Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
National Geographic Society

National Geographic Society

Discussion
Ask a question about 'National Geographic Society'
Start a new discussion about 'National Geographic Society'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 in the United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

, archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 and natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation
Conservation movement
The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future....

, and the study of world culture
Civilization
Civilization is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally...

 and history
World History
World History, Global History or Transnational history is a field of historical study that emerged as a distinct academic field in the 1980s. It examines history from a global perspective...

. The National Geographic Society’s logo
Logo
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition...

 is a yellow portrait
Page orientation
Page orientation is the way in which a rectangular page is oriented for normal viewing. The two most common types of orientation are portrait and landscape...

frame - rectangular in shape - which appears on the margins
Margin (typography)
In typography, a margin is the space that surrounds the content of a page. The margin helps to define where a line of text begins and ends. When a page is justified the text is spread out to be flush with the left and right margins...

 surrounding the front covers of its magazines and as its channel logo.

Overview


The National Geographic Society's historical mission is "to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world's cultural, historical, and natural resources." Its President and CEO since March 1998, John M. Fahey, Jr.
John M. Fahey, Jr.
John M. Fahey, Jr. became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Geographic Society in 1998, succeeding Reg Murphy. Fahey also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees, as well as Chairman of its executive committee....

, says National Geographic's purpose is to inspire people to care about their planet. The Society is governed by a twenty-three member Board of Trustees composed of a group of distinguished educators, leading business executives, former governmental officials, and conservationists.

The organization sponsors and funds scientific research and exploration. The Society publishes an official journal, National Geographic Magazine
National Geographic Magazine
National Geographic, formerly the National Geographic Magazine, is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. It published its first issue in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded...

, and other magazines, books, school products, maps, other publications, web and film products in numerous languages and countries around the world. It also has an educational foundation that gives grants to education organizations and individuals to enhance geography education. Its Committee for Research and Exploration has given grants for scientific research for most of the Society's history and has recently awarded its 9,000th grant for scientific research, conducted worldwide and often reported on by its media properties.

Its various media properties reach about 360 million people around the world monthly. National Geographic maintains a museum free for the public in its Washington, D.C. headquarters, and has helped to sponsor popular traveling exhibits such as the "King Tut" exhibit featuring magnificent artifacts from the tomb of the young Egyptian
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

, which toured in several American cities, ending its U.S. showing at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The Tut exhibit is currently in Atlanta.

Another National Geographic exhibit of "The Cultural Treasures of Afghanistan" opened in May 2008 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The exhibit will travel over the next eighteen months to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. In November 2008, National Geographic opened a major retail store on Regent Street in London.

History


The National Geographic Society began as a club for an elite group of academics and wealthy patrons interested in travel. On January 13, 1888, 33 explorers and scientists gathered at the Cosmos Club
Cosmos Club
The Cosmos Club is a private social club in Washington, D.C., founded by John Wesley Powell in 1878. In addition to Powell, original members included Clarence Edward Dutton, Henry Smith Pritchett, William Harkness, and John Shaw Billings. Among its stated goals is "The advancement of its members in...

, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, to organize "a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 knowledge." After preparing a constitution and a plan of organization, the National Geographic Society was incorporated two weeks later on January 27. Gardiner Greene Hubbard
Gardiner Greene Hubbard
Gardiner Greene Hubbard was a U.S. lawyer, financier, and philanthropist. He was one of the founders of the Bell Telephone Company and the first president of the National Geographic Society.- Biography :...

 became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone....

, eventually succeeded him in 1897 following his death. In 1899 Bell's son-in-law Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor
Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor
Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor , the father of photojournalism, was the first full-time editor of National Geographic Magazine, serving from 1899 to 1954. Grosvenor is credited with having built the magazine into the iconic publication that it is today...

 was named the first full-time editor of National Geographic Magazine and served the organization for fifty-five years (1954), and members of the Grosvenor family have played important roles in the organization since.

Bell and his son-in-law, Grosvenor, devised the successful marketing notion of Society membership and the first major use of photographs to tell stories in magazines. The current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of National Geographic is Gilbert Melville Grosvenor
Gilbert Melville Grosvenor
Gilbert Melville Grosvenor, born on May 5, 1931, is past president and chief executive of the National Geographic Society, as well as a former editor of National Geographic Magazine....

, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 in 2005 for the Society's leadership for Geography education. In 2004, the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 was one of the first buildings to receive a "Green" certification from Global Green USA
Global Green USA
Global Green USA is the U.S. arm of Green Cross International. It is one of 30 national offices with over 70 professional staff worldwide. Global Green USA is a national environmental organization.-References:*, Global Green USA Website...

. The National Geographic received the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanity in October 2006 in Oviedo, Spain.

National Geographic



The National Geographic Magazine, later shortened to National Geographic, published its first issue (October 1888) nine months after the Society was founded as the Society's official journal, a benefit for joining the tax exempt National Geographic Society. The magazine has had for many years a trademarked yellow border around the edge of its cover.

There are 12 monthly issues of National Geographic per year, plus at least four additional map supplements. On rare occasions, special issues of the magazine are also created. The magazine contains articles about geography, popular science, world history, culture, current events and photography of places and things all over the world and universe. The National Geographic magazine is currently published in 32 language editions in many countries around the world. Combined English and other language circulation is nearly nine million monthly with more than fifty million readers monthly.

Other publications


In addition to its flagship magazine, the Society publishes six other periodicals in the United States:
  • National Geographic Kids
    National Geographic Kids
    National Geographic Kids is a children's magazine published by the National Geographic Society. Its first issue was printed in September 1975 under the original title: National Geographic World .The magazine was published for twenty-six...

    : launched in 1975 as National Geographic World, it adopted its current name in 2001. It has a U.S. circulation of over 1.5 million. There are also currently 18 local language editions of NG Kids, with another half million in circulation. An Arabic edition of the children's magazine was launched in Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     in early 2007, and more than 42,000 copies are distributed to all the public schools in Egypt, in addition to another 15,000 single copy sales. More recently, an Albania
    Albania
    Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

    n and Polish edition were launched.
  • National Geographic Little Kids: for children aged 3–6
  • National Geographic Traveler
    National Geographic Traveler
    National Geographic Traveler is a magazine published by the National Geographic Society in the United States. It was launched in 1984. Local-language editions of National Geographic Traveler are published in Armenia, Belgium/the Netherlands, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Latin America,...

    : launched in 1984. There are 15 local-language editions of NG Traveler.
  • National Geographic Adventure
    National Geographic Adventure Magazine
    National Geographic Adventure was a magazine started in 1999 by the National Geographic Society in the United States. It focused on adventure travel and included "Next Weekend" where it featured good weekend trips from all across the U.S., "First In" where it wrote recent adventure travel news,...

    : launched in 1999
  • National Geographic Explorer
    National Geographic Explorer
    National Geographic Explorer is an American documentary television series that originally premiered on Nickelodeon on April 7, 1985, after having been produced as a less costly and intensive alternative to PBS's National Geographic Specials by Pittsburgh station WQED...

    : classroom magazine launched in 2001 as National Geographic for Kids, which has grown to about 2½ million circulation.
  • National Geographic Green Guide: Launched in 2003, tips to consumers of how to live a "greener" life. The print version was discontinued in January 2009.
  • Glimpse Magazine (in association with National Geographic)
  • National Geographic Exploring History, which made its debut in Fall, 2011
  • Treasures of the Earth a collection about minerals and gemstones


The Society also runs an online news outlet called National Geographic News.

The Society previously published:
  • The National Geographic School Bulletin, magazine similar to the National Geographic but aimed at grade school children, was published weekly during the school year from 1919 to 1975, when it was replaced by National Geographic World.
  • During the 1980s and 1990s, it published a research journal which later closed.


The Society has published map
Map
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

s, atlases, and numerous book
Book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

s. It also lends its license to other publishers, for example to Thames & Kosmos
Thames & Kosmos
Thames & Kosmos is a publisher of over 60 science kits for kids of all ages, which cover topics such as biology, physics, astronomy, and alternative energy. It places an emphasis on teaching real-world issues and practical skills through hands-on experimentation and comprehensive reading materials...

 for a line of science kits.
In October 2007, National Geographic created a new Global Media group composed of its magazine, book publishing, television, film, music, radio, digital media and maps units. Tim Kelly, 51, president and CEO of National Geographic Ventures, has been named president, Global Media.

Television


Programs by the National Geographic Society are also broadcast on television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

. National Geographic television specials as well as television series have been aired on PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 and other networks in the United States and globally for many years. The Geographic series in the U.S. started on CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 in 1964, moved to ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 in 1973 and shifted to PBS (produced by WQED
WQED (TV)
WQED is a Public Broadcasting Service member Public television station based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Established April 1, 1954, it was the first community-sponsored television station in the United States as well as the fifth public TV station...

, Pittsburgh) in 1975. National Geographic Channel, launched in January 2001, is a joint venture of National Geographic Television & Film and Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

. It has featured stories on numerous scientific figures such as Louis Leakey
Louis Leakey
Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey was a British archaeologist and naturalist whose work was important in establishing human evolutionary development in Africa. He also played a major role in creating organizations for future research in Africa and for protecting wildlife there...

, Jacques Cousteau, or Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall
Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE , is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National...

 that not only featured their work but helped make them world-famous and accessible to millions. A majority of the specials were narrated by various actors, including Glenn Close
Glenn Close
Glenn Close is an American actress and singer of theatre and film, known for her roles as a femme fatale Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is an American actress and singer of theatre and film, known for her roles as a femme fatale Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is an American actress and...

, Stacy Keach
Stacy Keach
Stacy Keach is an American actor and narrator. He is most famous for his dramatic roles; however, he has done narration work in educational programming on PBS and the Discovery Channel, as well as some comedy and musical...

, Richard Kiley, Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon is an American actress. She has worked in films and television since 1969, and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. She had also been nominated for the award for four films before that and has received other recognition for her...

, Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen
Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez , better known by his stage name Martin Sheen, is an American film actor best known for his performances in the films Badlands and Apocalypse Now , and in the television series The West Wing from 1999 to 2006.He is considered one of the best actors never to be...

 and Peter Strauss
Peter Strauss
Peter Strauss is an American television and movie actor, known for his roles in several television miniseries in the 1970s and 1980s.-Personal life:...

. The specials' theme music, by Elmer Bernstein
Elmer Bernstein
Elmer Bernstein was an American composer and conductor best known for his many film scores. In a career which spanned fifty years, he composed music for hundreds of film and television productions...

, was also adopted by the National Geographic Channel. The National Geographic Channel has begun to launch a number of subbranded channels in international markets, such as Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Adventure, Nat Geo Junior, and Nat Geo Music.

National Geographic Films, a wholly owned taxable subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, has also produced a feature film based on the diary of a Russian submarine commander starring Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in...

 in K-19: The Widowmaker
K-19: The Widowmaker
K-19: The Widowmaker is a movie released on July 19, 2002, about the first of many disasters that befell the Soviet submarine of the same name. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow...

, and most recently retooling a French-made documentary for U.S. distribution with a new score and script narrated by Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, aviator and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus and won...

 called March of the Penguins
March of the Penguins
March of the Penguins is a 2005 French nature documentary film. It was directed and co-written by Luc Jacquet, and co-produced by Bonne Pioche and the National Geographic Society. The film depicts the yearly journey of the emperor penguins of Antarctica...

, which received an Academy Award for the Best Documentary in 2006. After a record $77 million theatrical gross in the United States, over four million DVD copies of March of the Penguins have been sold. National Geographic Films launched a new feature film in July called Arctic Tale
Arctic Tale
Arctic Tale is a 2007 documentary film from the National Geographic Society about the life cycle of a walrus and her calf, and a polar bear and her cubs, in a similar vein to the 2005 hit production March of the Penguins, also from National Geographic. It was directed by Adam Ravetch and Sarah...

, featuring the story of two families of walrus and polar bears. Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah
Dana Elaine Owens , better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American singer, rapper, and actress. Her work in music, film and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy...

 is the narrator of this film. Inspired by a National Geographic Magazine article, National Geographic opened in October 2007 a 3-D large format and Reality 3-D film called Sea Monsters, with a musical score by Peter Gabriel. National Geographic Films is co-producing with Edward Norton
Edward Norton
Edward Harrison Norton is an American actor, screenwriter, film director and producer. In 1996, his supporting role in the courtroom drama Primal Fear garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor...

 and Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt
William Bradley "Brad" Pitt is an American actor and film producer. Pitt has received two Academy Award nominations and four Golden Globe Award nominations, winning one...

 the 10-hour mini series of Steven Ambrose's award-winning Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis
Meriwether Lewis
Meriwether Lewis was an American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition also known as the Corps of Discovery, with William Clark...

, Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 and the Opening of the American West
for HBO.

Support for research and projects


The Society has helped sponsor many expeditions and research projects over the years, including:
  • Codex Tchacos
    Codex Tchacos
    The Codex Tchacos is an ancient Egyptian Coptic papyrus containing early Christian Gnostic texts from approximately 300 AD:*The Gospel of Judas*The First Apocalypse of James*The Letter of Peter to Philip...

     - Conservation and translation of the only known surviving copy of the Gospel of Judas
    Gospel of Judas
    The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel that purportedly documents conversations between the Disciple Judas Iscariot and Jesus Christ.It is believed to have been written by Gnostic followers of Jesus, rather than by Judas himself, and probably dates from no earlier than the 2nd century, since it...

  • Ian Baker - Discovers hidden waterfall of the Tsangpo Gorge
    Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon
    The Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon or simply the Tsangpo Canyon or Tsangpo Gorge, along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet, China, is regarded by some as the deepest canyon in the world, and is slightly longer than the Grand Canyon, making it one of the world's largest...

    , Tibet
    Tibet
    Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

  • Robert Ballard
    Robert Ballard
    Robert Duane Ballard is a former United States Navy officer and a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island who is most noted for his work in underwater archaeology. He is most famous for the discoveries of the wrecks of the RMS Titanic in 1985, the battleship Bismarck in 1989,...

     - RMS Titanic (1985) and John F. Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy
    John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

    's PT-109
    Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109
    PT-109 was a PT boat last commanded by Lieutenant, junior grade John F. Kennedy in the Pacific Theater during World War II...

     (2002) discovery
  • Robert Bartlett - Arctic
    Arctic
    The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

     Exploration (1925–45)
  • George Bass
    George Bass (archaeologist)
    George Fletcher Bass is recognized as one of the early practitioners of underwater archaeology, along with Peter Throckmorton, Honor Frost, and others....

     - Underwater archaeology
    Underwater archaeology
    Underwater archaeology is archaeology practised underwater. As with all other branches of archaeology it evolved from its roots in pre-history and in the classical era to include sites from the historical and industrial eras...

     - Bronze Age
    Bronze Age
    The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

     trade
  • Lee Berger - Oldest footprints of modern humans ever found
  • Hiram Bingham
    Hiram Bingham III
    Hiram Bingham, formally Hiram Bingham III, was an academic, explorer, treasure hunter and politician from the United States. He made public the existence of the Quechua citadel of Machu Picchu in 1911 with the guidance of local indigenous farmers...

     - Machu Picchu
    Machu Picchu
    Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for...

     Excavation (1915)
  • Richard E. Byrd - First flight over South Pole
    South Pole
    The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth and lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole...

     (1929)
  • Jacques-Yves Cousteau
    Jacques-Yves Cousteau
    Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water...

     - Undersea exploration
  • Mike Fay
    J. Michael Fay
    J. Michael Fay is an American ecologist and conservationist notable for, among other things, the MegaTransect, in which he spent 455 days walking 3200 miles across Africa and the MegaFlyover in which he and pilot Peter Ragg spent months flying 70,000 miles in a small plane at low altitude, taking...

     - MegaTransect
    MegaTransect
    MegaTransect was the name for a project conducted in Africa in 1999 by J. Michael Fay to spend 455 days on the expedition hike of 2000 miles across the Congo Basin of Africa to survey the ecological and environmental status of the region....

     (1999) and MegaFlyover
    MegaFlyover
    The MegaFlyover project was a seven month aerial survey from June 2004 to January 2005 by explorer/ecologist J. Michael Fay and pilot Peter Ragg sponsored by the National Geographic Society and others...

     (2004) in Africa
  • Dian Fossey
    Dian Fossey
    Dian Fossey was an American zoologist who undertook an extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years. She studied them daily in the mountain forests of Rwanda, initially encouraged to work there by famous anthropologist Louis Leakey...

     - Mountain gorillas
    Gorilla
    Gorillas are the largest extant species of primates. They are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and either four or five subspecies...

  • Birute Galdikas
    Birute Galdikas
    Birutė Marija Filomena Galdikas, OC , is a primatologist, conservationist, ethologist, and author of several books relating to the endangered orangutan, particularly the Bornean orangutan. Well known in the field of modern primatology, Galdikas is recognized as a leading authority on orangutans...

     - Orangutan
    Orangutan
    Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian genus of extant great ape. The largest living arboreal animals, they have proportionally longer arms than the other, more terrestrial, great apes. They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping...

    s
  • Jane Goodall
    Jane Goodall
    Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE , is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National...

     - Chimpanzee
    Chimpanzee
    Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:...

    s
  • Robert F. Griggs
    Robert F Griggs
    Robert Fiske Griggs, , was a botanist who led a 1915 National Geographic Society expedition to observe the aftermath of the Katmai volcanic eruption....

     - Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
    Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
    The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is a valley within Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska which is filled with ash flow from the eruption of Novarupta on June 6–8, 1912. Following the eruption, thousands of fumaroles vented steam from the ash. Robert F...

     (1916)
  • Heather Halstead - World Circumnavigations of Reach the World
    Reach the world
    Reach the World is a 501c3 organization based in New York City. Reach the World was founded by Heather Halstead and Marc Gustafson in 1997. According to its website, Reach the World wants "to revolutionize the delivery of curriculum, enabling all classrooms, in all communities, to use interactive...

  • Louis
    Louis Leakey
    Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey was a British archaeologist and naturalist whose work was important in establishing human evolutionary development in Africa. He also played a major role in creating organizations for future research in Africa and for protecting wildlife there...

     and Mary Leakey
    Mary Leakey
    Mary Leakey was a British archaeologist and anthropologist, who discovered the first skull of a fossil ape on Rusinga Island and also a noted robust Australopithecine called Zinjanthropus at Olduvai. For much of her career she worked together with her husband, Louis Leakey, in Olduvai Gorge,...

     - Discovery of manlike Zinjanthropus, more than 1.75 million years old
  • Gustavus McLeod - First flight to the North Pole in an open-air cockpit aircraft
  • Robert Peary
    Robert Peary
    Robert Edwin Peary, Sr. was an American explorer who claimed to have been the first person, on April 6, 1909, to reach the geographic North Pole...

     and Matthew Henson
    Matthew Henson
    Matthew Alexander Henson was an African American explorer and associate of Robert Peary during various expeditions, the most famous being a 1909 expedition which it was discovered that he was the the first person to reach the Geographic North Pole.-Life:Henson was born on a farm in Nanjemoy,...

     - North Pole
    North Pole
    The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is, subject to the caveats explained below, defined as the point in the northern hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface...

     Expedition (1905)
  • Paul Sereno
    Paul Sereno
    Paul Callistus Sereno is an American paleontologist from the University of Chicago who discovered several new dinosaur species on several continents. He has conducted excavations at sites as varied as Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco, and Niger...

     - Dinosaur
    Dinosaur
    Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

    s
  • Will Steger
    Will Steger
    Will Steger is a prominent spokesperson for the understanding and preservation of the Arctic and has led some of the most significant feats in the field of dogsled expeditions; such as the first confirmed dogsled journey to the North Pole in 1986, the 1,600-mile south-north traverse of Greenland...

     - Polar Exploration & First Explorer-in-Residence 1996
  • Spencer Wells
    Spencer Wells
    Spencer Wells is a geneticist and anthropologist, an at the National Geographic Society, and Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 Professor at Cornell University. He leads The Genographic Project.-Education:...

     - The Genographic Project
    The Genographic Project
    The Genographic Project, launched on April 13, 2005 by the National Geographic Society and IBM, is a multi-year genetic anthropology study that aims to map historical human migration patterns by collecting and analyzing DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people from around the...

  • Xu Xing - Discovery of fossil dinosaurs in China that have distinct feathers


The Society supports many socially based projects including AINA
AINA (organization)
Aina's actions are based on Education, information and communication.Its goal is to strengthen civil society through education of children and women,and training in communication and information skills....

, a Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

-based organization dedicated to developing an independent Afghan media, which was founded by one of the Society's most famous photographers, Reza
Reza Deghati
Reza Deghati, born 1952 in Tabriz, Iran is an Iranian-French photojournalist, who works under the name Reza .-Biography:Reza has covered much of the globe for National Geographic Magazine. Several films about Reza's work have been produced by National Geographic Television, most notably Frontline...

.

The Society also sponsors the National Geographic Bee
National Geographic Bee
The National Geographic Bee is an annual geography contest sponsored by the National Geographic Society. The bee, held every year since 1989, is open to students in the fourth through eighth grade in participating American schools.The entities represented at the national level are all fifty U.S....

, an annual geographic contest for American middle-school students. More than four million students a year begin the geography competition locally, which culminates in a national competition of the winners of each state each May in Washington, D.C. Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek
George Alexander "Alex" Trebek is a Canadian American game show host who has been the host of the game show Jeopardy! since 1984, and prior to that, he hosted game shows such as Pitfall and High Rollers. He has appeared in numerous television series, usually as himself...

 has moderated the final competition since the competition began some seventeen years ago. Every two years, the Society conducts an international geography competition of competing teams from all over the world. The most recent was held in Mexico City on July 15, 2009, and had representatives from 15 national teams. The team from Canada emerged as the winner, with teams from the United States and Poland in second and third place.

Hubbard Medal


The Hubbard Medal
Hubbard Medal
The Hubbard Medal is awarded by the National Geographic Society for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research. The medal is named for Gardiner Greene Hubbard, first National Geographic Society president.-Recipients:...

 is awarded by the National Geographic Society for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research. The medal is named for Gardiner Greene Hubbard
Gardiner Greene Hubbard
Gardiner Greene Hubbard was a U.S. lawyer, financier, and philanthropist. He was one of the founders of the Bell Telephone Company and the first president of the National Geographic Society.- Biography :...

, the first National Geographic Society president. The Hubbard Medal has been presented 34 times as of 2000, the most recent award going posthumously to Matthew Henson
Matthew Henson
Matthew Alexander Henson was an African American explorer and associate of Robert Peary during various expeditions, the most famous being a 1909 expedition which it was discovered that he was the the first person to reach the Geographic North Pole.-Life:Henson was born on a farm in Nanjemoy,...

, Robert Peary
Robert Peary
Robert Edwin Peary, Sr. was an American explorer who claimed to have been the first person, on April 6, 1909, to reach the geographic North Pole...

's fellow Arctic explorer.

Alexander Graham Bell Medal


The National Geographic Society also awards, rarely, the Alexander Graham Bell Medal, for exceptional contributions to geographic research. The award is named after Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone....

, scientist, inventor and the second president of the NGS. Up to mid-2011, the medal has been twice presented:
  • 1980: Bradford Washburn
    Bradford Washburn
    Henry Bradford Washburn, Jr. was an American explorer, mountaineer, photographer, and cartographer. He established the Boston Museum of Science, served as its director from 1939–1980, and from 1985 until his death served as its Honorary Director .Washburn is especially noted for exploits in four...

     and wife Barbara Washburn
    Barbara Washburn
    Barbara Washburn is an American mountaineer. The widow of mountaineer and scientist Bradford Washburn, she became the first woman to climb Mt. McKinley on June 6, 1947.-Biography:...

  • 2010: Roger Tomlinson
    Roger Tomlinson
    Roger F. Tomlinson, CM is an English geographer and the primary originator of modern computerized Geographic Information Systems , and has been acknowledged as the "father of GIS".Dr...

     and Jack Dangermond
    Jack Dangermond
    Jack Dangermond is an American business executive and environmental scientist. In 1969, he co-founded with his wife Laura the Environmental Systems Research Institute , a privately-held Geographic Information Systems software company...


Controversy



Lutz and Collins


In their book Reading National Geographic, Catherine Lutz and Jane Collins argue that the D.C.-based National Geographic Society is intimately tied to the American establishment and "cultivates ties to government officials and corporate interests". Tamar Rothenberg also wrote that the Society's flagship publication National Geographic, as a part of mainstream popular culture, has historically helped to articulate a particularly American identity in opposition to "both old Europe and primitive non-Western regions... an identity of civic and technological superiority but yet, a distinctly benign and friendly identity".

Lutz and Collins described how National Geographic photographs were sometimes electronically manipulated. In one photo of bare-breasted Polynesian women, their skin color was darkened. The book also documented how NG photographers have encouraged their subjects to change costumes when their clothing was seen as "too drab" for the magazine. Summarizing an analysis of NG photographs from 1950–1986, the authors argued the following themes: "The people of the third and fourth worlds are portrayed as exotic; they are idealized; they are naturalized and taken out of all but a single historical narrative; and they are sexualized. Several of these themes wax and wane in importance through the postwar period, but none is ever absent."

See also

  • National Geographic Magazine
    National Geographic Magazine
    National Geographic, formerly the National Geographic Magazine, is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. It published its first issue in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded...

  • Royal Geographical Society
    Royal Geographical Society
    The Royal Geographical Society is a British learned society founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences...

  • Royal Canadian Geographical Society
    Royal Canadian Geographical Society
    The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is a Canadian non-profit educational organization dedicated to imparting a broader knowledge and deeper appreciation of Canada — its people and places, its natural and cultural heritage and its environmental, social and economic challenges.-History:The...

  • Maps of the United States
  • National Geographic Bee
    National Geographic Bee
    The National Geographic Bee is an annual geography contest sponsored by the National Geographic Society. The bee, held every year since 1989, is open to students in the fourth through eighth grade in participating American schools.The entities represented at the national level are all fifty U.S....

  • Nicholas DeVore III
    Nicholas DeVore III
    Nicholas DeVore III was a freelance photographer in the 70s, 80s and early 90s who spent 25 years traveling the world taking photos for publications such as National Geographic, Fortune, Life, and GEO.-Life:...

  • Genographic Project

External links


Official websites

Additional resources

Additional information

Photos, maps, and other images