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Carolyn Barnwell

of National Geographic

Carolyn Barnwell has been a producer on the Science and Exploration Media team at National Geographic for over five years. She creates content to support the non-profit National Geographic Society including impact initiatives and the important work of explorers and grantees around the globe. She wrote, produced and edited for Nat Geo’s first-ever web series focused on explorers in the field: Expedition Raw and Best Job Ever. She loves yin yoga, wildlife encounters, and eating baked goods while they are still warm from the oven.

Threads That Speak: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Inca

One of the great mysteries of ancient Peru is that the Inca did not have a system of writing, but communicated with a system of strings tied with knots. For the first time, centuries-old knotted textile accounting records known as quipus were found buried with well-preserved organic material. They were found at the archaeological site of Incahuasi, the base of operations for the Inca expansion along Peru’s southern coast.

Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Is Saving this Important Archaeological Site

Pachacamac is one of the longest inhabited ancient settlements in the Americas. An important religious center, the vast complex is today just 30 miles outside of the Lima, the most populous city in Peru. As a result, Pachacamac faces the threat of invasion and exploitation. Creating business opportunities and related education opportunities for the community encourages the local people to take ownership of the site and protect it from destruction. Through efforts with the Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI), the community now builds futures and saves pasts for its residents.

This Peruvian Beach Town Has 3,500 Years of Cultural Continuity

Archaeologist and National Geographic explorer Gabriel Prieto returned to his hometown of Huanchaco, Peru to tell the story of its 3,500 years of cultural continuity and involve the local community in discovering their past.

How 3-D Imaging Helps Archaeologists Preserve the Past

Archaeologist and National Geographic explorer Luis Jaime Castillo and archaeologist Carlos Wester are determined to protect the cultural heritage at the pyramid complex of Chotuna-Chornancap, which was built by the Sicán, or Lambayeque, over a thousand years ago on the north coast of Peru. Using photography to produce 3-D models of the excavations and where water damage might occur allows them to help preserve the sites.

High-Resolution Satellite Imagery at the World’s Fingertips

A little over a hundred years ago, American explorer Hiram Bingham captured the world’s attention when his account of his expedition to Peru made the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1913. Relying on local knowledge, he visited the crumbling ruins of Machu Picchu tucked in the forests of the Andes Mountains. He used state-of-the-art…

Transforming Haiti With An Endless Local Resource

Everyone poops. But who wants to actually deal with it? Ecologist Sasha Kramer literally works with poop and thinks about it every day. She is helping to transform human waste into fertile organic compost for agricultural use in Haiti.

Bison Hunting on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

By Sharon Pieczenik At first glance, explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli might seem like your cliché New Yorker: brash, assertive, an avid talker, and someone who might think that New York City is the center of the universe. However, while Chris may carry that NYC veneer, he is also a dynamic young man…

Best Job Ever: Hunting for the Bones of a Loch Ness-Like Monster

Aubrey Jane Roberts is a National Geographic Young Explorers grantee and a professional dinosaur hunter (aka paleontologist).

Kayakers Explore Alaska’s Newly Revealed Class V Gorge

Imagine being dropped off by a tiny bush plane into a remote wilderness, knowing you are about to brave the biggest challenge you have ever faced. Todd Wells did just that when he led an exploratory kayaking expedition into the heart of the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska. He and his team members were only able…

Filming a Time-Lapse of a Dolphin Carcass on the Seafloor Is No Easy Task

Learn how marine biologist Eddie Kisfaludy filmed the first long-term, time-lapse video of a dolphin carcass on the seafloor.

Capsized by a Hippo on the Okavango Expedition

Steve Boyes and Giles Trevethick were paddling down the Cuito River in Angola when a huge hippo capsized their canoe—leading to the swim of their lives.

Would You Walk Into a Room With Millions of Bees?

Explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli visited rural Uganda to do a cultural exchange with small-scale farmers. He decided to face his fear of bees by going right into an apiary filled with venomous bees.

Best Job Ever: Mapping “California’s Galápagos”

Cartographers and National Geographic grantees Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue traveled to the little-known Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to document the scientists who live there and to create an interactive digital map to allow the public to explore the islands from afar. The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is closed to public access to protect this…

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…

Best Job Ever: Lion First Responder Team

Paola Bouley is on call as a first responder for lions in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. She is a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee and the director and co-founder of Projecto Leões da Gorongosa. It’s the first ever lion research project in the history of the park. Bouley and her team work to…