VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
What would you do to be a National Geographic photographer? Would you trudge across a snowy volcano with a hundred pounds of gear thrown over your shoulder? Would you trek by yourself across a giant river oft visited by grizzly bears? Would you stake out in the dark wilderness with the howls of wolves getting closer and closer? Conservation photographer Ronan Donovan did all that and more for a year and a half to photograph Yellowstone National Park and the wolves that call it home.
Encounters with massive alligator gars, manatees, and rattlesnakes are all par for the course when National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward embarks on a 1,000 mile, 70 day trek to protect Florida’s hidden wilderness.
Polar expeditions to explore the ocean are not for the faint of heart. Above the water’s surface, you better be on alert for polar bears. Below, you better be game for diving 60 feet under sea ice into freezing temperatures. Watch National Geographic grantee Branwen Williams lead a team to the Canadian Arctic to do both in an effort to better understand how our oceans and the climate are changing over time.
In the fight against Zika, bubonic plague, and other infectious diseases in the Amazon, microbial biologist and National Geographic grantee Ryan Jones has found an unlikely and adorable ally: puppies.
It’s not often you see “shipwreck hunter” listed on someone’s business card or résumé, but that is indeed National Geographic grantee David Mearns’s career choice. For him, unearthing lost history and recovering centuries-old treasures is just another day at the office—or ocean, rather.
We know that leopard seals are large, formidable predators, but exactly what they’re doing below the waterline has long remained a mystery. But now, thanks to National Geographic grantee Douglas Krause, we’re getting an underwater glimpse into leopard seals’ carnivorous lives—and the seal-on-seal battles are a sight to behold.
Sơn Đoòng Cave—the largest in the world—wasn’t discovered until 2009. Now, National Geographic grantee and photojournalist Martin Edström, takes us deep inside Sơn Đoòng, as he tries to capture its overwhelming size and beauty in 360 degrees.
Geologist and National Geographic grantee Nicolas Barth was studying active faults on New Zealand’s South Island when he decided to climb down some cliffs and go for a swim. That’s when he discovered the longest sea cave in the world.
“For me, it’s definitely worthwhile to live shorter, but intense,” says Vincent Colliard, a young explorer joining renowned polar explorer Børge Ousland in an endeavor to cross the world’s 20 largest glaciers. The ambitious 10-year journey is part of an effort to document climate change, an important mission for sure but one that regularly places the explorers in the path of danger.