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Caroline Gerdes recently graduated from Louisiana State University where she studied journalism and history (her major and minor, respectively). As a native of the Greater New Orleans Area, she decided to explore her own backyard with help from a Young Explorers Grant.

Caroline is currently conducting an oral history project about the New Orleans Ninth Ward. She seeks to record the community’s full history — its immigrant beginnings, the development of jazz, the depression and prohibition, desegregation and hurricanes.

Caroline’s exploration is also a personal quest as her father and paternal grandparents grew up in the Ninth Ward. Her blogs reflect an inside look at New Orleans life and culture, especially the edible aspects.

Mardi Gras from Louisiana’s Cajun Country

About 150 miles away from the hustle and bustle of New Orleans’ biggest party of the year, there is another indigenous Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana’s Cajun country.

Getting the Story: 125 Years of National Geographic Writing

For more than a century, National Geographic has brought stories from around the globe into your home. But, what have writers and explorers faced to tell these groundbreaking, stunning and sometimes dangerous tales?

Step Right Up, for Emily Ainsworth’s “Worlds Apart”

From running away with the Mexican circus to sambaing through Carnival in Rio de Janeiro to exploring an Indian magician’s village, Emily Ainsworth will share her adventures in worlds vastly different from our own.

Second President of National Geographic, Husband and Innovator … Discover there is more to Bell than the Telephone.

To celebrate the National Geographic Society’s 125 anniversary, National Geographic Live! is kicking off its season with a play honoring one of the Society’s most recognizable names: Alexander Graham Bell.

High Rise Threatens Integrity of Ninth Ward Community

After Hurricane Katrina, the population of the New Orleans Ninth Ward was cut in half. The city wants to build a high rise to bring traffic back to the community. But residents oppose a superstructure in their backyard.

Spring Means Crawfish Boils in Louisiana

Though farming has provided year-round crawfish, Louisianans abide by spring traditions.

New Orleans St. Joseph’s Day and its Magic Beans

Many of you know the story of St. Patrick’s Day and the shamrock, but what about St. Joseph’s and the fava bean?

True or False? 10 Mardi Gras Questions Answered

Not sure what to expect at Mardi Gras, from throws to parade etiquette to dress? Your Mardi Gras questions are answered here.

Mardi Gras Goes to the Dogs

Barkus is the best-known New Orleans Mardi Paws celebration.

The 12th Day of Christmas Marks the First Day of Mardi Gras

The holidays may be over. But, in New Orleans, the party has just begun!

Bonfires Light the Way for Papa Noel in Louisiana

Many kids wonder how Santa will find their house, but in Cajun country children know Papa Noel will find them.

Seven Years After the Storm, Katrina Tours Cause Controversy

While some residents accept these bus tours as part of the city’s new normal, others feel they exploit the disaster without giving back.

It’s All French to Me: The Woes of Matching New Orleans Maps to Spoken Directions

With French names and sometimes bizarre pronunciations, navigating the New Orleans Ninth Ward can be a little confusing to an outsider.

New Orleans Keeps the Faith in their Saints

Through losing streaks, Hurricane Katrina and a Super Bowl win, Saints fans always keep the faith.

An Inside View Of Hurricane Isaac

Young Explorers Grantee Caroline Gerdes has been working in South Louisiana for her Ninth Ward Oral History Project. A Louisiana native, Gerdes explained that weathering Hurricane Isaac, and other hurricanes, is part of coastal life.