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Ford Cochran is Director of Programming for National Geographic Expeditions, selecting the writers, photographers, explorers, scholars, and staff the Society sends to destinations around the world. Over his more than 20 years with the Geographic, he has written for National Geographic magazine, served as principal contributing writer for its Historical Atlas of the United States, helped launch Nationalgeographic.com and directed content development and programming for the website, and documented numerous Society-funded research expeditions in the field. Ford is the featured lecturer for the new National Geographic-Great Courses college-level course Wonders of the National Parks: A Geology of North America.
Ford studied English literature at the College of William & Mary and Earth science at Harvard and Yale, where he did his graduate field research on Hawaii's volcanoes and Mount St. Helens. He was an assistant professor of geology and environmental science at the University of Kentucky before joining the National Geographic staff.