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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.
Geographer Chris Drake has led numerous field courses in Morocco and traveled extensively around the world. A former Fulbright recipient, she directed the geography program at Old Dominion University, where she served on the faculty for more than 30 years. Her academic interests include cultural and political geography and development issues, particularly in Africa and Asia. Born in England, Chris earned her BA (with first class honors) at Oxford University, and—after two years of Voluntary Service in Khartoum, Sudan—her MA and Ph.D. at Rutgers. An inspiring educator, she has received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia and the ODU Provost’s Award for Leadership in International Education. She is a member of the American Geographical Society, the Explorers Club, the National Council for Geographic Education, and the Southeast Regional Middle East and Islamic Studies Seminar, and has served on several of their boards.
Geographer David Scott Silverberg (Ph.D. MIT, postdoc Harvard) has worked throughout the North Africa-Middle East region since 1989 helping to map Moroccan geography, mentor Moroccan doctoral students, and explore the history of exploration and discovery by Moroccan adventurers. He is reaching completion of a geography and art book on the Atlas-Sahara transition. One of his current projects is restoring a Marrakech riad where he spends European winters in his Moroccan atelier. His digital photo and video talks on Morocco and Saharan geography, Berber, Arab, and Saharan cultures have been popular with National Geographic travelers. He has served as executive director for research at EarthWatch and helped launch AmeriCorps's environmental programs. David is a fellow of the Explorers Club, the Royal Africa Society, the Royal Geographical Society, and the Royal Asia Society. He is passionately committed to community-based protected area projects on six continents. As this expedition moves from coast to mountains to the Sahara to lush cedar forests, David will illuminate the relationship of Morocco’s fascinating cultures to its diverse geography.
Chloé Capel is a field archaeologist who specializes in the medieval history of North and West Africa. She earned her Ph.D. in Medieval Archaeology from the Sorbonne University in Paris, and has been a lecturer in Islamic Arts at Paris's Ecole du Louvre for ten years. Chloé has taken part in archaeological expeditions across the Sahara in Egypt, Mauritania, Ethiopia and Niger. She currently works in Morocco, where she participates in several ongoing archaeological projects. She has done extensive work in the caravan city of Sijilmassa in southeastern Morocco. Today, she co-directs the archaeological excavations of Aghmat, which was a powerful and thriving medieval city located close to present-day Marrakech.