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 the experts that will be joining this expedition.
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.
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.
Jul 12 - Aug 02, 2018
Lee Berger Archaeologist, Anthropologist, Paleontologist
National Geographic Explorer-in-
Residence Lee Berger
is a Research Professor in
Human Evolution and the Public
Understanding of Science at
the University of Witwatersrand
in Johannesburg, South Africa. His explorations
into human origins in Africa have resulted in
many notable discoveries, including the most
comprehensive early hominin fossils found so far,
which belong to a new species of early human
ancestor, Australopithecus sediba, and, in 2013,
the richest early hominin site yet found on the
continent of Africa. Lee will serve as National Geographic host on this expedition.
Alexander "Alec" Murphy is senior vice president of the American Geographical Society and a professor of geography at the University of Oregon. He has also served as a member of the Advisory Committee for National Geographic Education. Alec co-authored Human Geography: People, Place, and Culture, a comprehensive look at global phenomena, ranging from India and East Africa to Peru and China. He has traveled and conducted research on five continents. An engaging speaker with a wealth of knowledge on political, cultural, historical, and environmental geography, he will offer his insights into the human and physical forces that shape the places we visit.
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.
Anthropologist, archaeologist and storyteller 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 been exploring the cities and ruins of Europe—from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia—since childhood. And he has taught university courses that encompass major archeological and historical sites all over the world.
Jan Nijman is Distinguished University Professor in Geosciences and Director of the Urban Studies Institute at Georgia State University. Jan has been affiliated with National Geographic for more than 15 years, as a member of the Geographic’s Committee for Research & Exploration and as Chair of the Society’s Global Exploration Fund in Europe. He has traveled the globe in support of Society-funded projects in research, conservation, and exploration. The author of five books and more than a hundred other publications, his expertise is in urban and regional development and the history of world cities. A Dutch native, Jan speaks five languages and has received numerous awards including the Nystrom Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Jan lives in Atlanta and Amsterdam.