 15 years on staff. He will also present highlights from National Geographic’s coverage of Antarctica, including work to track the melting of the continent’s ice and what it means for our planet’s future and to document life below the surrounding sea ice. This is a rare opportunity to hear directly from, and ask questions of, the magazine’s managing editor.
Spoken Languages: Spanish (fluent), French (basic), Italian (basic)
Photographer & Videographer
Originally from Italy, Gianluca Colla has travelled and photographed around the world, from Antarctica to the Arctic, and from Africa’s deserts to the Amazon. Currently based in Switzerland, he has dedicated his life to telling meaningful stories in images. Gianluca has covered a diverse range of topics, including a lost Da Vinci painting, and hidden mummies in Sicilian crypts. His work has appeared in numerous publications, such as National Geographic magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Gianluca’s clients include Apple, Canon, and Fujifilm, and his images are represented in the National Geographic Image Collection. An international speaker and teacher, he also enjoys sharing his photo expertise with travellers on National Geographic Expeditions and lecturing at international photography events.
Spoken Languages: Italian (Native); English (Fluent); French (Fluent); Spanish (Conversational); German (Basic)
Fabio Esteban Amador is an archaeologist, photographer, and explorer and the host of a National Geographic TV series titled Mysteries of the Underworld. He specializes in aerial, terrestrial and underwater photographic technologies, visual documentation and photogrammetry, and 3D digital modelling. For ten years, he directed the National Geographic Society-Waitt grants program focusing on exploratory research, cutting-edge technologies, and proof-of-concept projects as a member of the National Geographic staff. He also joined many expeditions as a visualization specialist, photographer and videographer, with an aim to capture the process of conducting field research. His work has been published by National Geographic magazine and on National Geographic’s blogs.
Spoken Languages: Spanish (native), French (conversational), Portuguese (conversational)
In a career spanning over 40 years, Ken Garrett has photographed more than 60 feature stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines and has been involved with multiple National Geographic books and museum exhibits. Ken grew up in a world of photographers and spent his childhood travelling in Canada, Mexico, the United States. With an academic background in anthropology and investigative inquiry, Ken’s work gradually focused on his passion documenting ancient cultures and archaeological sites, as well as dramatic landscapes worldwide. He has covered subjects ranging from Meso American civilizations and Egyptian history to human evolution stories. One of his in-depth specialities, with more than a half-dozen National Geographic articles, has been reporting on the rise and fall of the Maya.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); Spanish (Conversational); French (Basic)
Editor-at-Large, National Geographic Traveller
Annie Fitzsimmons has built a career at the intersection of travel and media, most recently joining the editorial team at Virtuoso as digital editor. She has reported for years as National Geographic’s “Urban Insider,” focusing on cities, culture, and lifestyle, and was a founding member of National Geographic Traveller’s Editorial Council.
Her work has captivated global audiences, inspiring others to explore the world for themselves and she has been published in numerous publications including USA Today, Yahoo! Travel, Forbes, Travel + Leisure, CNN, Virtuoso Life, Luxury Travel Advisor, Robb Report and American Express media.
Spoken Languages: English only
Former Director of Photography National Geographic Travel
As the longtime photo editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine, Dan Westergren was responsible for the magazine’s photographic vision, which has earned the publication numerous awards. He’s been lucky to photograph amazing places for Traveler, such as the summits of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and Kilimanjaro as well as the North Pole. On one of these memorable assignments, after seven days of skiing in the cold footsteps of Fritjof Nansen and the other famous adventurers who have gone north from Svalbard, he finally stood for himself at the North Pole and felt he had personally reached out and touched the heart of exploration at the Society. Dan is an experienced teacher, having served as a photography expert for National Geographic Expeditions around the world—from Antarctica to the Arctic.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); French (Basic)
Anthropologist & linguist
Anthropologist and linguist David Harrison has been a National Geographic Fellow and co-director of the Society’s Enduring Voices Project, documenting endangered languages and cultures around the world. He has done extensive fieldwork with indigenous communities from Siberia and Mongolia to Pacific Islands, Peru, India, and Australia. His global research is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film The Linguists, and his work has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, USA Today, and Science. David is both a professor of linguistics and associate provost for academic programs at Swarthmore College.
Spoken Languages: French (basic), Spanish (basic), Russian (fluent), Polish (fluent), plus a number of small and endangered languages
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jay Dickman has travelled to all seven continents throughout his 40-year career and covered topics as diverse as the Olympics, national political conventions, and the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Among his more than 25 assignments for the National Geographic Society, he has spent a week under the Arctic ice in a nuclear attack sub as well as lived for three months in a Stone Age village in Papua New Guinea, where he documented a remote section of the rainforest and the issues involved with preserving or selling off huge forest tracts. A popular photography instructor, he has also published a best-selling guide called Perfect Digital Photography, as well as numerous articles for National Geographic, Time, and Forbes.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); Spanish (Basic or lower)
Author & photographer
Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988 and served as editor until 2004, when he stepped down to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written more than a dozen stories for National Geographic magazine since 2000, including four on New Zealand. He writes mostly about natural history subjects and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh, from the rainforests of Fiordland to the coral reefs of Arabia. “The islands of the Seychelles and New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands are close to my heart,” Kennedy writes, “as is my beloved Fiordland.”
Spoken Languages: French (basic)
Award-winning Australian photographer Jason Edwards has been at the forefront of wildlife and environmental photography since beginning his career at the Royal Melbourne Zoo over three decades ago. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications, including National Geographic magazine, BBC Wildlife, Australian Geographic, New York Times, and Condé Nast Traveler; as well as science education books, environmental campaigns, and Hollywood blockbusters. As the face of the National Geographic Channel’s Pure Photography, he has taken his storytelling to every continent. Jason is also an associate fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a two-time winner of the Eureka Prize for Science Photography, and winner of the Australian Geographic Society’s Pursuit of Excellence Award.
Spoken Languages: English – Australian (Native); Spanish (Basic or lower)
National Geographic grantee Victoria Herrmann works with coastal communities in polar regions on climate change adaptation. As lead researcher for the America’s Eroding Edges project, she spent two years traveling and interviewing 350 local leaders to identify what’s needed most to safeguard coastal communities against the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Her current project seeks to safeguard cultural heritage by connecting national expertise to some of the 13 million Americans at risk of being displaced due to sea level rise. Victoria is also the president and managing director of The Arctic Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Arctic security research. She teaches sustainability management at American University; science communication at the University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland; and public speaking at National Geographic Sciencetelling Bootcamps.
Spoken Languages: English
Dutch photographer Jasper Doest specializes in conservation issues and wildlife photography, emphasizing the beauty and fragility of our planet. After an ecology major specializing in Arctic ecosystems, Jasper decided to become a photographer in order to bridge the gap between the human and the natural world. As a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, his photographs have received multiple awards and appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic, GEO, and Smithsonian. Jasper’s photographs of Japanese macaques, popularly known as “snow monkeys,” received recognition in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and appeared in the October 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine. Doest recently received a World Press Photo award for the continuation of his work in Japan.
Spoken Languages: Dutch (Native); English (Fluent); French (Basic); German (Basic); Japanese (Basic)
Award-winning photographer Tyrone Turner has produced stories for National Geographic magazine on a wide range of subjects, including New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, and the Gulf Oil Spill; Brazil’s maroon people, the quilombos; and energy efficiency and conservation. He has been named a Best of Photojournalism award-winner by the National Press Photographer’s Association and also earned recognition from the Pictures of the Year competition. Turner has joined National Geographic Expeditions for a number of years, including a trip along the Atlantic coast of South America, and lived in Recife and Salvador in northeastern Brazil for two years. Tyrone enjoys sharing his passion for photography and has also taught at National Geographic Photo Camps for youth from underserved regions of the United States and around the world.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); Portuguese (Conversational); Spanish (Conversational/Basic)
Editor, Biologist & Publisher
A 28-year veteran of the National Geographic Society, Rob Hernandez began as a senior editor for National Geographic magazine and later founded its International Publishing division, which publishes magazines, books, and other media in more than 35 languages. Raised in Cuba and Spain, Rob spent his early career doing ecological field research and documenting the wildlife and culture of the world’s more remote places. He filmed a television special on lions in Namibia, explored the wilderness of New Guinea, journeyed to rarely visited corners of South America, and circumnavigated the Indian and Pacific Oceans in a small sailboat for two years.
Spoken Languages: Spanish (native), French (conversational), Portuguese (basic)
Photographer & Filmmaker
Stephen Alvarez is an award-winning National Geographic photographer and filmmaker who produces global stories about exploration, adventure, culture and archaeology.
His work has won awards in Pictures of the Year International and Communication Arts, and have been exhibited at Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan, France. For the past two years, he photographed the Seven Natural Wonders of the World with Microsoft Smartphones and is also a frequent consultant and commenter on how new photographic technology is changing the world. Stephen’s work has featured in over a dozen feature stories for National Geographic magazine.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); Spanish (Basic or lower)
David Scott Silverberg
Conservationist, Geologist & Geographer
Geologist and geographer David Scott Silverberg works on conservation projects spanning six continents. His mix of exploration, research, and storytelling has been popular with National Geographic travelers for many years. A fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Asia Society, David was the executive science director at Earthwatch Institute, set up and managed Boston University environmental field research programs in British Columbia and eastern Africa, and was a founding White House staff member for AmeriCorps. With a home in Norway and frequent travels in the far north, David will share his expertise in the geography, history, cultures, and wildlife of the North Atlantic and the Arctic on this expedition.
Spoken Languages: English
Robert Kunzig is senior environment editor at National Geographic magazine, where he focuses on global environmental issues such as climate change and its effects on glaciers and ice shelves in Antarctica and elsewhere. He has been a science journalist for more than 30 years, and his magazine articles have appeared many times in the Best American Science and Nature Writing. He has also written two books: Fixing Climate (with Wallace Broecker) and Mapping the Deep, a book about oceanography, which won the Aventis/Royal Society prize as science book of the year in 2001. Robert discussed the dramatic acceleration in the loss of ice from Antarctica’s ice shelves in a recent PBS News Hour appearance.
Spoken Languages: French (fluent), German (fluent)
One of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, Annie Griffiths has photographed in nearly 150 countries during her illustrious career. She has worked on dozens of magazine and book projects for National Geographic, including stories on Fiordland National Park in New Zealand, Lawrence of Arabia, Petra, Jerusalem, and Sydney. Annie has published four books, and has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the National Organization of Women, and the White House News Photographers Association. She is also deeply committed to photographing for aid organizations around the world. Griffiths is the Founder and Executive Director of Ripple Effect Images, a non-profit which harnesses the power of visual storytelling to help scale solutions for women and girls globally.
Spoken Languages: English (Native)
Valerie Craig is the Vice President of Operating Programs and Deputy to the Chief Scientist at the National Geographic Society. She works with the Chief Scientist to pace and drive the development, analysis, and implementation of priorities, partnerships, and operational needs across science and exploration teams, including Grants, Operating Programs, National Geographic Labs, Explorer Programs, and Global Initiatives. Over her years with the Geographic, she has overseen projects aimed at marine conservation and the mitigation of the illegal wildlife trade. Valerie will speak about the National Geographic Society’s efforts to protect many of the most pristine places in the world’s oceans and to document and understand the effects of climate change in the Southern Ocean and elsewhere on our planet.
Spoken Languages: English
Jan Nijman is a distinguished University Professor in geosciences and Director of the Urban Studies Institute at Georgia State University. He has been a member of National Geographic’s Committee for Research & Exploration and as Chair of the Society’s Global Exploration Fund in Europe for over 15 years.
His expertise lies within urban and regional development and the history of world cities. Jan is a published author, with five books and hundreds of other publications and has received countless awards including the Nystrom Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Jack Daulton is a popular lecturer on the cultural history of non-Western civilizations. His work predominantly focuses on the art and architecture of Asia, Africa and the study of religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
Jack is furthermore an attorney, focusing on international law relating to the preservation and conservation of the world’s cultural heritage. In a widely reported 1995 federal case, Jack recovered a thousand-year-old sculpture that had been stolen from a temple in Southeast Asia.
Jeremy Sabloff is an archaeologist and member of the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration. He is a former president and currently an external professor at the Sante Fe Institute.
Jeremy’s principal scholarly interests include ancient Maya civilization, pre-industrial urbanism, settlement pattern studies, archaeological theory and method, the history of archaeology, and the relevance of archaeology in the modern world. Jeremy is the author, co-author, or editor of numerous books, and has published more than 130 articles, book chapters, and reviews. Jeremy furthermore has a wealth of accolades to his name.
Anthropologist Richard Hansen directs the National Geographic-funded Mirador Basin Project in northern Guatemala. An adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, Richard was named the 2008 Environmentalist of the Year in Latin America by the Latin Trade Group, a major regional publisher. The president of Guatemala has also awarded him the country’s National Order of the Cultural Patrimony.
Richard is a founder of the Geographic’s Dialogue of Civilizations conference and appeared in the Society’s Dawn of the Maya documentary.
Archaeologist & Educator
National Geographic Explorer William Saturno is an archaeologist specialising in early civilisation.
He has received numerous grants from the Society to support his ongoing excavations of ancient Maya murals in Guatemala. His breakthrough discovery at San Bartolo of the oldest intact Maya murals yet found became the focus of the National Geographic magazine articles “The Sistine Chapel of the Early Maya” in December 2003 and “The Dawn of Maya Gods and Kings” in January 2006. He has taught university courses that encompass major archaeological and historical sites all over the world.
Editor & Writer
Peter has been a writer and editor for National Geographic Magazine since 2013, having covered a range of topics from pirates in the Malacca Straits to the lost Timbuktu manuscripts, ship-breakers in Bangladesh, and traditional Chinese medicine.
He has received research grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Green Park Foundation in London for his work in Africa’s Sahara and Sahel regions. In 2012 he was awarded the Overseas Press Club’s 2012 Whitman Bassow Award for best Environmental Reporting for his work on the rhino poaching crisis and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to trace the history of ageing kung fu masters in China’s Song Mountains.
Editor & Author
George W. Stone has been a National Geographic Traveller writer and editor for over 18 years.
He has written and edited award-winning articles, developed print and digital feature platforms that have extended the magazine’s reach to new audiences, and advanced the magazine’s mission to empower readers to explore the world with insight and energy.
National Geographic Explorer and zoologist Kristifer Helgen specialises in research expeditions to remote areas on every continent in his search for undiscovered species. He is a professor of biological sciences at the University of Adelaide and during his expeditions has identified over 100 new mammal species and documented viable populations of animals previously thought to be in major decline or even extinct.
Conservationist & Biologist
Steve Boyes is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, dedicated to preserving Africa’s wilderness and native species.
Steve spent five years in the Okavango Delta doing fieldwork for his doctorate in zoology, he currently runs the Cape Parrot Project with support from National Geographic’s Conservation Trust. His work takes him all over Africa, studying wildlife rehabilitation and biodiversity, fighting the wild-caught bird trade, and planting thousands of trees in forest restoration projects. He furthermore recently completed a National Geographic-sponsored expedition across the Okavango Delta to promote broader protection for the watershed and its wildlife.
Medical Anthropologist Carroll Dunham has a keen interest in environmental conservation issues regarding sacred spaces of South Asia and the feminine divine in South Asian history and culture.
She has produced more than a dozen films for National Geographic, PBS, the BBC, and others on subjects ranging from Living Goddesses to polyandry, nomadism, and geology and is the author of four books.
Oceanographer & Marine Geologist
National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Bob Ballard is best known for his discoveries of contemporary and ancient shipwrecks around the world, most notably the sunken R.M.S. Titanic and President Kennedy’s PT-109.
Bob has conducted more than 150 deep-sea expeditions using the latest in exploration technology and spends a great deal of his time involved in various educational outreach programs. He has received prestigious awards from the Explorers Club and the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Medal and the Hubbard Medal, respectively—as well as the Lindbergh Award from the Lindbergh Foundation.
Writer, traveller, and broadcaster, Tim Jepson has been exploring since the age of 12.
After graduating from Oxford University, he lived and worked in Italy, writing for a variety of British newspapers and leading high-level expeditions in the country’s remotest corners. He has since written more than 20 books, including several titles for National Geographic, and numerous articles for publications worldwide. Tim worked as a travel editor for London’s Daily Telegraph and continues to travel extensively, with a passion for the farthest-flung destinations and the untrammelled cultures of Bhutan, Laos, Tibet, and Myanmar. He recently completed The British World: An Illustrated Atlas for National Geographic.
Multi award-winning photographer, Nevada Wier specialises in documenting the remote corners and cultures of the world. Having visited many of the planet’s deserts, mountains, and urban jungles, and more than 100 countries across the globe, her work has appeared in National Geographic and National Geographic Traveller magazines, as well as Geo, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Smithsonian, and numerous other publications.
Wier is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club and a member of the Women’s Geographic Society.
Photographer, filmmaker, writer and explorer for National Geographic. Having travelled to over 100 countries, Ami focuses her work on the most compelling wildlife and environmental stories.
Having covered a range of issues including human-elephant conflict and poaching in East Africa she has been the recipient of many awards including Magazine Photographer of the Year from the National Press Photographer’s Association, the Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism and is the 6-time recipient of World Press Photo recognition, including 1st Prize for her 2017 National Geographic magazine story about elephants and 1st Prize the year before for her National Geographic work with giant pandas.
David Doubilet & Jen Hayes
Underwater photographers David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes are married partners who work together as a team to produce National Geographic stories from equatorial coral reefs to beneath the polar ice. David estimates he has spent nearly half his life in the sea since taking his first underwater photograph at the age of 12.
Between them, Jennifer and David have photographed and explored the ocean depths in such places as New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Tasmania, French Polynesia, Scotland, Greenland, and Antarctica. David has photographed stingrays, sponges, and sleeping sharks in the Caribbean, as well as shipwrecks in the South Pacific, the Atlantic, and at Pearl Harbor. He has produced more than 70 stories for National Geographic magazine and several books and has received the Explorers Club’s prestigious Lowell Thomas Award and the Lennart Nilsson Award in Photography.
Susan Goldberg has been the Editor-in-Chief for National Geographic Magazine for over five years and is furthermore the Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners. Under Susan’s leadership, National Geographic Magazine has won a wealth of accolades and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.
She was voted one of Washington’s 11 most influential women in the media by the Washington Post in 2013 and in 2017 she was named one of the most powerful women in Washington.
Award-winning photographer Michael Melford has produced more than 50 stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines over the past 30 years. His assignments have focused on conservation, preservation, and celebrating the beauty of wilderness and national parks around the world. Melford has traveled to numerous countries and all seven continents—from Antarctica to Alaska and from New Zealand to the Seychelles. He also has produced photography for multiple National Geographic books, and is featured in online video courses from National Geographic and The Great Courses (National Geographic Masters of Photography and The National Geographic Guide to Landscape Photography). Michael’s work has garnered prestigious honors, including the Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Photography and recognition from World Press Photo.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); German (Basic)