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10,000 Strong

In this post, reprinted from the pages of the January 2011 National Geographic magazine, meet our 1st and 10,000th grantees, Israel Cook Russell and Krithi Karanth.

Over the past 122 years National Geographic has supported research by scientists and explorers from 111 countries, including oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, polar explorer Robert E. Peary, and primatologist Jane Goodall. Some 40 percent of all grant recipients are international, and a new program geared toward northern European scientists means this percentage will rise. Although the earliest society grantees explored for exploration’s sake, many today look for ways humanity can improve its role in the natural world.

Below are photographs of Israel Cook Russell and Krithi Karanth, two amazing explorers that bookend National Geographic’s 10,000 Grant celebration.


1st Grant: Israel Cook Russell Year: 1890 Location: United States Project: Explore and map 18.008-foot Mount St. Elias, the second highest peak in the United States. Alaska's Russell Fjord is named for him.


10,000th Grant: Krithi Karanth Year: 2011 Location: India Project: Assess and help mitigate the effects of human-wildlife conflict on farmers, livestock, and crops.


Want to know more? Check out more news on Krithi’s selection as NG’s 10,000th Grantee.

Want to know even MORE? Learn about NG’s Top Ten Greatest Discoveries.