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.
When Peter Hillary first climbed Mount Everest in 1990, he and his father, Sir Edmund Hillary—who made the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953—became the first father and son to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain. Among Peter's 40 mountaineering expeditions, he participated in a 2002 National Geographic-sponsored ascent and film on Mount Everest. He is the author of six books on mountaineering and does charitable work to assist the local people of the Mount Everest region in Nepal.
An ornithologist, photographer, fisherman, climber, and writer, Santiago Imberti was born and raised in southern Patagonia, Argentina. He obtained a degree in tourism and later in ornithology, which allowed him to combine his love for nature and the outdoors with his work as a birdwatcher, naturalist, fly fisher, and mountain guide. He has been guiding trips in Patagonia, the Antarctic, and the Arctic for some 25 years. Santiago's passion is conservation and research. Santiago does fieldwork on birds from our ships, and is the Director of Conservation for Asociación Ambiente Sur, an NGO that seeks to protect the environment and educate new generations on a sustainable way of life in southern Patagonia. Since 2009, he has coordinated a project to save the now critically endangered hooded grebe, which is endemic to Patagonia, and to support the creation of Patagonia National Park, a massive protected area that aims to save the grebe and some of the least known habitats in South America. Throughout 2018, Santiago is acting as a National Geographic Year of the Bird Ambassador.
James "Jamie" Coleman grew up in Oxford, about as far from the sea as you can get in the United Kingdom, but decided he would work in marine biology and conservation. Ever since he reached his teens, he has dedicated time to this passion, working and volunteering in various roles on nature reserves and in aquariums. In 2007, he left home to study marine biology at the University of Newcastle. As much as he loves working with people, he has a habit of ending up in isolated, inhospitable havens, far from civilization. Most recently, he completed a stint working as the Higher Predator Biologist for the British Antarctic Survey on South Georgia, living alongside and studying the incredible wildlife. His work there mainly focused on the gentoo penguins and Antarctic fur seals, but also included periods offshore as a fisheries observer and completing wandering albatross surveys on Prion Island. Prior to this, he spent two seasons as Senior Warden on the Farne Islands, a reserve in the North Sea famous for its densities of seabirds and seals. Jamie has worked in conservation and wildlife research around the world. He ran a jaguar camera trapping project in the Pantanal, Brazil. He also participated in diving projects in the Bahamas and Mexico, where he researched marine protected areas and the health of coastal habitats. Throughout 2018, Jamie is acting as a National Geographic Year of the Bird Ambassador.
Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Jay Dickman has been a photojournalist for more than 40 years, 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.
Dutch photographer Jasper Doest specializes in conservation issues, travel, and wildlife photography. As a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, his photographs have received multiple awards and appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic magazine, GEO, and Smithsonian magazine. He is also a regular contributor to the Dutch editions of National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines. Jasper's photographs of Japanese macaques, popularly known as "snow monkeys," received recognition in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and appeared in the October 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine. Through his photographic work, Jasper seeks to give a voice to environmental issues as well as those who can’t speak our language or are often misunderstood, emphasizing the beauty and fragility of our planet. He looks forward to sharing his photographic and storytelling knowledge with travelers on this expedition.
David Cothran has worked for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1993 on six continents and in more than 65 countries. David is interested in many of the natural sciences, particularly ornithology, geology and marine biology; he most enjoys contrasting the broad perspectives provided by world travel with detailed investigations of local ecosystems on land and in the sea. David is an avid wildlife and landscape photographer and enjoys shooting with DSLRs, compact cameras and his iPhone. He particularly focuses on photography of wildlife in habitat, macro images of insects and abstract images of patterns and textures. Before joining Lindblad-National Geographic, David worked as a staff field biologist and education coordinator at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, an independent research institution in California. At PRBO David studied songbirds, seabirds, owls and elephant seals while overseeing a broad education program, which included classes for school-children, workshops for professional biologists and interpretation for the general public. His home, which is completely off the grid, is at the crest of the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon.
Doug’s passion for the natural world started at an early age in his home state of Michigan. He received two biology degrees from Central Michigan University, and later went on to get a master’s degree in conservation biology. His education led him to study a diverse range of natural sciences, with an emphasis on ecology, animal behavior, and migratory birds. Shortly after leaving the academic world, Doug migrated north to Alaska with his trusty Siberian husky, Koda. He began working as a naturalist in Denali National Park in 1999. For more than seven years, he has shared his love of Alaska and Denali’s six million acres with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests, as trip leader for the Denali Land Extension based at the North Face Lodge deep within the park. Throughout 2018, Doug is acting as a National Geographic Year of the Bird Ambassador.
Bud earned an undergraduate degree in wildlife biology at Colorado State University, then moved to Alaska, where he lived and worked for 30 years. At the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Bud studied wildlife biology and received a master's degree conducting research on four species of seabird nesting on a remote island in the Gulf of Alaska. He went on to conduct field research on the relationships between moose and their habitat, forest succession and songbird populations, tundra bird populations and migration, and woodpecker populations after natural forest fires. Bud began working with Lindblad Expeditions in 1983 as a naturalist and expedition leader, and has subsequently made Atlantic Ocean Crossings and voyaged to the Arctic and Antarctic, temperate and tropical regions of Central and South America, and the western South Pacific. His numerous journeys over the years have given him a chance to appreciate the diversity of life and cultures across our planet. Throughout 2018, Bud will serve as a Year of the Bird Ambassador.
National Geographic photographer Jeff Mauritzen's assignments and adventures have immersed him in vivid landscapes on all seven continents and in more than 60 countries around the world. Whether capturing 360-degree panoramas of wildlife along an African savanna or photographing sharks in the Pacific depths, Jeff’s work expresses an unwavering passion, respect, curiosity, and awe for the natural world. His photography has appeared in over a dozen National Geographic books, several National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine articles, and on the @natgeotravel Instagram account, where he’s a regular contributor. Jeff has also shot for the National Geographic Traveler guidebook series. In addition to assignment work, Jeff enjoys traveling with National Geographic Expeditions teaching photography around the world on natural history-focused trips. His images are represented by Nat Geo Creative.
John Francis recently retired as Vice President for Research, Conservation and Exploration at the National Geographic Society. A marine biologist and National Geographic grantee, John began his career studying the behavioral ecology of seals and sea lions on remote islands in North and South America. A film on his work led to his role as a producer of wildlife films, covering everything from chimps and tigers to whales and sharks. From that he took on the grant-making side of National Geographic, supporting explorers around the world and pushing their stories through diverse National Geographic media. Outside of his National Geographic responsibilities, Francis served on boards and committees for the U.S. National Park System, the Commission for Education and Communications of the IUCN, and the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. He now serves on the Sustainable Travel International and Congo Basin Institute boards and advises the National Geographic/Lindblad Fund supporting marine projects visited by shipboard travelers. John will join the March 6, 2019 departure as Global Perspectives Guest Speaker.