National Geographic Experts


A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.

Jon Waterhouse
Conservationist, Educator

National Geographic Fellow Jon Waterhouse is executive director of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, an international treaty organization comprised of seventy native tribes and First Nations. In 2007, a request by the native elders and tribal leaders living in the Yukon River watershed that he "go out and take the pulse of the river" prompted his first “Healing Journey”—a lengthy canoe trip during which Jon collected scientific data while documenting some of the environmental concerns and traditional practices of people living along the Yukon. Jon now oversees the Healing Journey as a worldwide river event that brings people who live continents apart much closer together, fueling his belief that our shared experiences and concerns enhance the effort to make wise decisions for the future. Some 12 million pounds of trash and pollutants have been removed from the 335,000-square-mile Yukon watershed under Jon's leadership, an accomplishment that has garnered global attention and inspired similar hands-on accomplishments wherever Healing Journeys are held. Each Healing Journey also gathers scientific data on river health and includes a strong cultural component as well, communicating information about changes in the lives of residents along the river and tackling social ills by helping community members forge connections with the natural world and with one another. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Jon one of five U.S. citizens on the Joint Public Advisory Committee to the multi-national Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

Departure Dates
  • Jun 27 - Jul 04, 2015

Birgit Buhleier

Filmmaker, producer, and scientist Birgit Buhleier played an integral role in the evolution of National Geographic’s Crittercam, a video camera system that has provided fascinating insights into the daily lives of hundreds of species. Through her work with Crittercam, she has sidled up to seals, sea lions and whales; studied the secret lives of great white and tiger sharks; and dived with hawksbill sea turtles. She has personally deployed more than 100 Crittercams on a broad range of animals, including many that are native to Alaska. Birgit has lived and worked in some of the world’s most remote places—from islands in the Pacific to polar camps—but Alaska remains one of her favorites. She brings a unique perspective on the whales, seals, and bears we spot on this journey.

Departure Dates
  • Jul 24 - 31, 2016