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A world-class team of experts will accompany each expedition to share their knowledge and insights with you and bring each destination to life. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.
Don Belt has traveled to some 80 countries over the past three decades, working as a writer and editor for National Geographic. As foreign editor of the magazine from 1998 to 2010, Don helped to guide the Society's coverage of topics ranging from weapons of mass destruction and terrorism to the geopolitics of Water and the legacy of colonialism in the Middle East. Don has authored major National Geographic articles on Lawrence of Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Arab Christians, Russia's Lake Baikal, Israel's Galilee, Petra, Sweden, Baja California, the Jordan River, the World of Islam, and Cold War science in the Russian Arctic. Since retiring in 2011, Don has continued to write for the magazine while teaching Journalism at the University of Richmond. He also serves as University Outreach director for the Out of Eden Walk, presenting workshops for educators on this National Geographic-supported global journalism project.
Sisse Brimberg has produced more than 25 stories for National Geographic magazine over the last three decades. Her work ranges from documenting the life of fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Anderson to her latest National Geographic project chronicling the Viking culture. Brimberg won first prize for “Picture Story of the Year“ from the National Press Photographers Association for her story on migrant workers. Born in Denmark, Brimberg established and managed her own photo studio in Copenhagen after attending photography school. Her photographs have been exhibited around the world in Germany, Greece, Brazil, Mexico, New York City (International Center for Photography), and Washington, D.C. (The Newseum).
A 28-year veteran of the National Geographic Society, Rob Hernandez began
as a senior editor for National Geographic magazine and later founded its
International Publishing division, which publishes magazines, books, and
other media in more than 35 languages. Raised in Cuba and Spain, Rob spent
his early career doing ecological field research and documenting the wildlife
and culture of the world’s more remote places. He filmed a television special on lions in
Namibia, explored the wilderness of New Guinea, journeyed to rarely visited corners of
South America, and circumnavigated the Indian and Pacific Oceans in a small sailboat
for 2 years. So far, this inveterate globetrotter has made multiple visits to nearly every
destination on our Around the World itinerary.
Born and raised in Italy, photojournalist Massimo Bassano has published his work in National Geographic Traveler and on the National Geographic website, as well as in numerous European publications. He regularly teaches National Geographic photography workshops in Tuscany and Venice. His acclaimed photography book The Color of Silence detailed the 12 weeks he spent in a little-known Italian monastery. Massimo has also traveled and photographed extensively in Europe and Africa. A veteran of numerous Around the World by Private Jet trips, Massimo frequently joins photography and other expeditions for National Geographic, and is a favorite with the Society's travelers.
Archaeologist William Saturno is a National Geographic Explorer specializing in early civilizations. He has received numerous grants from the Society to support his ongoing excavations of ancient Maya murals in Guatemala. His breakthrough discovery at San Bartolo of the oldest intact Maya murals yet found became the focus of the National Geographic magazine articles "The Sistine Chapel of the Early Maya" in December 2003 and "The Dawn of Maya Gods and Kings" in January 2006. The June 2012 issue described his recent unearthing of murals at Xultún. Outside of Mesoamerica, Bill has conducted archaeological research in the American Southwest, Bolivia, Cambodia, and most recently on the North Coast of Peru. He has taught university courses that encompass major archeological and historical sites all over the world.
Geographer, educator, and author Stephen F. Cunha
spent ten years as a national park ranger in
Yosemite and Alaska. Now a geography professor at
California’s Humboldt State University, he studies
diverse landscapes around the world and has visited
most of the destinations on this trip. He is the author
of more than 80 publications, including National Geographic’s
Our Fifty States and How to Ace the National Geographic Bee:
The Official Study Guide. He recently received the California
State University system’s highest award for exemplary
contributions and achievements in the Social and Behavioral
Sciences and Public Service.
Nevada Wier is a multiple-award-winning
photographer specializing in documenting the
remote corners and cultures of the world. Her
journeys have taken her to many of the planet’s
deserts, mountains, and urban jungles. Nevada’s
work has appeared in National Geographic
magazine, as well as Geo, National Geographic Traveler,
Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Smithsonian, and numerous
other publications. She is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club and a
member of the Women’s Geographic Society.
Jack Daulton is a popular lecturer on the cultural
history of non-Western civilizations and has been
an expert on trips to more than 50 countries. His
research has focused on the art and architecture of
Asia and Africa as well as the study of Buddhism,
Hinduism, and Islam. Jack is also an attorney with a focus on international law relating to the preservation and conservation of the world’s cultural heritage. In a widely reported 1995 federal case, he recovered a thousand-year-old sculpture that had been stolen from a temple in Southeast Asia.
National Geographic Society
a linguist and head of scientific
research for the Society’s
Enduring Voices Project, which documents
endangered languages and cultures around
the world. Gregory is an experienced
fieldworker, and has worked on-site with
speakers of languages on every inhabited
continent. He has authored ten books and
more than 75 academic articles and was
featured, along with National Geographic
Explorer David Harrison, in the acclaimed
documentary film The Linguists.
National Geographic photographer Michael Melford has produced more than a dozen feature stories for National Geographic magazine and more than 30 for National Geographic Traveler, including eight covers. Some of Michael’s recent assignments have focused on Russia, Israel, and North America’s national parks. He has produced photography for eight books for National Geographic, including three on Alaska, his favorite being Treasures of Alaska, for which he spent four months traveling to every corner of the state. When not shooting for National Geographic, Michael enjoys giving seminars and workshops on photography and sharing both his love of nature and his extensive knowledge.
A Fulbright fellow and a gifted educator, Kirt Kempter has spent most of his career as a field geologist, studying volcanic provinces in North, Central, and South America, as well as Iceland. He has published numerous articles and geologic maps, and participated in the geologic training of NASA astronaut candidates. He has also led educational expeditions to places all around the world,
from Antarctica to the high Arctic. He looks forward to sharing his
insights on the stunning destinations and landscapes we will visit,
including the Andes, the Pacific Islands, the Indian subcontinent,
the Himalayan mountains, and East Africa’s Rift Valley.
Anthropologist and linguist David Harrison is a National Geographic Fellow and a co-director of the Society’s Enduring Voices Project, which documents
endangered languages and cultures around the world. He has done extensive fieldwork with indigenous communities from Siberia and Mongolia to Peru, India, and Australia. His global research is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film The Linguists, and his work has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, USA Today, and Science.
National Geographic Emerging Explorer Tierney Thys is a marine biologist and documentary filmmaker whose work explores the breadth of animal diversity from pole to pole and chronicles global environmental change. Tierney is a world authority on the giant ocean sunfish, Mola mola, and has led numerous expeditions worldwide from Africa to Baja, Japan, Indonesia, and the GalÃ¡pagos Islands to study these bizarre jelly-eating behemoths. Tierney has also developed and guided National Geographic student marine biology expeditions in Monterey Bay.
Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Jay Dickman has worked in photojournalism for more than 35 years, covering topics as diverse as the war in El Salvador, the Olympics, national political conventions, six Super Bowls, the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, and Shirley MacLaine. A popular photo instructor and expedition leader, he lived for three months in a Stone Age village in Papua New Guinea and spent a week under the Arctic ice in a nuclear attack sub on assignments for National Geographic magazine. He has also published five books and numerous articles for National Geographic Traveler, LIFE, Condé Nast Traveler, Time, Sports Illustrated, and Forbes.