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David Braun

of National Geographic

David Braun is a 17-year veteran of National Geographic, currently serving as a senior digital editor developing stories focused on Nat Geo mission programs. He also directs his popular National Geographic News Watch blog, including a companion blog to Tales of the Weird, a bestseller book he edited for National Geographic in 2012.

David's 40-year journalism career in the U.S., UK, and South Africa gives him global perspective and experience across the media landscape. He's covered Congress, the White House, international legislatures, and the United Nations, and been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, AP, UPI, National Geographic, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and the Johannesburg Star.

Assignments in more than 60 countries included traveling with Nelson Mandela in North America and Bill Clinton in Africa, and covering political negotiations hosted by Fidel Castro in Havana. As a member of the National Geographic Expeditions Council, and media representative to the Committee for Research and Exploration, David has accompanied Nat Geo explorers and scientists to 69 field sites in 14 countries. He has been a featured lecturer on National Geographic Expeditions to Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Galapagos.

David has served as a member/executive of journalist guilds, press clubs, editorial committee of Online Publishers Association and other professional groups. He was a WMA Magazine of the Year Awards judge (2010-2012). He has more than 120,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

National Geographic in Bhutan: Dochula Pass

High on top of a mountain pass on the road from Thimphu to Punaka, overlooking the Himalayas, is a concentration of 108 chortens (stupas) built in memory of Bhutanese soldiers killed in the 2003 war against insurgents from India.

Ascending Bhutan’s Sacred Tiger’s Nest

Upon visiting the most sacred place in Bhutan, the Tiger’s Nest monastery thousands of feet up on the side of a mountain, David Braun reflects on the precepts of Buddhism that encourage the country’s powerful respect for nature.

National Geographic in Bhutan: Buddha Dordenma Statue

Before leaving the Bhutanese capital city today, the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration visited what will soon be the largest sitting statue of Buddha.

Queen of Bhutan Celebrates National Geographic’s Anniversary Coverage

THIMPHU, BHUTAN–Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck addressed a celebration of one hundred years of coverage of the Kingdom of Bhutan by National Geographic tonight. The event was held at the Taj Tashi Hotel, where the Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE) is lodging in the mountain kingdom’s capital. Led by National Geographic President and CEO Gary Knell, the CRE is touring Bhutan to learn about the country’s science and conservation programs and visit researchers in the field.

Conversation with Bhutan’s Young “Dragon King”

THIMPHU, Bhutan–King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is a young ruler connected deeply with the digital universe while remaining anchored in the teaching and wisdom handed down through generations. He surfs the Web to gauge the mood of the people, following the conversations of his subjects and engaging them through social media. He has his own Facebook page, and he knows…

Redefining Open Space: The Case for Protecting Open Space in the Sea

By Priscilla Brooks, Vice President and Director, Ocean Conservation, Conservation Law Foundation Nestled on Massachusetts’ North Shore, Ipswich is an historic New England community with a vibrant town center, friendly people, and working farms. What really strikes visitors to this small town, however, is its open space. A remarkable 47 percent of the town is…

Rare Snow Leopards Seen on Mount Everest

To celebrate International Snow Leopard Day, today, October 23, National Geographic Cat Watch is publishing two images from camera traps set up to document the elusive and seldom-seen big cat on Mount Everest. The Everest Snow Leopard Conservation Center is a partnership initiative of Vanke Foundation and Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) National Nature Reserve. The 34,000-square-kilometer (13,000-square-mile)…

Snow Leopard Caught on Camera After Catching Marmot

From Matt Fiechter, Snow Leopard Trust: A remote-sensor research camera snapped a photo of a wild snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan’s Sarychat Ertash Nature Reserve shortly after the cat had caught a marmot. During the short mountain summer, these rodents add some diversity to the snow leopard’s diet.

Growing the Next Generation of Botanical Pioneers

By Mike Maunder, Interim Director, The Kampong, National Tropical Botanical Garden Two weeks ago I was in South Sudan working with East African and South Sudanese colleagues preparing a plant conservation project for the Imatong Mountains. Rivers spill out of these beautiful mountain forests providing water to huge areas of South Sudan.  Yet the forests that…

Biocultural Conservation: the Antidote to Nihilism?

If there is one universal trend amongst the vast majority of cultures around the world in the 21st Century, it is an ever moving shift away from ancestral traditions. With the near exponential increase of the percentage of the human population living in cities, disconnected from the natural resources that shaped the lives and identities of their ancestors, there is grave concern amongst many observers that these ancestral cultures will be lost in the name of progress.

Castles in the Air: Experiences and Journeys in Unknown Bhutan

One hundred years ago, in 1914, National Geographic published its first article about the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan: a compelling account of surveys of the region by John Claude White, a British Empire administrator and explorer. Profusely illustrated with his own photographs, White’s report lifted the veil on a mysterious land hidden in the world’s highest mountains.

In Search of Svalbard Sea Monsters

Here be dragons! On the remote island of Spitsbergen, deep inside the Arctic circle, the remains of some of the most fearsome sea monsters to have prowled the oceans have been entombed in rock for more than 150,000,000 years. National Geographic Emerging Explorer Jørn Harald Hurum and his team have been excavating the fossils for many…

Extinction or Survival: Botanic Gardens as Agents of Change

  By Chipper Wichman, Director and CEO of the National Tropical Botanical Garden With climate change flexing its muscles and demographers from several universities and the United Nations projecting global population growth climbing towards 11 billion through the end of the 21st century, the conservation of our planet’s biodiversity has never been more important. At…

Breadfruit, the Tree of Life for a Hungry Planet

By Diane Ragone, Director of the Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden

I’ve been interested in breadfruit since I began my graduate work in 1983. I was mainly interested in traditional fruit trees in the Pacific Islands. Then, I wrote a term paper on breadfruit, and I became really interested in its importance to plant diversity and food security.

Whale Encounters in Arctic Svalbard

We did not see the rare bowhead whale during our week-long cruise through Svalbard early in the summer of 2014, but our ship, National Geographic Explorer, had some dramatic encounters with humpbacks, and there were also excellent sightings of fin whales and belugas.