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Category archives for Science

Year-End Honors for Our Cutting-Edge Explorers

2016 has been an incredible year for exploration, research, and conservation—and explorers supported by the National Geographic Society have been at the top of each of those fields.

New Research Buoy Installed on Lake Tanganyika

An international research team partnering with a local fisheries research institute installed a research buoy in Tanzanian waters on Lake Tanganyika earlier this month. It is the first of its kind on the African continent, marking a major milestone in both local and global research to understand the role and response of lakes to climate…

Work Hazards: Bornean Pygmy Elephants

On the drive into Danum Valley Field Center in Sabah, Malaysia, I caught a glimpse of one of the most iconic species in the Bornean rainforest – the Bornean Pygmy Elephant. They had been walking on the road, but just as our van came around the bend they retreated by the forest. As we passed…

The Powerful Voices of Women at Standing Rock

Women—representing many places, ages, tribes, and other identities—are core to the story of Standing Rock. They run kitchens, start schools, organize supplies, provide healing, and offer wisdom. These are their words.

Blue Carbon for Climate Mitigation

“Blue carbon” is a term for the carbon that is sequestered and stored naturally by marine and coastal wetland ecosystems — mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes. These coastal wetlands are gaining more and more recognition as important and efficient carbon sinks, based on their ability to sequester large amounts of carbon not just in the…

Bahamas Blue Holes 2016: Cave Mapping in the 21st Century

Human error can lead to dangerous inaccuracy when mapping underwater caves. That’s why Sebastien Kister developed Mnemo, a cave-mappers new best friend.

An Unlikely Renaissance for Appalachian Elk

The sun is setting as our van crests a ridge and drops into an open, savanna-like plain pockmarked by clusters of grasses and shrubs. A group of bull elk surrounds us, with cows and younger elk watching from the protection of nearby woods. The bulls are in the rut, and they don’t seem to care…

Art Amidst Disaster: Welcome to Microplastic Beach

“No amount of studies I’d read could prepare me for landing on a beach with no other humans in sight and cleaning up kilo after kilo of waste, so much of it miniscule.”—Maya Weeks

Winery Owners Fear Fracking Will Poison Tourism

But he’s not giving up on the idea of a permanent ban on fracking in Maryland – and he and Nadine have proven their ability to turn dreams into reality. Alongside their colleagues at Citizen Shale, as well as people across the state who envision a cleaner, more sustainable future for Maryland, it’s safe to bet that they’ll continue and win this fight.

Two Days at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Day 1 The Reserve The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) was designated in 1984 and encompasses 1,600 acres of coastal…

Rebounding from Hurricane Otto in Nicaragua’s Most Ecologically Sensitive Rainforests

By Chris Jordan, GWC’s Nicaragua Programs Director (with editorial help from Gerald R. Urquhart, Assistant Professor at Michigan State University) November 24, 2016, is a day I will never forget. While many in the United States were sitting down to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner, I was hunkered down with my forest patrol team in Nicaragua as…

Video cameras provide first documentation of Sunda clouded leopard communication behaviors

Post submitted by Max Allen – University of Wisconsin, Madison Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) are a threatened species that is shrouded in mystery. Most solitary felids are renowned for being mysterious and difficult to see, but Sunda clouded leopards take this to an extreme. It is for this reason that little is known about…

Christmas Cubs for a Happy New Year

News from the Field from Pride in Our Prides Lion Program in Botswana by Florian J Weise – Pride in Our Prides, CLAWS Conservancy It is still dark as our vehicle rattles down the dirt track.  Dust everywhere.  The smell of camphor and wild sage surrounds us.  We are on our way into the Okavango…

Hey Developers, Wanna Make an App to Help the Ocean?

We have a lot of data about the ocean, but much of it is in obscure databases – unintegrated, unanalyzed, and largely inaccessible for the public. There is so much we could do with all that information if it was easy to visualize and interpret. At our fingertips, we could have alerts about the presence…

Re-wilding an Island

Last week I bore witness to the re-wilding of an entire island ecosystem. Invasive mammalian predators were eradicated from Ahuahu (Great Mercury Island) in 2014, and the original predators and keystone species are now returning naturally.