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#okavango14: Over Africa’s Wetland Wilderness

Africa’s newly-minted UNESCO World Heritage Site, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, from the air and from space… This emerald green oasis buzzes with life during the summer months when grand thunderstorms sweep across the delta…

Best Photographs: 2013 Okavango Expedition

Every year the Percy FitzPatrick Institute and Wild Bird Trust undertake the Okavango Wetland Bird Survey. This is a nine-year project that aims to use 71 wetland bird species as indicators of significant change in the flood regime and functioning of the Okavango Delta. The survey involves “poling” ourselves over 250 miles across this enigmatic…

Gilbert Thompson, Lying Bob, and the Ballad of Croppy the Mule

When National Geographic founder Gilbert Thompson enlisted in the Union Army, a clerical error identified him as a painter instead of a printer. The typo proved to be serendipitous, leading to his work as an engineer, then a cartographer, and then on to a lifetime of adventures as he explored and surveyed the western United States.

Ancient Observatories Make World Heritage List

This month the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released its list of the 21 sites being added to the World Heritage list. Inclusion on the list is meant to “encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity,” according…

Was Hubble a DeLorean in Another Life?

Sometimes it must seem like the Hubble Space Telescope is a time traveler. Within hours of Hubble making headlines because it shut itself down due to a serious mechanical failure, mission scientists released a survey of galactic diversity based on new Hubble images. NGC 253, Sculptor Group galaxy, 13 million light-years away —Image courtesy NASA,…