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.
Ralph Lee Hopkins is a popular photo instructor and geologist who also serves as an expedition leader aboard the National Geographic fleet. He joined the historic Arctic Expedition for Climate Action in July 2008 as a photographer and has traveled beyond both the Arctic and the Antarctic Circles many times during the past two decades. His wildlife images have appeared in National Geographic's books, magazines, and online galleries, and are represented in the National Geographic Image Collection.
David Cothran has worked for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1993 on six continents and in more than 65 countries. David is interested in many of the natural sciences, particularly ornithology, geology and marine biology; he most enjoys contrasting the broad perspectives provided by world travel with detailed investigations of local ecosystems on land and in the sea.
David is an avid wildlife and landscape photographer and enjoys shooting with DSLRs, compact cameras and his iPhone. He particularly focuses on photography of wildlife in habitat, macro images of insects and abstract images of patterns and textures. Before joining Lindblad-National Geographic, David worked as a staff field biologist and education coordinator at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, an independent research institution in California. At PRBO David studied songbirds, seabirds, owls and elephant seals while overseeing a broad education program, which included classes for school-children, workshops for professional biologists and interpretation for the general public. His home, which is completely off the grid, is at the crest of the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon.
Doug’s passion for the natural world started at an early age in his home state of Michigan. He received two biology degrees from Central Michigan University, and later went on to get a master’s degree in conservation biology. His education led him to study a diverse range of natural sciences, with an emphasis on ecology, animal behavior, and migratory birds. Shortly after leaving the academic world, Doug migrated north to Alaska with his trusty Siberian husky, Koda. He began working as a naturalist in Denali National Park in 1999. For more than seven years, he has shared his love of Alaska and Denali’s six million acres with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests, as trip leader for the Denali Land Extension based at the North Face Lodge deep within the park. Throughout 2018, Doug is acting as a National Geographic Year of the Bird Ambassador.
During the past 25 years, Phil Schermeister completed more than 40 major assignments for the National Geographic Book Division, National Geographic magazine and other National Geographic publications. He has photographed on assignment in more than 40 National Parks around the United States and has published six single-photographer books with National Geographic, including Range of Light, Our National Parks and America's Western Edge. Some of his other assignments have included coverage of Quechua Indians in the Andes of Peru, Tarahumara Indians in Mexico’s Copper Canyon and Native Americans across the Western United States.
Phil is drawn to high-latitudes, and has photographed all types of natural landscapes from National Parks, Seashores, and Recreation Areas to Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Wildlife Refuges. In his search for “decisive moments” in nature, Phil seeks to find drama in the changing light and seasons as the forces of nature continue to sculpt an unfinished natural landscape.
Of photographer Maria Stenzel's more than two dozen assignments for National Geographic, six have celebrated Antarctica. She has photographed sea ice during the austral winter, the continent's ice-free Dry Valleys, tree fossils in the Transantarctic Mountains, and Weddell seals and Adelie penguins near McMurdo Station. Maria also covered Shackleton’s route across South Georgia. Her essay on the world’s largest penguin colony in the remote South Sandwich Islands received a World Press Award. Maria recently sailed to the Amundsen Sea, Antarctic Peninsula, and Weddell Sea for an article on climate change in and around Antarctica.
One of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, Annie Griffiths has photographed in nearly 150 countries during her illustrious career. She has worked on dozens of magazine and book projects for National Geographic, including stories on Lawrence of Arabia, Galilee, Petra, Sydney, New Zealand, and Jerusalem. In addition to her magazine work, Annie is deeply committed to photographing for aid organizations around the world. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of photographers who document aid programs that are empowering women and girls in the developing world. In just five years, Ripple’s work has helped 24 non-profits raise over ten million dollars. She has published four books, and worked with author Kim Heacox to produce National Geographic’s lavishly illustrated history of the epic Ernest Shackleton voyage, Shackleton: The Antarctic Challenge. She is also an accomplished speaker and a regular guest on NPR, The Today Show, and other media outlets. Annie has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the National Organization of Women, and the White House News Photographers Association.