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.
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.
Nevada Wier is an 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.
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.
Tim Jepson is a British, London-based writer, traveler, and broadcaster. He began his traveling life at the age of 12, exploring the mountains of Britain and Ireland. After graduating from Oxford University, he lived and worked in Italy, writing for a variety of British newspapers and leading high-level expeditions in the country’s remotest corners. His experiences were recorded in a book, Wild Italy. He has since written more than 20 books, including several titles for National Geographic, and numerous articles for publications worldwide. Tim worked as a travel editor for London’s Daily Telegraph, and continues to travel extensively, with a passion for the farthest-flung destinations and the untrammeled cultures of Bhutan, Laos, Tibet, and Myanmar. He recently completed The British World: An Illustrated Atlas for National Geographic.
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.
Photographer and filmmaker Stephen Alvarez has published more than a dozen feature stories for National Geographic's magazines, covering exploration, culture, religion, and the aftermath of conflict. Stephen has reported on the discovery of the Ice Maiden in the high Andes of Peru, conservation in the roadless jungles of Suriname, rain forest research in Costa Rica, and cave exploration in Borneo, Mexico, Belize, Papua New Guinea, Canada, and the United States. His images have won awards in Pictures of the Year International and Communication Arts, and have been exhibited at Visa Pour L'Image in Perpignan, France. Recent appearances include NPR, PBS, and CBS Sunday Morning.
Medical anthropologist Carroll Dunham has resided in the Himalaya for more than 25 years and currently resides in Nepal. Author of four books, she has explored deeply the feminine divine in South Asian history and culture. She has produced more than a dozen films for National Geographic, PBS, the BBC, and others on subjects ranging from Living Goddesses to polyandry, nomadism, and geology. She has recently been involved with working with female immolations at a hospital burn unit and has delved extensively into the history of women’s relationship to fire and sacrifice in the Hindu world. On the board of the Nekorpa Foundation, which preserves sacred pilgrimage sites and traditions, Carroll has a keen interest in environmental conservation issues regarding sacred spaces of South Asia. A practitioner of yoga and ayurveda, committed to fostering income generation among marginalized women so they may support their families' health and education, Carroll has formulated ayurvedic products for The Body Shop and founded Wild Earth, a sustainable social enterprise producing handcrafted herbal products in the Himalaya. Carroll and her family have spent the last ten summers living with nomads in central Mongolia.
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.
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 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.
National Geographic photographer Michael Melford has produced 18 feature stories and two covers for National Geographic magazine with an emphasis on wilderness, conservation, and the environment. He also has shot more than 30 stories for National Geographic Traveler, including nine covers. Some of Michael’s recent assignments have focused on Russia and North America’s national parks. He has produced photography for eight books for National Geographic, including three on Alaska. While photographing his favorite book, Treasures of Alaska, he spent four months traveling to every corner of the state. When not shooting for the Geographic, Michael enjoys giving seminars and workshops on photography and sharing both his love of nature and his extensive knowledge of his craft.
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.
Biologist and award-winning documentary filmmaker Tierney Thys is a National Geographic Explorer and Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences. She has traveled to every continent and visited more than 60 countries. She is an expert on giant ocean sunfishes and the Daily Explorer in National Geographic's Animal Jam, an online world boasting 70 million registered players in 120 countries and five languages. Tierney has received numerous grants from the Society, has active marine study sites in Indonesia and Galapagos and has developed student expeditions in Monterey, Belize and Bali. Additional research activities include investigating how nature imagery influences brain activity and the effects of nature on incarcerated populations. Tierney is a TED All-Star speaker and passionate about sharing the wonders of the world and promoting global stewardship.
Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Jay Dickman has been a photojournalist for more than 40 years, traveling to over 100 countries and covering topics as diverse as the war in El Salvador, the Olympics, national political conventions, six Super Bowls, and the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Among his more than 25 assignments for the National Geographic Society, Jay has 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. A popular photography instructor, he has also published a best-selling guide called Perfect Digital Photography, as well as numerous articles for National Geographic, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Forbes.
Jason Edwards has been at the forefront of natural history photography for three decades. A passion for animals and the environment defines his extensive career. Since embarking on that career at the Royal Melbourne Zoo, Jason has been recognized globally for his contributions to science, the environment, and the arts. Among other accolades, he is a two-time winner of the Eureka Prize for Science Photography, three-time winner of Communication Arts Photography Annual, two-time winner of the ProMax Golden Muse, and winner of the Australian Geographic Society's Pursuit of Excellence Award. Jason is an associate fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and he uses his lens to narrate and highlight issues affecting wildlife, the environment, and indigenous communities. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications, including National Geographic magazine, BBC Wildlife, Australian Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Condé Nast Traveler, and The New Yorker. Through his commissioned work and as the face of the National Geographic Channel’s Pure Photography, he has taken his storytelling to dozens of countries and to every continent. Jason is also an author of science education books, and his imagery has appeared in everything from environmental campaigns to Hollywood blockbusters.