Five Female Ocean Explorers

Meet a few of our explorers focusing on all things ocean! Check out our archive of Explorer Classroom events to meet even more. 1. Meet Sylvia Earle “Called “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker and the New York Times, “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and the first “Hero for the Planet,” Sylvia is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer with experience as a … Continue reading Five Female Ocean Explorers

Weekly Warm-Up: Sylvia Earle’s Hope Spots

This week, take a winter vacation to some of the most critical and vibrant places on our planet . . . American oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle has identified numerous “Hope Spots” around the world that are special places critical to the health of the ocean. While some Hope Spots are already protected, others have not been as lucky—yet. The spots are varied … Continue reading Weekly Warm-Up: Sylvia Earle’s Hope Spots

Media Monday: Hanging out on Aquarius

Google+ has been actively promoting its new Hangout tool, a video chat allowing multiple individuals to “hang out” virtually with each other over an online platform.  From a mobile phone or computer, friends and family can swap stories with up to 9 individuals at a time.  Many of these conversations take place around the dinner table, at a work desk, or on a comfortable couch.  Few, if any, however, take place under the sea.  
National Geographic thought this ought to change, and therefore, invited scientists and filmmakers aboard Aquarius Reef Base to take part in an hour-long Hangout with some of us back here on dry land. The Hangout was broadcast live on National Geographic’s Google+ account, as well as on YouTube. Andrew Howley of the National Geographic Society moderated the discussion with invited discussants Dr. Sylvia Earle, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence; DJ Roller, a filmmaker; Dr. Mark Patterson, a Professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences; and Dale Stokes, a researcher at the Scripps Institute. Joining Andrew in the discussion from dry land were four participants: Brandon, Lisa, Philip, and Becca, each posing thought-provoking questions around the topics of teaching, education, shark diving, and university studies.
Watch the video below to view the discussion, or read the Explorers Journal for even more about the Hangout. 
Video courtesy of National Geographic.

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Why Explore the Unknown?

Lori Roberts is a high school biology teacher in Muscle
Shoals, Alabama. Lori is a leader in ocean education and is a graduate
of National Geographic Education’s two-year professional development
program, the National Teacher Leadership Academy.

Students are interested in exploration of the unknown, however, most of my students know very little about ocean exploration or the explorers involved in these expeditions.  I wanted to understand their perception of ocean exploration, so I placed them into small groups and asked them to brainstorm reasons why we should explore the deep trenches of the seafloor, such as the Mariana Trench. I received a variety of responses:

  • To find new species
  • Make a new discovery
  • New discoveries lead to new inventions
  • It will improve our understanding of Earth
  • It’s cool to be the first one to go where no one else has been before (Kids enjoy competition in and out of school.  Competition encourages them to be their best.)

Many are calling the Mariana Trench the last frontier. In 1960, Don Walsh became the first American to descend almost 36,000′. Don Walsh, a U.S. Navy Captain, was only 28 at the time. Walsh, now 80, was invited by James Cameron to hang out with the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition team. He was a witness on the adventure.

30720.jpgFilmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron is
congratulated by ocean explorer and U.S. Navy Capt. Don Walsh, right,
after completing the first ever solo dive 35,756 feet down to the
“Challenger Deep,” the lowest part of the Mariana Trench. Walsh took the
same journey to the bottom of the Mariana Trench 52 years ago in the
Trieste, with Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard. Cameron’s
dive in his specially designed submersible was part of DEEPSEA
CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National
Geographic Society, and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research. Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic.

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Becoming An Explorer

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 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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