National Geographic announces its Emerging Explorers for 2012

Public release date: 15-May-2012 [ | E-mail | Share ]

Contact: Caroline Braun 202-862-8281 National Geographic Society

WASHINGTON (May 15, 2012)A cyborg anthropologist, a pilot, a digital storyteller and zoologist, a crisis mapper and a guerrilla geographer are among the 15 visionary, young trailblazers from around the world who have been named to the 2012 class of National Geographic Emerging Explorers.

National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring adventurers, scientists and storytellers, who are pushing the boundaries of discovery, adventure and global problem-solving while still early in their careers.

The Emerging Explorers each receive a $10,000 award to assist with research and to aid further exploration. The program is made possible in part by the Panasonic Corporation.

The 2012 Emerging Explorers are U.S. cyborg anthropologist Amber Case; U.K. digital storyteller and zoologist Lucy Cooke; U.K. behavioral ecologist Iain Couzin; Mexican underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda; chemist Yu-Guo Guo of China; conservationist Osvel Hinojosa Huerta of Mexico; U.S. pilot and educator Barrington Irving; conservation biologist Krithi Karanth of India; Swiss crisis mapper Patrick Meier; U.S. archaeologist Sarah Parcak; U.S. data scientist Jake Porway; U.K. guerrilla geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison; U.S. archaeologist Jeffrey Rose; engineer and renewable energy advocate Ibrahim Togola of Mali; and archaeologist Daniel Torres Etayo of Cuba. The new Emerging Explorers are introduced in the June 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine, and comprehensive profiles can be found at

National Geographic Emerging Explorers may be selected from virtually any field, from the Society’s traditional arenas of anthropology, archaeology, photography, space exploration, earth sciences, mountaineering and cartography to the worlds of technology, music and filmmaking.

“National Geographic’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet, and our Emerging Explorers are outstanding young leaders whose endeavors further this mission. We are pleased to support them as they set out on promising careers. They are innovators in their respective fields and represent tomorrow’s Edmund Hillarys, Jacques Cousteaus and Dian Fosseys,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president for Mission Programs.

Cyborg anthropology is a framework for understanding the effects of objects and technology on culture. Cyborg anthropologist Amber Case studies the interaction between humans and computers and how our relationship with information is changing the way we think, act and understand our world. She believes that how we interact with machines and technology in many ways defines who we are. She has observed an increasingly symbiotic relationship between people and technology, and she feels that today’s technologies amplify our humanness. Her research in mobile software and data visualization has helped influence business strategy and productivity for people online. Her insights are shaping new products, the way tech insiders think, and ideas that will make technology a more empowering, rather than frustrating, part of daily life. She is the founder of Geoloqi, a company building cutting-edge, location-based technologies for mobile phones.

Digital storyteller and zoologist Lucy Cooke is on a one-woman crusade to champion ugly, unappreciated and unloved creatures and show why they deserve our attention, study and protection. Through her popular and quirky blogs, online videos, films and TV programs, she reaches a wide audience, spreading her conservation message that if we only care for “cute” and best-loved species, other enormously crucial parts of the web of life could vanish forever. Frogs top her underdog list. Over a third of all amphibians are heading for oblivion. It’s the worst extinction crisis since the dinosaurs were wiped out and one that will reverberate through the entire food chain, but they don’t grab headlines like pandas or polar bears. Cooke hopes to inspire people to share her sense of wonder, amazement and love of nature’s freaks. “Once you understand why they’re ugly or odd, I hope you’ll appreciate and want to save them as much as I do,” she says.


National Geographic announces its Emerging Explorers for 2012

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