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John Francis serves as Vice President for Research, Conservation, and Exploration at the National Geographic Society, directing funding of these disciplines through the Committee for Research and Exploration, the Conservation Trust, and the Expeditions Council, Young Explorers, and Waitt grants programs. Francis also serves on boards for the National Park System, UNESCO, and the IUCN. John received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz and spent five years as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution studying the behavioral ecology of marine mammals. Since his beginning roles as grantee and then producer of wildlife films for National Geographic, he has worked to enhance connections between the scientific/conservation community and the public -- made possible through the Society’s funding of path breaking projects and global media reach.

BioBlitz 2012: Get out and Explore!

Rocky Mountain, National Park, Colorado – What is a BioBlitz? At its core a BioBlitz is about connecting with nature. Trained scientists team up with students and the general public—you and me—and explore a place. You take a close look at what’s around you, learn about all the living things that call that place home,…

In Our Hands, the Whole Wide World

Wrapping up the third Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability, in Stockholm, Sweden, thought leaders from the worlds of science, art, business, and politics reflected on the words of Martin Luther King: There is no deficit in human resources, the deficit is in human will. And as President Bill Clinton told the gathering, synthesis is the solution to the challenges of sustaining our planet’s ability to provide. In speeches, discussions, music, and poetry, the message in essence from Stockholm is that Earth is ours to keep — or lose.

Nobel Laureates to World: Let’s Not Consume Ourselves to Death

Day three at the Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability had a high-level start with the arrival of the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf. But the dialogues and relationships forming behind the scenes of a gathering of some of the world’s most brilliant minds are unseen turning points of the event, reports John Francis, the National Geographic observer at the conference.

At Stockholm Gathering of Minds: Planet Earth vs. Humanity

Over four days in Stockholm this week, the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability has convened dozens of thought leaders to address the theme of “Transforming the World in an Era of Global Change.” John Francis, the Vice President for Research, Conservation, and Exploration at the National Geographic Society, is an inside observer. In this second dispatch from the proceedings, Francis reports on a mock trial: Planet Earth vs. Humanity, and the verdict rendered by the jury of intellectuals.

Nobel Laureates and Global Leaders Gather to Discuss Great Transformation

Over the next four days in Stockholm, the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability will convene more than 40 leaders to address the theme of “Transforming the World in an Era of Global Change.”