Since 1888, the National Geographic Society has supported exploration and discovery, bringing such wonders as the ruins of Machu Picchu, previously unknown human ancestors, and mysterious ocean phenomena to light.
Our field-based research, conservation, exploration, and public experience programs continue to provide the world with scientific breakthroughs and discoveries that inspire people everywhere to care about our planet. Today, a new generation of National Geographic explorers is carrying on the tradition and blazing trails in thought and action.
Every year we name a new class of emerging explorers, highlighting people early in their careers making a difference and pushing the boundaries of knowledge and exploration. A nuclear innovator, a memory manipulator, and an archaeologist in wartorn Syria are just a few of this year's new additions to the family of National Geographic explorers. The first emerging explorers were named in 2004, and since then more than a hundred researchers and adventurers have been awarded the title. Lee Berger's discovery of Homo naledi is the latest in a long chain of breakthroughs made by this esteemed group of researchers, adventurers, and conservationists. Wherever you come from, wherever you are in the world, and whatever your topic of research, the National Geographic Society is interested in helping you to increase human understanding of the world and all that's in it. The Committee for Research and Exploration provides research grants focused on cultivating scientists, explorers, and conservationists.
The Young Explorers Grants Program awards grants to scientists and explorers between the ages of 18 and 25.
The Conservation Trust supports projects of global importance, emphasizing practical conservation solutions. The Big Cats Initiative brings several National Geographic divisions together in the fight to save lions, leopards, cheetahs, and other big cats. The Great Energy Challenge supports entrepreneurs working toward global energy solutions as a response to energy resource constraints, environmental limitations, and climate change. The Expeditions Council funds exploration of little-known areas of the world, as well as regions undergoing significant environmental or cultural change. The Genographic Legacy Fund aids indigenous and traditional peoples by supporting revitalization projects that raise global awareness about cultural loss. The Global Exploration Fund provides local support for European researchers, conservationists, and explorers doing work anywhere in the world.


The Air and Water Conservation Fund supports innovative solutions to water and air quality issues in China. The National Geographic Foundation for Science and Exploration-Asia supports local scientists, conservationists, and explorers from Asia doing work anywhere in the world. In the search for the legendary City of the Monkey God, explorers find the untouched ruins of a vanished culture. The Homo naledi fossils are not only remarkable for their shape and sheer number but also unforgettable for the mystery of how they came to be in that cave. The National Geographic Society supports hundreds of research, exploration, and conservation projects in every part of the globe every year—and we have for decades. To add to the impact our support can have, we also call out a few specific areas and projects that help focus attention, make new discoveries, and bring timely protection to endangered animals, cultures, and ecosystems.
Pristine Seas is an exploration, research, and conservation project that aims to find, survey, and help protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean.
Paul Salopek is walking from Africa to South America, finding connections between stories at the pace of a human's footsteps. Around the world, trophy hunting, habitat loss, and conflict with humans are putting big cats at great risk. The National Geographic Society’s freshwater initiative is a multiyear global effort to inspire and empower individuals and communities to conserve freshwater and preserve the extraordinary diversity of life that rivers, lakes, and wetlands sustain. The Great Energy Challenge is a call to become actively involved, to learn more and do more, and to change how we think about and consume energy so that we can all help tackle the big energy questions. The Genographic Project is uncovering the migratory history of humans through analysis of DNA contributed by people from cities, towns, and remote villages around the world. BioBlitz is an annual 24-hour event connecting people of all ages with scientists and rangers at national parks to help find and identify every living species they can. Traveling by traditional canoes and armed with cutting-edge research technology, Steve Boyes and team explore one of Earth's last and greatest wilderness areas. To improve the understanding of how the entire ecosystem of this archipelago works, the Pristine Seas team will use various tools to explore, scientifically survey, and record the environment around the archipelago. When you are aboard our three-person submarine you sit inside a completely clear sphere giving unrivaled views and the wonderful feeling of living in a bubble of air in the deep ocean.


The team realizes they are getting closer to the island because they can smell the thousands of birds from miles away!
National Geographic, along with Dereck and Beverly Joubert, launched the Big Cats Initiative to raise awareness and implement change around the dire situation facing big cats. Emily Fitzherbert studies how cultural traditions are being twisted to incentivize the killing of lions. Shafqat Hussain is helping herders recover the monetary loss of livestock killed by snow leopards.
For over 125 years, the National Geographic Society has awarded more than 11,000 grants for research, conservation, and exploration.
Apply for a grant for your own research, and get to know some of our most dynamic explorers. We are also the home of several explorers-in-residence, leaders in their fields with a legacy of tireless work and extraordinary impact. Enric Sala launched the Pristine Seas project to find, survey, and help protect the last wild places in the ocean.
There have been major discoveries, bitter disappointments, bold gambles, and quiet, steady successes.
Each one has contributed to a richer human understanding of the world and all that’s in it. While Grant’s best known for land battles, in 1863 he pulled off America's largest amphibious assault until Normandy in World War II. But the mighty Mississippi is constantly changing course and has shifted since Grant's day — will they be able to pinpoint the location and a few Civil War artifacts?



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