VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


The legend of Babakoto

Safina Center Fellow Ben Mirin travels to the rainforests of Andasibe, Madagascar, and learns the legend of Babakoto…the indri lemur.

Life on the Shore-Based Team: the Other Half of a Telepresence Expedition

Half the scientists are on the ship, half are in a high-tech command center on land. Which is more fun? Well that depends …

How One U.S. Zoo is Supporting African Wildlife Conservation

Despite the sensation of  tough gravel, I never expected a rhinoceros to feel so soft around the back of the ears and mouth.  Staff at the Seneca Park Zoological Society in Rochester, New York had graciously allowed me to come face to face with Bill, the resident southern white rhinoceros who, funnily enough, was more interested in being petted…

Alaskans Eat Fish—Lots of It!—So Let’s Keep Their Waters Clean

The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund aims to protect the last wild places in the ocean while facilitating conservation, research, education, and community development programs in the places we explore. This blog entry spotlights some of the exciting work our grantees are doing with support from the LEX-NG Fund. We all know that eating fish…

A week to Change: Phoenix Zoo and Jane Goodall Institute Join Forces to Improve Animal Welfare Around the World

BACKGROUND: In 2012, in partnership with The Jane Goodall Institute, the Phoenix Zoo created a unique position to promote international animal welfare. Hilda Tresz, the Behavioral Enrichment and International Animal Welfare Coordinator, is responsible for developing and overseeing the Zoo’s Behavioral Enrichment program, but also extends her work beyond the Zoo through an international role of…

Watch a Filmmaker’s Painted Portrayal of Istanbul: Filmmaker Q&A with Justin Heaney

Digital content creator Justin Heaney applies a popular filter over his short film to create a Prisma-inspired animation. This short highlights the colors and shapes of Istanbul, Turkey—with a touch of modernity. I spoke with Justin about what went into creating this unique look. What inspired your trip to Istanbul? I was inspired by the…

Translating Survey Findings Into Effective Elephant Protection Results

The Great Elephant Census showed that important elephant populations persist in several key range areas that historically supported large numbers of elephants – so there is still much to fight for in the battle to save Africa’s elephants. Fortunately, there are some signs of hope – both in sites covered by the GEC and other elephant sites.

At the Jersey Shore, Signs of a Comet, and a Climate Crisis

In a new study, scientists say they have found evidence along the New Jersey coast that an extraterrestrial object hit the earth at the same time a mysterious release of carbon dioxide suddenly warmed the planet, some 55.6 million years ago. The warm period, known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), is often cited as…

Introducing Sentry, Our Autonomous Secret Weapon on the Seafloor

Say hello to a powerful new mapping and imaging platform dressed in sleek yellow fiberglass sharing deck space with Alvin, the newly refurbished human-occupied sub with a long history of transformative discovery.

One Snow Leopard’s Journey

In honor of International Snow Leopard Day, I wanted to share the story of one snow leopard in particular, Shirin, and her incredible journey. Last winter, I received one of those phone calls that never fail to make me tear up: a snow leopard had been illegally captured and sold in the eastern Pamirs of…

Justice for Rhinos—When Will It Come?

Nothing prepared me for the venom in his eyes. While not directed at me, nobody in the courtroom could escape the anger seeping from his pores. Through a twist of fate, I was in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), a province on the eastern coast of South Africa, on September 19, the day the trial of a suspected…

Exploring New England’s Recently Discovered Methane Seeps

This is an ambitious expedition, even by the carpe-diem, plan-each-dive-as-if-it’s-your-last standards of seagoing science.

Anja on fire

Safina Center Fellow Ben Mirin travels to Anja, Madagascar, to record wild soundscapes. While there he finds a community grappling with how to balance protecting nature with making a living.

How Borders Can Cross the Line on Caring for the Environment

Set up for political and cultural reasons, human borders can have a major effect on many more things, especially the environment.

Slovenia: A “Green Destination” of Many Hues

Making places wonderful to visit involves a lot more than recycling bins, and Slovenia is showing the way. But does the term “green destination” convey such a holistic approach? For some people it does, but others may see it as just an environmental selling point. In that case, both the traveler and the destination risk missing out.