Educator Spotlight: Dirty Hands for Inspired Hearts

The following post was written by Kailyn Bettle, an undergraduate research assistant for the Geographic Alliance of Iowa at the University of Northern Iowa. Katie Shelton, this week’s Educator of the Week, works to show students that they can appreciate and advocate for the environment around them. Katie serves as the naturalist for the Blackhawk County Conservation Board in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where she heads … Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Dirty Hands for Inspired Hearts

Becoming An Explorer

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A child explores a creek near Germantown, Ohio. Credit: James Crotty

Remember when you were a kid? When any fireman or astronaut could visit the steps of your school or the pages of your books and convince you to dream big? 
A few weeks ago, the other National Geographic Education interns and I got to meet some amazing people who would turn out to be just that–people we wanted to be. It’s never too late in life to be amazed, nor is it ever too early to expand your dreams. We got to sit down with most of the National Geographic Emerging Explorers for a half-hour or more (distilled versions of those interviews will be available on natgeoed.org in a few weeks). We also got to hear from some of the veteran Explorers and Fellows, who presented their research and updates from the field during the week long Explorers Symposium. We even got to see marine ecologist Enric Sala and filmmaker James Cameron earn the distinction of being named the newest Explorers in Residence. 
In this post, I’ve condensed some of the lessons we learned about explorers and exploring. It won’t tell you much about the explorers themselves (I’ve added links for that, and there’s always Google), but it will advise you on how to live the coolest life ever. 

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Meet Summer Intern Michelle Renn

Hey everyone!

My name is Michelle Renn and from now through August I’ll be interning at National Geographic and contributing to the My Wonderful World blog.  
   
The fact is: I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe that we truly live in a wonderful world.  All throughout my childhood I was fortunate to travel a lot with my family.  We traveled domestically and internationally, often taking road trips across the country in the summers.  We camped along the way, exploring National Parks, big cities, small towns– and everything in between.  I learned from a young age that travel is about the journey, not just the destination.  In retrospect, I entirely credit my parents with instilling in me a profound desire for exploration.  Once I was exposed to a taste of new places, cultures, languages, and foods, the curiosity was unstoppable.  I began to realize what a very large world we live in, and I became determined to experience as much of it as I could.  
  
 My love for exploration is likely what attracted me to Geography as a major in college.  The breadth and depth of the discipline is miraculous, comprising everything from studies of humans and cultures, mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), environmental issues and systems, and physical attributes of the Earth.  Geography is the exploration of people, cultures, the environment, and the intersections among them— it is an exploration of the planet we all share.  I couldn’t stay away. 🙂   
 
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