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David Maxwell Braun

of National Geographic Society

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media.

Assignments in 80 countries/territories included visits to a secret rebel base in Angola, Sahrawi camps in Algeria, and Wayana villages in the remote Amazon. Braun traveled with Nelson Mandela on the liberation leader's Freedom Tour of North America, accompanied President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton to their foundation's projects in four African countries and Mexico, covered African peace talks chaired by Fidel Castro in Havana and Boutros Boutros-Ghali in Cairo, and collaborated with Angelina Jolie at World Refugee Day events in Washington, D.C. As a member of the National Geographic Expeditions Council, and media representative to the Society's Committee for Research and Exploration, he joined researchers on field inspections in many parts of the world.

Braun has been a longtime member/executive of journalist guilds, press clubs, and professional groups, including the National Press Club (Washington) and editorial committee of the Online Publishers Association. He served as WMA Magazine of the Year Awards judge (2010-2012), advisory board member of Children's Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest (2012), and multimedia/communications affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers (2015-2016).

National Geographic Career (1997-Present)

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 10,000 conversations have been posted, eliciting more than 50,000 moderated comments from readers.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Now in its fourth year, the Fellowship has drawn hundreds of 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.

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Discovery of breeding area for rare blue-throated macaw raises hopes for survival in the wild

Blue-throated Macaw has been devastated in the past by the illegal pet trade, habitat loss, and feather use for traditional dances, among other threats. Only 250 to 300 of these birds remain in the wild. But the discovery of a new breeding area for the bird in Bolivia is a major step toward ensuring full protection for the species, American Bird Conservancy said.

National Geographic Photo Ark Spotlight: Lynx

All four species of lynx have been photographed for the National Geographic Photo Ark project, where they act as ambassadors for an extraordinary medium-size wild cat found across much of the Northern Hemisphere, where they all prey primarily on rabbits. They share more than a preference for rabbit; all of them are challenged by habitat-loss due to human development and climate change.

Will Africa’s Big Five become extinct in the wild?

On World Wildlife Day 2017, a reflection and celebration in photography from the National Geographic Photo Ark of Africa’s Big Five: Lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo. A century ago these species were among the millions of wild animals roaming Africa. But now their numbers are dwindling, leaving us to wonder if a hundred years from now they will be extinct in the wild.

Are We the Last Generation to See Polar Bears in the Wild?

Take a moment this International Polar Bear Day (February 27, #polarbearday) to reflect on this incredible species and how we stand to lose it in the wild by the end of this century.

More than 80 percent of Gabon’s Rare Forest Elephant Species Taken by Poachers

More horrendous news for the beleaguered elephant: Forest elephants, a sub-species of elephant living in an area that had been considered a sanctuary in the Central African country of Gabon, are rapidly being picked off by illegal poachers, who are primarily coming from the bordering country of Cameroon. More than 80 percent have been taken in a decade–a loss of about 25,000 elephants– Duke University researchers report in the February 20 issue of Current Biology.

The “Goldilocks” Sparrow That’s Shielding the Everglades

How did the little-known Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), a somewhat drab bird found in the wild only at the southern tip of the Everglades National Park, become the pivot in a raging debate about the role of Endangered Species in the protection of wild land?

#WorldPangolinDay 2017 Observed With a Portrait From National Geographic Photo Ark

It is estimated that more than a million pangolins have been snatched from the wild in the past decade, according to the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, an organization leading efforts to save these scaly, ant-eating mammals from poaching and illegal trade. That might just make the pangolin the most trafficked animal in the world, and…

Lovebirds for Valentine’s Day

To all you lovebirds out there, Happy Valentine’s Day! As a gift for you and your special other, here are some of our favorite bird photos from the National Geographic Photo Ark, including a couple of real lovebirds.

National Geographic Photo Ark Celebrates Year of the Rooster With Photo Portrait of the Red Junglefowl

Photo Ark,poultry,red junglefowl,endangered species,Joel Sartore

Groundhog Day 2017 Celebrated With a Portrait From the National Geographic Photo Ark

February 2, 2017 (Groundhog Day)–By tradition today is when the groundhog (aka woodchuck or whistle-pig) awakes from its winter hibernation to check on the weather. If it sees its shadow it can go back to bed; there will be six more weeks of winter.

Things You Didn’t Know About Bobcats

Bobcats are North America’s most abundant wildcats, with as many as a million living across a wide range of habitat, from forests to semi-deserts, and even the fringes of cities. Twice the size of a domestic cat, bobcats can bring down prey much larger than themselves. But how much do we really know about them? Here’s some information that can help you better understand and appreciate America’s amazing feline.

Extinction Looms for Giraffe

Habitat loss, civil unrest and illegal hunting are driving a “devastating decline” of the iconic giraffe, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said today. The global giraffe population has plummeted by up to 40 percent over the last 30 years, and the species is now listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

An update to the IUCN Red List was released at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP13) in Cancun, Mexico. Apart from the giraffe the list also has grim news for birds, wild plants, and Lake Victoria’s freshwater species: Full details in this post.

Owls: A Guide to Every Species in the World

Found on every continent other than Antartica, the owl is anything but an unexceptional bird. Their piercing gaze, uncanny ability to swivel their heads in the round, and their spooky stealth has long made them the subjects of art, literature, and films. And even those only slightly interested in birdwatching can’t help being thrilled by hearing or seeing an owl in the wild.

‘Outdated’ IUCN Red List Is Missing Hundreds of Threatened Bird Species, Duke Scientists Find

More than 200 bird species in six rapidly developing regions are at risk of extinction despite not being included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of at-risk species, research led by Duke University scientists has found.

The study, published today in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, used remote sensing data to map recent land-use changes that are reducing suitable habitat for more than 600 bird species in the Atlantic forest of Brazil, Central America, the western Andes of Colombia, Sumatra, Madagascar and Southeast Asia, Duke said in a news statement. “Of the 600 species, only 108 are currently classified by the IUCN Red List as being at risk of extinction.”

Delving into cultural myths, tales and beliefs about wild birds

Birds have long fascinated humans, and not only because they can do what we can’t: jump into the air and fly. They are everywhere we have settled on Earth, and in many places we have not. We admire them for their variety of shapes, feathers, and song. But we are also often annoyed and sometimes scared by them. So it is little wonder that birds have inspired so much art, music, and folklore, from the dove that was the harbinger of the end of the great biblical flood to the swallows that signal the onset of summer.