VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


David Maxwell Braun

of National Geographic Society

David Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Now in its fourth year, the Fellowship has drawn more than 1,000 applications from Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience.

Braun's earlier career at National Geographic included two years as Public Affairs Editor and 14 years as founding editor of National Geographic News. As Vice President and Editor in Chief of Digital Media (2007-2014), he was responsible for news, science, environment, home page, editorial services, blogging, newsletters, daily app, and sponsored content. He was the principal digital executive for planning and managing consolidation of digital media with the magazine in 2012.

He served on the National Geographic Expeditions Council, Editorial Council, and as a media representative to the Committee for Research and Exploration, Conservation Trust, and Big Cats Initiative. He was the senior editor responsible for the Great Energy Challenge (2011-2015). He edited the best-seller “Tales of the Weird: Unbelievable True Stories” (NG Books, Oct. 2012). He was a National Geographic Bee preliminary final round moderator for six years and a regular guest on the Nat Geo Weekend radio show.

Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn

National Parks on Bucket List for 4 out of 5 Americans This Year

According to a recent AAA survey, 79 percent of Americans say they are as likely (42 percent) or more likely (37 percent) to visit a national park in the next 12 months. America’s “best idea,” the National Parks have never been more popular than they are today, when the U.S. National Park Service celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding.

1,075-Year-Old Pine Named ‘Adonis’ Is Europe’s Oldest-Known Living Tree

A Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) growing in the highlands of northern Greece has been dendrocronologically dated to be more than 1,075 years old, says a team of scientists from Stockholm University (Sweden), the University of Mainz (Germany) and the University of Arizona (USA). This makes it currently the oldest-known living tree in Europe.

Stanford scientists combine satellite data and machine learning to map poverty

Researchers correctly identified impoverished areas across five African countries by using machine learning to extract information from high-resolution satellite imagery, Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences say in a news statement. “One of the biggest challenges in providing relief to people living in poverty is locating them,” the release states. “The availability of accurate…

Same-sex Pairing may Give Male Termites an Evolutionary Advantage, Japanese Researchers Suggest

Male Japanese termites form homosexual couples when no females are around — and when the chance arises, they take over a heterosexual couple’s nest and kill the male so that one of them can mate with the now spouseless female, scientists from Kyoto University reported in a study published this week in the research journal Animal Behaviour. The…

In this interactive, see how soon in your lifetime iconic animals may be gone

Scientists say we’re in the middle of the sixth great extinction, and this one, unlike those that happened millions of years ago, is driven largely by the activities of humans. “So we decided to put together an interactive piece of content where a user can enter their age and find out how soon in their…

Chemtrails Spreading Poison in the Sky: No Such Thing, Scientists Say

A secret, elite-driven plot to release harmful chemicals into the air from high-flying aircraft does not exist, the world’s leading atmospheric scientists state in the first peer-reviewed journal paper to address the “chemtrails” conspiracy theory.

Extinction Closing in on Hundreds of Species in Dwindling Asian Forests, Duke Study Finds

Four out of ten species native to Southeast Asia’s natural forests face a much higher risk of extinction from habitat loss than previously thought, a Duke University-led study has determined. They are threatened by ongoing clearing of their forest for land that is converted into plantations for growing oil palm, rubber and other tree crops.

Camera CATalogue: Help Cat Conservation Without Going to Africa

A new wildlife photo website that Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, launched recently is called Camera CATalogue. “We’ve launched this with our partners at Zooniverse as a platform that houses tens of thousands of Panthera’s camera trap photos and engages with citizen scientists and wildlife lovers around the world, asking that they help identify the big cats and other fascinating animals pictured in these photos,” says Ross Pitman, Leopard Monitoring Coordinator for Panthera. “The idea is that the more we know about the number of big cats and their prey populations, where they live and roam, and how our efforts are helping to protect them using these images, the better.”

Earth Overshoot Day Arrives Earlier Than Ever

Earth Overshoot Day 2016: August 8

As of today, we humans have used as much from nature in 2016 as our planet can renew in a whole year. Nothing will seem to change for many of us between today and tomorrow, but collectively we are draining Earth’s capacity to provide. Overshoot Day is a red light warning of trouble ahead — and it is flashing five days earlier than it did last year (Aug. 13); eleven days earlier than the year before (Aug.19).

Sylvia Earle Revisits Hawaii’s Deep Frontier

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle just completed three of the four days of Pisces submersible time in Hawaiian waters, funded by a National Geographic Society grant awarded in July. Another dive is planned for early September. “The research goals included working with deep coral and fish experts Dr. Frank Parrish and Dr. Richard Pyle to…

Earth’s ‘Annual Physical’ Lists Symptoms of a Hotter World

Our living planet is developing symptoms of a fever, as shown in the growing impact of global warming on Earth’s ecosystems. Read the highlights and view the maps and charts that collect the measurements and observations of more than 450 scientists in 62 countries. Arm yourself with the facts of our world’s rapidly changing geography.

Good News on #TigerDay: Tiger Population Rebounds in Parsa, Nepal

The tiger population of Nepal’s Parsa Wildlife Reserve has increased markedly, according to a camera trap study released on International Tiger Day (today) by Panthera and the the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The Government of Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Panthera, the global wild cat…

CITES Conference Will Test Commitment of Governments to Save Tigers, EIA Says

The 17th Conference of the Parties to CITES in Johannesburg at the end of September is the perfect opportunity for China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam to announce real action to end demand for tiger parts and products, Debbie Banks, leader of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) Tiger Campaign, said in a statement released in observance of Global Tiger Day…

Global Tiger Day: 45 NGOs Call for End to Tiger Farming, Trade

On Global Tiger Day #TigerDay this year, 45 NGOs are raising the alarm of increasing tiger poaching and call for ending all tiger farming and tiger trade

Research Brief: Red Wolves Are Recent Hybrids of Gray Wolves and Coyotes

By Virginia Morell A study of the complete genomes of 28 canids reveals that despite differences in body size and behavior, North American gray wolves and coyotes are far more closely related than previously believed, and only recently split into two lineages. Furthermore, the endangered red and eastern wolves are not unique lineages with distinct evolutionary…