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.
Kirt Kempter is a field geologist and teacher based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A Fulbright Fellow, Kirt has led many geologic expeditions to Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks, and has published numerous maps and articles on the geology of the American Southwest. He has conducted fieldwork on a National Geographic-funded project, as well as studies of plate tectonics and volcanism around the world, including Iceland, Costa Rica, and Mexico. He received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Texas.
Christa Sadler is a geologist, educator, wilderness guide, and writer with a serious addiction to rivers, deserts, and mountains. Her research in archeology, geology, and paleontology has included several ridiculously hot summers searching for dinosaurs in the badlands of Montana, fighting off dust storms and overly curious camels in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, and steering clear of annoyed marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands. In 2003, Christa participated in a National Geographic research grant to find and catalog fossil vertebrate in the Grand Canyon. She appeared in the July 1996 and June 2004 issues of National Geographic magazine in connection with her work in the Gobi Desert and the Grand Canyon. Christa is the author of Life in Stone, a book about the fossil history of the Colorado Plateau, and she has published an anthology of short stories by boatmen on the Colorado River. She has taught introductory geology and paleontology courses at Northern Arizona University and other Arizona colleges, works as an instructor for the Grand Canyon Field Institute, and runs geology programs for park service staff at Grand Canyon National Park.
Conservation Biologist Taylor Edwards is an Assistant Staff Scientist at the University of Arizona Genetics Core, where he and his team conducted the public testing for National Geographic's Genographic Project (an innovative global program in which people can trace their ancestry back 60,000 years using markers in their DNA). His background includes a combination of wildlife ecology and molecular biology ,and he blends the two disciplines in his own research to answer questions about the conservation of species. A reptile and amphibian aficionado, Taylor work covers a variety of species ranging from endangered tortoises to giant frogs. At home in deserts and rain forests, his research has taken him to China, Brazil, Mexico, Namibia, and Cameroon—as well as to the canyons of America's desert southwest.
Stewart Aitchison has been exploring, photographing, teaching, and writing about biodiversity, geology, and the American Southwest for forty years. He frequently travels as a naturalist and photo instructor aboard the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet. Stewart also spent ten years as a field biologist for the Museum of Northern Arizona, a nonprofit institution dedicated to preserving the Colorado Plateau's natural and cultural heritage. His travels and studies have resulted in more than 20 books, including the bestselling Grand Canyon: Window of Time, a photography book focused on the history, geology, and mystery of this natural wonder. His latest book is The Desert Islands of Mexico's Sea of Cortez. Stewart's photos have appeared in National Geographic, Arizona Highways, the Los Angeles Times, Mountain Bike magazine, National Wildlife, Nevada magazine, Outdoor & Travel Photography, Reader's Digest, and Sierra.