National Geographic Experts
There are some careers out there that we all dream of having someday. An archaeologist or a filmmaker, perhaps, or a National Geographic photographer. On each expedition, field workshop, and photo workshop, you'll be joined by a National Geographic expert -- photographers, writers, anthropologists, wildlife biologists, and explorers who have pursued their dreams and become leaders in their fields. Our experts will join each group for four to eight days to share their insights and experience, give you guidance in crafting your On Assignment project, and inspire you with their passion for the work they do and the places you'll explore. Meet a few of the experts who will join our expeditions.
Photographer Aaron Huey has shot more than 20 stories for National Geographic magazines over the past seven years. He is contributing photographer at National Geographic magazine and a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler. His stories have included topics as diverse as hitchhiking the 6,000-mile Trans-Siberian highway, sharks in French Polynesia, Indian reservations of the plains and Southwest, Afghanistan, Beirut, cowboys of Montana, Ethiopia, the Salcantay trail to Machu Picchu, and many more. Aaron’s work has also appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, and the Smithsonian. Aaron will join the Grand Canyon & the Southwest field workshop during the San Juan River trip.
• Read an interview with Aaron.
National Geographic photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind is an English documentary photographer based in London. She is a regular contributor to GEO, The Sunday Times Magazine and Marie Claire, among others. Her work often looks at the lives of young women living or working in gender segregated environments. Employing photography as a way to explore the world around her, Anastasia has recently documented the everyday lives of Cossack cadet schools in Russia, young Siberian supermodels trying to make it to the West, and female guerrilla fighters in the Kurdish mountains. Anastasia just completed a National Geographic magazine assignment in China, which will be published in the spring of 2013. Anastasia will join the July 1 London photo workshop.
Writer and globetrotter Andrew Evans has arguably one of the coolest jobs out there: he is National Geographic’s Digital Nomad. He travels all over the world using Twitter and Facebook to make his experiences interactive online. Andrew has tweeted from glaciers, jungles, mountain summits, and a camel’s back from all 7 continents and in more than 40 languages. A contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler, Andrew is the author of four books and the winner of numerous journalism awards. Andrew will join the June 27 Tanzania expedition.
Ami Vitale's journey as a photographer and filmmaker has taken her to more than 85 countries, and her coverage of events around the world have appeared in nearly every major international publication, including National Geographic magazine, GEO, Newsweek, Time, Smithsonian, The Guardian, the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and others. Ami has covered many subjects for National Geographic publications, including Kashmir for National Geographic Traveler magazine and elephant-human relations, snow leopards, and man-eating lions for National Geographic Adventure magazine. Ami will join our India expedition in Ladakh.
Brazilian conservationist and Denise Marçal Rambaldi has dedicated her career to the conservation of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. As director of the Golden Lion Tamarin Association, she achieved remarkable success in pulling back from the brink of extinction this highly endangered primate species that lives in the Atlantic Forest, one of the world’s most critically endangered biodiversity hotspots. In 2008, she received the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation. Denise currently serves as the vice president of the Rio de Janeiro State Environmental Agency and she has published many articles on biodiversity, wildlife protection and management, public policy, and private protected areas. Denise will join both departures of the Brazil expedition in the Atlantic Forest.
National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee Florian Weise is the lead researcher at the Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre. Florian combines his passion for the outdoors with his research in Africa and has spent almost ten years on the African continent conserving endangered species. His work helping to reduce conflicts between large cats like cheetah and leopard and local farmers has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Africa Geographic, and the Financial Times London. Florian will join both departures of the Namibia expedition at the Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre.
Environmental scientist, writer, and Web producer Ford Cochran descended into ice caves and an active volcano on his first visit to Iceland while on assignment for National Geographic Television. Ford was principal contributing writer for the Society's Historical Atlas of the United States and has written for National Geographic magazine. He helped launch nationalgeographic.com in 1996 and has been an editorial director and daily blogger for the website. Ford will join both departures of the Iceland expedition.
• Read an interview with Ford.
Italian photographer Gianluca Colla has traveled and photographed around the world, from the Arctic Circle to Africa's deserts to the Amazon. He has covered a diverse range of topics including the secrets of the longest-living centenarians in the world, a lost Da Vinci painting, and the hidden mummies of Sicilian crypts. His work has been published in National Geographic magazine, Condè Naste, Newsweek, New York Times, and Washington Post. Gianluca will join our Italy expedition.
Discover the marine and terrestrial life of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands with biologist and filmmaker Greg Marshall. Greg invented the Crittercam, a device that can be attached to an animal to study its behavior. Greg’s Crittercam has enabled him to document life in the oceans and on land from the perspective of animals such as blue whales, black turtles, manta rays, seals, and—most recently—great white sharks. Greg will join the July 18 departure of the Ecuador and the Galápagos expedition.
Jason is an professional naturalist, environmental educator, and guide who has been leading expeditions from the equator to the arctic circle for nearly 20 years. He majored in anthropology at Montana State University and is a certified Master Naturalist specializing in wolf and bear ecology. A year-round Montanan, Jason is an instructor at Montana State University and an outfitter and guide who leads dog sled trips and river expeditions. He works with NatGeo Wild's Casey Anderson as a location scout, wildlife tracker, and expedition planner for the show America the Wild. Called an "encyclopedia" by the New York Times, Jason loves to share his passion for wild places. He will join our field workshop in Yellowstone and Montana.
National Geographic photographer Ivan Kashinsky fell in love with photography when he picked up his father’s Nikon and began documenting his teenage life. Based in Quito, Ecuador, Ivan has traveled from El Alto, Bolivia, documenting lucha libre to the Bogotá savannah, where he explored the mammoth flower industry. His work has been published in National Geographic magazine, Time, Smithsonian, and the New York Times, among others. In 2009 Ivan and his wife completed an epic journey from the Equator to Tierra del Fuego, the southern tip of South America. Ivan will join the June 29 and July 6 departures of the Ecuador & the Galápagos expedition.
Native New Zealander Malcolm Campbell is a professional naturalist and birder who has worked for 20 years on conservation and environmental issues in his country's national parks, forests, and coastal marine environments. He has led many National Geographic Expeditions in New Zealand and will share his in-depth knowledge of his country's people, political history, flora and fauna, and indigenous Maori culture. Malcolm possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of New Zealand, which he imparts with warmth and zest. Malcolm will join our New Zealand and Fiji expedition.
Conservationist Marc Brody is a National Geographic grantee for his work to restore giant Panda habitats in China. Senior advisor to the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan, Marc founded Panda Mountain, a (nongovernmental organization (NGO) entrusted by the Wolong administration to manage a panda conservation center and a sustainability initiative for indigenous villagers. Marc has also managed the U.S.-China Environmental Fund, an environmental NGO, in China for nearly 20 years. When not working in Wolong, Marc is actively restoring an oak savanna and prairie on his land near Madison, Wisconsin. Marc will join both departures of the China expedition in Sichuan Province.
Meet Massimo Bassano, whose work has been published in National Geographic Traveler and on nationalgeographic.com. Massimo has developed quite a following teaching National Geographic photography workshops in Tuscany and Venice as well as leading expeditions around the world. His September 2011 story in National Geographic Traveler, “Italy’s Forgotten Towns,” recently had him traveling thousands of miles through the southern Italian countryside. His acclaimed photography book The Color of Silence details the 12 weeks he spent in a little-known Italian monastery. Massimo will join our Italy & Greece expedition and our Tuscany field workshop.
• Watch our Tuscany video featuring Massimo.
Alaska-based author, wildlife photographer, and cinematographer Matthias Breiter has spent most of the past 25 years researching the daily lives and habits of black, brown and polar bears. He has authored 14 books, and his articles and photography have been published in major magazines including National Geographic, GEO, BBC Wildlife, Canadian Geographic, Outdoor Photographer and numerous other publications. Matthias is represented by the National Geographic Image Collection and has worked as a cinematographer on National Geographic television documentaries about both polar bears and brown bears. Matthias will join the Alaska field workshop in Denali National Park.
Following a 3-month adventure through Mongolia, French photographer Matthieu Paley’s first job was an expedition for National Geographic Adventure magazine in Bhutan, which took him to the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. Twelve years, four books and numerous assignments later, his passion to always look “over the next ridge” has provided him with countless opportunities to witness our common humanity. Matthieu recently completed a story for National Geographic magazine on a small community cut-off from the rest of the world in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan. Matthieu’s work has also been published in numerous other magazines including Geo, Newsweek, Time, Outside, and Le Monde. Matthieu will lead the Paris workshop, taking him back to his roots.
Photographer Pete McBride has spent almost two decades studying the world with his camera. He has traveled on assignment to over 60 countries for National Geographic's magazines, Smithsonian, Outside, Men’s Journal, Esquire, and many others. He has worked in Tanzania and throughout Africa for a variety of publications, and in 2009 shot a story for National Geographic Traveler about Kenya’s Marsabit National Park. Most recently, Pete decided to focus his cameras closer to home. Combining his passions for aviation and conservation, he spent more than two years documenting his local river — the Colorado. This journey culminated in the book The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict and an award-winning short film, Chasing Water. Pete will join our July 14 Tanzania expedition.
• Read an interview with Pete.
• Watch our Tanzania video produced by Pete.
Peter Frost is a writer, photographer, and National Geographic grantee who has spent most of his life exploring Peru. His published works include a guide to the Cusco region and a well-known book on Machu Picchu. Peter has led National Geographic archaeological expeditions into the remote region of Vilcabamba, where he discovered the Inca and pre-Inca site of Qoriwayrachina (National Geographic magazine, February 2004). Peter lives in Cusco and will join both departures of our Peru expedition in Cusco and Machu Picchu.
• Watch our Peru video featuring Peter.
Photographer and filmmaker Stephen Alvarez has published more than a dozen feature stories for National Geographic. He produces global stories about exploration, culture, religion, and the aftermath of conflict. Stephen has covered high-altitude archaeology in Peru, conservation in the roadless jungles of Suriname, rain forest research in Costa Rica, and cave exploration in Borneo, Mexico, Belize, Papua New Guinea, Canada, and the United States. His images have won awards in Pictures of the Year International, Communication Arts, and have been exhibited at Visa Pour L'Image in Perpignan, France. Recent appearances include NPR, PBS, and CBS Sunday Morning. Stephen lives with his family in Sewanee, Tennessee. Stephen will join the July 15 London photo workshop.
Delve into the biodiversity of Costa Rica with conservation biologist Taylor Edwards, who worked on the National Geographic Genographic Project. A staff scientist at the University of Arizona, Taylor works on a variety of research projects ranging from endangered tortoises to giant frogs. He says that he wishes he was raised by wolves, but he believes a career as a biologist is the next best thing. Taylor will join the Costa Rica field workshop.
• Read an interview with Taylor.
• Watch our Costa Rica video featuring Taylor.
National Geographic Emerging Explorer and grantee Tierney Thys is a marine biologist and filmmaker studying some of the ocean’s largest animals, including the giant ocean sunfish. She has led and participated in research expeditions worldwide from Alaska to Galápagos, and from Indonesia to Africa. Thys works with all ages to promote ocean conservation through numerous creative means: from teaching underwater fieldwork methodology to leading beach-cleanups to filmmaking. This summer she looks forward to exploring the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere with our students.
Born and raised in Barcelona, Tino Soriano divides his work between photojournalism and travel photography. A frequent contributor to National Geographic Traveler magazine, he has also photographed National Geographic Traveler guidebooks to Madrid, Sicily, Portugal, and Naples and southern Italy. Tino received a first prize from the World Press Photo Foundation and, in 2007, played the lead role in a documentary — Andalusia: The Awakening of the Senses — for the National Geographic Channel in Spain. Tino will join our Barcelona field workshop.
Award-winning photojournalist Tyrone Turner's photographic assignments have taken him from Brazil to Baghdad. A veteran National Geographic photographer and workshop leader, Tyrone lived in Brazil on a fellowship and documented the country for more than two years. A native of New Orleans, Tyrone shot images of New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou for several National Geographic articles, including “New Orleans: A Perilous Future” in the August 2007 issue, and for a special edition on Hurricane Katrina. Most recently, Tyrone's photos of Brazil's maroon people, the Quilombolas, were featured in the April 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine. Tyrone will lead the San Francisco photo workshop.
Photojournalist, filmmaker, and adventurer Ulla Lohmann has sailed around the world, explored volcanoes in Vanuatu, and traversed the African continent using only biodiesel. She spends much of her time working with indigenous cultures in Australia and the South Pacific. Based in the German Alps, she is a regular contributor for the National Geographic Channel and National Geographic magazine (France), and has appeared in several television programs for National Geographic and the BBC. Ulla will join our both departures of our Australia expedition at the Great Barrier Reef.
• Read an interview with Ulla.
Tino was ABSOLUTELY amazing. He had this incredible perspective and love for his job, and it definitely rubbed off on me. Meeting him and learning the ways that he sees everything changed how I photograph. Tino was friendly, helpful, hilarious, and wonderful to be around.
Ivan's fun, creative personality quickly spread throughout the group, making our trip even better! He shared his invaluable expertise on photography and I was absolutely honored to work alongside a photographer from National Geographic.
Ecuador & the Galapagos 2011
Greg Marshall gave us a better view of what NatGeo stands for and what it is about. He allowed us to ask questions and added to the experience by feeding our curiosity. It was interesting to hear about his stories and all of us could only sit and hope we would experience the things he has someday. He is a genuine inspiration.
Ecuador & the Galapagos 2011