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Boyd Matson, in his work for National Geographic, has been bitten, scratched, or pooped on, and occasionally kissed by most of the creatures found at your local zoo. What he refers to as his job, others might describe as a career spent attending summer camp for adults.

Currently Matson is the host of the weekly radio show, “National Geographic Weekend.” Conducting interviews from the studio and from the field, Matson connects with some of the greatest explorers and adventurers on the planet to transport listeners to the far corners of the world and to the hidden corners of their own backyards.

Matson also writes about his experiencs in his monthly column, “Boyd Matson Unbound” for National Geographic Traveler magazine, produces videos for National Geographic.com, and serves as a spokesperson for the National Geographic Society.

Dancing Fishermen Myanmar

The Dance of the Inle Lake Fishermen.  When I shot this recently in Myanmar I thought if they were doing this kind of fishing on a lake in the States, people would buy a ticket to watch the performance.  These fishermen have turned their craft into an art form.  Like many traditional lifestyles this one…

Moon Bear Rescue

Moon bears are being killed in Laos for use in Chinese & Vietnamese medicinal tonics & may soon be wiped out. I visited a Free the Bears rescue center in Laos that’s trying to stop the poaching. My wife & I helped feed the bears & watched them get excited about being spritzed with bear…

Jane Goodall 80th b’day Interview

Jane Goodall received her 1st research grant from National Geographic in 1961. She told me her work with chimps might never have continued past the first year without our continuing support. On the occasion of her 80th B’day she sat down with me for a conversation reflecting on her life as a pioneering primatologist &…

Elephant Snack

An African elephant can make quick work of a tree and this one did while I was filming at South Africa’s Royal Malewane Game Reserve.  This week when I heard the new poaching numbers that 22,000 elephants were killed last year & 25,000 the year before I thought of this encounter and how special it…

Antarctica’s Thanksgiving Bird

Thanksgiving in the USA, a time to talk turkey, but in Antarctica it’s the time to talk penguins which we do this weekend on my radio show National Geographic Weekend. We also talk about camping for five days while hanging off the side of a cliff on the frozen continent. Here’s some video of the…

Elephant Wrestlemania

We had a ringside seat for what I call “Elephant Wrestlemania” at Royal Malewane Game reserve in South Africa. It was an incredible day of elephant entertainment and play fighting. I interview Juan Pinto, Royal Malewane’s head ranger this week for my radio show, “National Geographic Weekend” and we talk about elephant behavior and what…

Saving Rhinos with Poison

The news only gets worse for Rhinos.  South Africa has announced 688 rhinos have already been killed by poachers this year, surpassing last year’s record total of 668.  Armed rangers and strict anti-poaching laws seem to have little effect due to the high price of rhino horn on the black market.  At Royal Malewane Game…

Elephant Killed for TV Show

I’ve been on a rant for a few days against an NRA show that thinks killing an elephant for fun is good TV. The host of the show, an NRA lobbyist, is on a big game hunt for elephants in Botswana, Africa. The guide leads the host, Tony Makris, to a spot near where a bull elephant is calmly grazing, unaware of their presence.

Forest Elephant Sanctuary Under Seige

There is no better place to study endangered African forest elephants than the Dzanga Bai in the Central African Republic.  Elephants are drawn in large numbers to this small clearing by the mineral rich soil.  They will hang out for hours at a time making themselves easily visible to researchers and tourists, for the chance…

Caving in Macedonia

To borrow an old description, me trying to explore the Gornaslatinska Cave in Macedonia was like trying to push a camel through the eye of a needle.  Thankfully I had some good kneepads because there was a lot of crawling under stalactites and over bat guano to squeeze through the seriously dark, wet, bat poop…

Namibia: The Big Empty, pt. 3

Part 3 of my video Namibia: The Big Empty has some nice aerials of something called, Fairy Circles,” a rather unique feature of the Namibia landscape that looks as if it were painted by space aliens using the desert as their canvas.  We also fly along the skeleton coast and get a good sense of…

Namibia: The Big Empty, pt. 2 Deadviei

Part 2 of my Namibia video features Deadviei and Sossusviei, perhaps the most photographed spot in Namibia.  Deadviei is a beautiful but eerie sculpture garden created by mother nature’s extreme mood swings.  Here she’s turned a former lake into a dead pan of white clay surrounded by giant red sand dunes.  And scattered around the…

Namibia: The Big Empty, part 1

Namibia: The Big Empty part 1.  This is a look at that Southern African country which is defined in large measure by its dramatic desert landscape.  To set the big picture we start with aerials that give a sense of the vastness and variety of the Namib desert, and then move in for close ups…

20 Years of Too Much Fun

I used to joke, “I have the greatest job in the world, but it does have a dark side.” Then I would explain, “I’ve also been bitten, scratched and pooped on by one of every creature at your local zoo.” I was only half kidding, because there have been a few injuries and accidents along…

POOP: Fun, Games, and Science

Archeologists have long dug thru the trash piles of human history to gain a better understanding of who we once were and how we lived. You can find out a lot about a people from what they throw away. Even today tabloid newspapers have been know to rifle through the trashcans of celebrities looking for…