Nat Geo explorers

Changemakers and innovators

We welcome Explorers from around the globe and seek to build a community reflecting the diversity of our world.

National Geographic Explorers are exceptional individuals in their fields who receive funding and support from the Society to illuminate and protect our world through their work in science, exploration, education, and storytelling. 

They are driven by something bigger than themselves. They see the difference between the world as it is and as it could be, and they make a choice to do something about it with courage and conviction.

Global changemakers

This is what an
explorer looks like

Explorers are infinitely curious people who are passionate about our planet and making it a better place.

In the depths of the ocean, Explorers reveal underwater worlds that sustain life on Earth. In subterranean caves, they investigate our ancient past and the very roots of humanity. At the edge of extinction, they courageously work to end wildlife trafficking and protect species at risk. On the frontlines of conservation, they help safeguard fragile ecosystems for future generations. They are driving cutting-edge technology and pushing the limits of what is possible.

The Mindset and Code

What it means to be an Explorer

We are deeply committed to performing our mission in a manner that earns the respect of everyone we interact with and maintains our brand trust and reputation. Our success in achieving this mission is dependent upon an unwavering personal commitment from our Explorer Community.

The Explorer Mindset

While our Explorers represent diverse backgrounds and fields of work, they are united by shared values and commitments. National Geographic Explorers …

  • are leaders and problem solvers
  • are informed, curious, and capable individuals who are committed to making the world a better place
  • have a sense of responsibility and respect for other people, cultures, and the natural world
  • are empowered to make a difference, pursue bold ideas, and persist in the face of challenges
  • observe, document, and engage with the world around them
  • tell stories that inspire others
  • create and foster a global community committed to a sustainable future.
  • are committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their fields.

The Explorer Code

The Explorer Code is a simple credo that fosters a productive, collaborative, empathetic, and solution-oriented National Geographic Explorers community. Our Explorers are expected to exemplify this code, demonstrating integrity and acting according to the highest ethical standards.

  • treat their peers, National Geographic staff, and others with respect
  • present and share their work openly, truthfully, and accurately
  • collaborate willingly with and support other members of the community
  • set an example for and mentor other members of the community
Meet our explorers

Our global community
of solution-seekers

They have diverse ideas, talents, backgrounds, and expertise. Wherever their paths take them — in the lab, behind the lens, in the classroom, or in the field — Explorers make profound contributions that help to realize our mission and vision.

Investing in our Explorers

Explorer cultivation and support

Our Explorers get access to valuable opportunities and resources.

Being a National Geographic Explorer means more than just receiving financial support from the Society. We make investments in each Explorer with project funding and expanded professional development, training, leadership and speaking opportunities, community building, and connections. 

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Education and training
We offer courses in science communication, project management, and more — including the award-winning NGS Sciencetelling™ Bootcamp.
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Professional gatherings
Explorers have exclusive access to our in-person and virtual thought leadership convenings, like the annual Storytellers Summit, Education Summit, and Explorers Festival.
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Peer-to-peer support
Our online community spaces allow for networking and connection between National Geographic Explorers.
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As part of Nat Geo, our Explorers have opportunities to present their work virtually, on stage, and with internal and external media outlets.
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Cutting-edge tools
Our Exploration Technology lab develops hardware for our Explorers' use, and we offer licenses to software like ArcGIS and MATLAB.

Interested in becoming a National Geographic Explorer?
Learn about our investment strategy and available grants.

Photo Credits from top of page: Rijasolo, Charlie Hamilton James, Rebecca Hale and Mark Thiessen, Steve De Neef, Prasenjeet Yadav. Below: Michael Nichols, Andy Mann, Paul Nicklen, Ami Vitale, Christian Tryon, Kenneth Garrett, Mark Thiessen.

Get updates about our critical work to explore and protect our planet.

Join Us
Your impact begins today

By joining the Society, you will fund Explorers working to save wildlife, protect our oceans and ecosystems, preserve our ancient heritage, and solve the planet’s mysteries and challenges.