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Raven’s Perspective: Photos of a Science Expedition to the Sea of Cortez

Pat Raven shares photographs she made on the recent field inspection by the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration along the shores of the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. An accomplished photographer and a professional botanist, Raven is also spouse and travel companion to Peter Raven, chairman of the CRE and president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The two doctors Raven have traveled much of the world together, including on more than a dozen CRE field trips.

Hanging Out With Sea Lions at Los Islotes

Los Islotes, Gulf of California — “This is one of the few places where one can swim so easily with sea lions and enjoy them from their perspective,” said John Francis, sea lion expert and wildlife filmmaker, before we jumped into the water swirling around a set of rocky islets known as Los Islotes, on…

Brink of Extinction: A Technological Approach to Saving the Last Vaquita Porpoises

San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico — In the silty blue waters of the northern Sea of Cortez, off the coast of the small fishing town of San Felipe, lives the smallest and rarest marine mammal in the world. Vaquita marina, whose name loosely translates to “little cow of the sea,” is a member of the…

Swimming With the World’s Biggest Fish, the Whale Shark

Bay of La Paz, Gulf of California — Jumping into the Sea of Cortez to swim alongside a whale shark is like being in a National Geographic documentary. The massive fish looms out of the murk, swimming toward you with huge mouth agape. Just when you imagine you might be sucked Jonah-like down the gullet of the…

National Geographic and the Gulf of California, a Legacy of Research and Conservation

When the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration toured the southwestern portion of the Gulf of California in Mexico last week, visiting ecosystems, meeting and listening to researchers working in the region, it was a dream come true for John Francis, National Geographic Society Vice President for Research, Conservation and Exploration. Francis, the deputy…

Celebrating the Rich Biodiversity of Baja in Pictures

Gulf of California, Mexico — From January 2 to January 9, 2016 the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE) traveled the Sea of Cortez aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird Lindblad ship. The CRE, consisting of leading scientists representing a variety of disciplines, were joined by explorers funded by National Geographic and…

Saving Baja Blue Whales for Generations to Come

National Geographic Sea Bird, Gulf of California–Since life began on Earth there has not been any animal bigger than one that lives with us today: the blue whale. To see this colossus of the ocean right in front of you, expelling a geyser 30 feet into the air as it comes up for breath, is humbling — not only because of…

Sharks Use Seamounts as a Compass to Navigate Through the Ocean

National Geographic Sea Bird, Gulf of California — The National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE) got to travel into the ocean realm of one of its most celebrated shark researchers last week, when it it was accompanied on a field inspection in the Gulf of California by Pete Klimley. The recipient of 11 National Geographic…

Finding the Rattlesnake That Lost its Rattle

An account of how we found one of the world’s rarest snakes, the critically endangered Santa Catalina rattlesnake — a reptile that distinguishes itself as a rattlesnake that has no rattle to shake at you.

National Geographic Undertakes Science Expedition to the Gulf of California

San José del Cabo, Mexico — Sea lions, whales (blue and humpback), bull sharks, whale sharks, dolphins and sea snakes were among the abundance of marine life observed by the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE) on its 2016 field inspection, which ended this weekend on the southern tip of Mexico’s 775-mile-long Baja California peninsula. The…