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Threads That Speak: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Inca

One of the great mysteries of ancient Peru is that the Inca did not have a system of writing, but communicated with a system of strings tied with knots. For the first time, centuries-old knotted textile accounting records known as quipus were found buried with well-preserved organic material. They were found at the archaeological site of Incahuasi, the base of operations for the Inca expansion along Peru’s southern coast.

This Peruvian Beach Town Has 3,500 Years of Cultural Continuity

Archaeologist and National Geographic explorer Gabriel Prieto returned to his hometown of Huanchaco, Peru to tell the story of its 3,500 years of cultural continuity and involve the local community in discovering their past.

How 3-D Imaging Helps Archaeologists Preserve the Past

Archaeologist and National Geographic explorer Luis Jaime Castillo and archaeologist Carlos Wester are determined to protect the cultural heritage at the pyramid complex of Chotuna-Chornancap, which was built by the Sicán, or Lambayeque, over a thousand years ago on the north coast of Peru. Using photography to produce 3-D models of the excavations and where water damage might occur allows them to help preserve the sites.

Dive into an “Underwater Kaleidoscope” of Unbelievable Beauty

“For me, diving in Cortes Bank is like diving into an underwater kaleidoscope.” Join National Geographic underwater photographer Brian Skerry in the vibrant waters of Cortes Bank and prepare for a sensory overload.

These Giant Manta Rays Just Want to Hang Out

How would you like to hop in the water with a giant sea creature that can grow almost 25 feet across and weigh up to two tons? For marine biologist and National Geographic grantee Joshua Stewart, it’s all in a day’s work. He has a soft spot for giant oceanic manta rays and is fighting to protect these gentle giants.

Face-to-Face With Wildlife in Florida’s Hidden Wilderness: #bestjobever

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.

Diving Deep Below Arctic Ice to Bring Back Our Ocean’s Skeletons: #bestjobever

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.

Shipwreck Hunter Unearths Lost History and Treasures: #bestjobever

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.

Journey Through the Largest Cave in the World

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.

Would You Walk Into a Room With Millions of Bees?

Explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli visited rural Uganda to do a cultural exchange with small-scale farmers. He decided to face his fear of bees by going right into an apiary filled with venomous bees.

Watch: Inside the World’s Longest Sea Caves

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.

Tagging Adorable, Nasty Little Penguins: #bestjobever

The world has had a love affair with penguins for some time now. Their tuxedo-colored feathers, waddling walk, and awkward mannerisms make them easy to adore. But get too close to penguins—chinstrap penguins in particular—and your endearing perception of these birds may be tested, given their penchant for projectile pooping and beating each other up.

Best Job Ever: Lion First Responder Team

Paola Bouley is on call as a first responder for lions in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. She is a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee and the director and co-founder of Projecto Leões da Gorongosa. It’s the first ever lion research project in the history of the park. Bouley and her team work to…

Into the Lions Den: Diffusing a Lion Hunting Party

Post submitted by Eric LeFlore and Andrew Stein.  It’s 6am on a Friday morning and the kettle has just boiled for morning tea when the phone rings. After some pleasant introductions in Setswana, the main reason for the call comes up. The conversation is quick but the angst is apparent. I hear from the other…

Best Job Ever: Exploring Super-Remote Caves in Greenland

Geologist Gina Moseley started caving for sport when she was 13 years old, and now she’s in it for science. Moseley is constructing the first cave-based record of past climate change for Greenland.