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Back on the Far Side of the World…

Cara Brooke is a Disease Ecologist from the Andrew Dobson Lab at Princeton, studying diseases that can leap from bats to humans. She has just returned to Madagascar a second time and is preparing for another year of fieldwork.

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.

Crocodiles and Corals: Face-to-Face With Cuba’s Coral Reef

Giant yellow eyes stared me down, my own green eyes widened by our proximity. We watched each other blink.

Living Embers: Yaghan Art, Culture, and Bone Harpoons

What if thousands of years of your culture, your stories, your identity were reduced to ashes? What would you do? Martin Gonzalez, son of one of the last speakers and full-blooded Yaghan, Ursula Calderon, has a simple answer. Seek out the embers and ignite anew. I sit with Martin on a simple beach wood workbench…

2,100 Feet and Holding: Inside the Mind of a Submarine Pilot

There’s nothing between me and complete corporeal implosion but a 3 inch thick dome of plexiglass. What goes through the mind of a submarine pilot two thousand feet below the surface of the ocean? And better yet, what goes past the window?

How and Why Our Clothing Choices Matter

In a place where population growth is moving incredibly fast, added pressure on farmers in India in the wake of crushing debt and failed crops calls for a new agricultural approach. Genetic modification and organic farming present promising solutions. Young Explorer Andrew Flachs will investigate the effect of both growing strategies by interviewing farmers in Southern…

What Happened to the Fires of Tierra Del Fuego?

Young Explorer Will Meadows is building traditional canoes throughout the world’s ecosystems and indigenous communities, using the vessel as a lens into culture, identity, art, environment, and innovation. —- Mountains of ice, vast, frigid, and treacherous waters, deep, dense, mud and earth, Tierra Del Fuego is a land of elements. Yet the Land of Fire…

NG Young Explorer Behind the Scenes: The Good, the Bad, and the Unforgettable

National Geographic Young Explorers Grantee Alizé Carrère is researching an innovative method of agricultural adaptation in the Malagasy highlands that has emerged in the face of severe deforestation. Known to locals as “lavaka”, literally meaning “hole”, they are massive erosional gullies that provide surprising agricultural and socio-economic benefits, turning a deforested landscape into one of…

The Surprising Power of “Sentiment” in International Work

“You’ve got to learn”, my research assistant Arun told me a few weeks into the project, “everything here works on sentiment”. It has taken me a while to realize what he meant by this, but he’s right. Hourly buses and trains can be hours late and power cuts stop to night-time work, but your friends don’t fail you.

A Christmas of the Coastal Kind

What made this Christmas so special wasn’t at all a particular tradition or exotic celebration of any notable kind. Instead, it was simply a continuation of business-as-usual, another day in a life where the sea gives only to the extent that one shows up. So on this year’s Christmas day, everyone showed up as they did yesterday, as they will tomorrow, and as they will for every other day of the year.

Journey Behind The Lens: Dodging Madagascar’s Plague Outbreak

The bubonic plague is something that not many people give much thought to these days. This is understandable, since it has been largely eradicated from the realities of the 21st century, save for a very few remote pockets on the globe. So I was a bit surprised when someone told me that east of where I was doing fieldwork in northern Madagascar, a village was being hit with a deadly plague outbreak.

Another Farewell to Madagascar

The summer rains are setting in on the Eighth Continent, the holiday season is beckoning back home in America, and it is goodbye again from Madagascar.

Reforesting Madagascar’s Highlands: A (Poetic) Lesson From Nature

National Geographic Young Explorer Alizé Carrère is researching an innovative method of agricultural adaptation in the Malagasy highlands that has emerged in the face of severe deforestation. Known to locals as “lavaka”, literally meaning “hole”, they are massive erosional gullies that provide surprising agricultural and socio-economic benefits, turning a deforested landscape into one of opportunity,…

Exploring Some of the Earliest Evidence of Human Occupation in Island Southeast Asia

First explored by western archaeologists in the 1960s, two Young Explorers tour Timor-Leste’s Lene Hara cave.

How to Catch One of the World’s Biggest Bats

Young Explorer Cara Brook is in Madagascar studying the spread of infections diseases to humans through bats. But how do you catch the world’s largest bat to study it?