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David Maxwell Braun

of National Geographic Society

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

Video: Inside the Largest Ivory Seizure in West Africa

When a Togo Customs official decided to turn around his X-ray machine and inspect freight leaving his country, instead of looking only at cargo coming into the country, he uncovered what at the time was to be the biggest seizure of illegal ivory in the history of West Africa. In this outtake from the National Geographic…

Video: Ivory Trade and Slave Trade Linked Throughout History

The trade in elephant ivory dates at least back to the days of the slave trade in Africa. Investigative Journalist Bryan Christy visits the home of renowned 19th Century slave trader and ivory merchant Tippu Tip in Zanzibar.

Video: “Toy” Drone Deployed in Ivory Investigation

In Lomé, Togo, investigative journalist Bryan Christy learns of a lumberyard suspected of being at the center of the illegal ivory trade.  As clear outsiders, he and the video production crew must find a way to take a closer look without breaking their cover. Befriending the children and showing off their “toy” drone might just…

Video: Inside Togo’s Voodoo Fetish Market

Bryan Christy visits the fetish market in Togo as part of his investigation in Africa’s ivory trade. He explains the presence of dead, dried animals on display and tells about going behind the scenes with vendors and seeing live animals and wonders if there is elephant ivory among the “behind the scenes” specimens for sale.

Video: The Accepting Nature of Orphaned Baby Elephants

Bryan Christy visits the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage in Kenya and marvels at the accepting nature of the juvenile elephants, which escort him as they are released into the wild and join adult elephants.

Condoms Focus Discussion on Impact of Human Population on Wildlife

Thousands of  Endangered Species Condoms will be distributed across the United States tomorrow, World Population Day, to highlight the pressure human population growth puts on local wildlife. World Population Day, July 11, was designated by the United Nations in 1989 to raise awareness about global population issues. There are more than 7.3 billion people on the planet; the…

Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship Awards Announced

Five Fellows from across the United States will receive grants as part of the 2015-2016 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship to travel overseas and use multi-media storytelling techniques to build awareness of transnational challenges, the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society announced yesterday. The Fellows were selected by the J. William Fulbright…

Encounters With the Birds of Hawai’i Volcanoes

KIPUKAPUAULU–Within an area Hawaiians hold sacred, the realm of the gods thousands of feet above the ocean on Big Island, a spectacular biodiversity hot spot known locally as “Bird Park” is an excellent place to observe and hear the avian species of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Our group reporting for the early morning bird count during the National Park Service/National…

Jumping Spiders Among 22 New Species Added to Hawai’i Park List

With the numbers still coming in from scientists, the 24-hour BioBlitz in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has so far formally identified more than 400 species. Jumping spiders were among at least 22 species until now not recorded for the park. The official report presented at the end of the BioBlitz: Hawai’i Volcanoes encompasses a vast landscape that…

BioBlitz Moves to Washington, D.C. in 2016

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. National Park Service, the tenth in a series of annual BioBlitzes hosted by the service and the National Geographic Society will be held in parks in the Washington, D.C. area. But in a first for the BioBlitz, the event next May will also be…

BioBlitz 2015: Where Hawaiian Culture Meets Science

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park — Part scientific endeavor, part outdoor classroom excursion, and part celebration of biodiversity and culture, the 2015 BioBlitz hosted by the National Geographic Society and the National Park Service has gathered some 200 scientists, park rangers, and journalists in Hawaii’s iconic Volcanoes National Park this weekend. The objective is to see how…

Traditional Knowledge Helps Understand Nature in Every Sense

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Anthropologist, Keola Awong, discusses the importance of approaching this week’s BioBlitz in the protected space using every sense, as well as a deep understanding and appreciation of the ancient sanctity of the place. The 24-hour species inventory is the ninth in a series of similar events in the run-up to next…

From Snapshot to Science: Photos of Biodiversity as Useful Records

By Carrie Seltzer When was the last time you took a photo of an interesting insect or flower? Did you do anything with that photo? Sharing your photos can be about more than photography — it’s about what those photos represent. For many kinds of organisms, photos with clear documentation about where and when they…

Learn the Moves of the BioBlitz Dance

By John Griffith Doing the Bioblitz Dance is a great way to celebrate the outdoors, the Bioblitz event, and the National Park Service’s upcoming centennial anniversary! The Bioblitz Dance’s origins start with Rue Mapp, the founder and CEO of the group called Outdoor Afro. She invited me and my California Conservation Corps members to participate in the 2014 National Geographic Bioblitz and Biodiversity Festival…

Low-cost Robot Designed for Safe Disposal of Unexploded Ordnance

Thousands of innocent civilians are killed each year by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in dozens of countries with a legacy of conflict. Nations such as Cambodia struggle to remove millions of unexploded ordnance scattered across large swathes of territory. Clearing these volatile munitions is extremely dangerous and often beyond what some of…