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Ford Cochran

Hope for Haiti: Progress in Broken Shoes

January 12, 2012 marks the second anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti, leaving more than 180,000 homes destroyed and 1,500,000 people homeless. While the United Nations and a number of governments, NGOs (such as SOIL, lead by NG Emerging Explorer Sasha Kramer, a project to transform wastes into resources), and volunteers have worked…

9/11: Remembering Ann and Joe

For most Americans, this September 11—like the nine before it—will prompt recollections of the shock, the horror, and the grief we experienced a decade ago, of all we lost on that grim morning. It will also be a day to reflect on the moments of courage and unity, on the worldwide outpouring of sympathy that…

Worth Talking About: Silence

The devastation following a large oil spill might naturally prompt anger, grief, frustration—or an effort to learn why it happened so as to better avert the next one. For conservationist, author, and National Geographic Education Fellow John Francis, the collision of two Standard Oil tankers near the Golden Gate Bridge in 1971, and the subsequent…

Salas y Gómez Expedition: Departing Rapa Nui

As the Salas y Gómez team concludes its work near Easter Island, Chile, and disperses to points around the globe, marine scientist and expedition co-leader Enric Sala looks back on several weeks in one of the most isolated, intriguing, and ecologically unique corners of the vast Pacific. Petroglyphs depicting a tangata manu, or birdman, near…

Costa Rica Expands Marine Protected Area Around Cocos Island

Costa Rica has created a huge new marine park that increases five-fold the area of protected waters surrounding Cocos Island–home to some of the highest abundances of sharks and other large ocean predators recorded anywhere. A loophole that permits long-line fishing in some of the newly protected waters, however, may threaten the park’s sharks, tuna,…

Leaders Gather in Monaco to Promote Marine Protection

European national leaders and environment ministers have gathered in Monaco to discuss the need for more marine protected areas and other strategies to conserve life in the oceans. National Geographic Executive Vice President for Mission Programs Terry Garcia addresses European environment leaders about the United States system of marine protected areas (MPAs) at the Monaco…

Largest Land-Dwelling “Bug” of All Time

The giant extinct invertebrate Arthropleura resembled some modern millipedes, but could grow to be more than one-and-a-half feet wide, and may sometimes have been more than six feet long. Reconstruction of the giant millipede Arthropleura from the Pennsylvanian and earliest Permian of North America and Europe. The head capsule (marked by an asterisk) is shown…

Mission Blue: Tracking Whale Shark Wanderings

University of Southern Mississippi ecophysiologist Eric Hoffmayer received a National Geographic Society/Waitt grant to tag and track whale sharks in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Last June while diving with Sylvia Earle and a filmmaking team led by Bob Nixon, Hoffmayer witnessed roughly 100 of the sharks–the largest gathering ever recorded of this, the world’s…

Mission Blue: The Wake-Up Call

Aboard ship in the Gulf of Mexico, ecologist and author Carl Safina of Stony Brook University’s Blue Ocean Institute talks with Sylvia Earle about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its aftermath. “It was a wake-up call,” says Carl, “and I hope we don’t hit the snooze button because it will happen again. There are…

Google Unveils Global Science Fair With National Geographic

National Geographic has joined Google, CERN, the LEGO Group, and Scientific American to launch a global online science competition for students ages 13 to 18: The Google Science Fair. By Ford Cochran The next generation’s Albert Einsteins and Marie Curies got a chance to jumpstart their careers this morning with the debut of the Google…

Mission Blue: Team of Leading Scientists Explores Oil Spill’s Legacy

PENSACOLA, Fla.–Scientists and representatives of several organizations head into the northern Gulf of Mexico from Pensacola this week on an expedition led by Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and Dr. Thomas Shirley, professor at the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The expedition aims to explore and document several areas west and…

Jon Waterhouse’s Healing Journey: Sudan

In a war-ravaged world that is beyond remote lurks an unseen killer named Kala-azar. National Geographic Education Fellow Jon Waterhouse shares a story of Old Fangak. By Jon Waterhouse In a very few days–on January 9, 2011–the people of southern Sudan will vote on a referendum for independence as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement…

Population, Exploration: Talk of the Nation at NGS

NPR’s Talk of the Nation returns to National Geographic’s Washington, D.C. headquarters from 2-4 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 6 for a second free NG Live event and radio broadcast. The first hour focuses on “The Next Two Billion: Can the Planet Take the Strain?” The past 50 years have seen the most rapid population…

Healing Journey: Shrimp Sniffing Certificates

National Geographic Education Fellow Jon Waterhouse continues his chronicle of the Gulf oil spill’s aftermath from Grand Isle on the Louisiana coast. By Jon Waterhouse When last I wrote, my traveling companions and I were speaking with Karen Hopkins and Dean Blanchard, two residents of Grand Isle, Louisiana, whose lives and community have been dramatically…

Bryan Smith Talks Extreme Filmmaking

In an NG Live! event at National Geographic’s D.C. headquarters, kayaker and videographer Bryan Smith shares the endurance trials and the adrenaline rush of out-there adventure filmmaking. By Valentine Quadrat With his arms outstretched, Robin Avery takes another barefooted step across a highline in Squamish, British Colombia. A camera pan-out encapsulates the reality of the…