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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 our expeditions and field workshops four to eight days. And a National Geographic photographer will join our photo workshops for the entire program. Our experts will 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 trips.

Andrea Marshall

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Andrea Marshall is one of the world's leading experts on manta rays. As a conservation biologist she works to protect some of the largest fish in our oceans. Over her 22-year dive career Andrea has traveled to the ends of the globe both as a scientist and as a professional underwater photographer. Andrea will join the South Africa & Mozambique expedition and looks forward to sharing some of her favorite spots along the southern Mozambican coast with our students.

Andrew Evans

Writer and globetrotter Andrew Evans has arguably one of the coolest jobs out there: he's a digital explorer wandering the globe in pursuit of authentic travel experiences, while using the internet, digital mapping and social media 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 the Ireland expedition in Galway and the Aran Islands.

Ashima Narain

Photographer and filmmaker Ashima Narain is the former editor for National Geographic Traveler (India). She has covered a diverse range of topics that have sent her wading through mudflats in search of flamingos in Mumbai, hiding out in bear caves, climbing sail masts mid-sea, dining with Maharajas, and documenting the conditions of sari weavers in the holy city of Varanasi. Ashima was a judge on the first ever photography-based reality show on the National Geographic Channel called ‘Mission Covershot’. Ashima’s work has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ, Marie Claire, Elle, and Teen People. Ashima will join both departures of the India expedition in Rajasthan.

Chris Rainier

Chris Rainier specializes in the documentation of indigenous cultures, and is considered one of the leading documentary photographers working today. A National Geographic Fellow, Chris was a co-founder of the Society’s All Roads Photography Program and is a co-director of the Enduring Voices Project, documenting endangered languages and cultures. He serves as a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine. His life's mission is to document endangered cultures and help empower them to use modern technology to save their ancient traditions through a project he directs called the Last Technology Program. He has conducted expeditions to all seven continents and the North Pole. Chris will join the July 7 departure of the Ireland field workshop in the Aran Islands.

Cory Richards

Climber and visual storyteller Cory Richards is one of the world’s leading editorial and adventure photographers. Named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012, Cory’s camera has taken him from the controlled and complex studio to the wild and remote corners of Asia, Africa, Pakistan, and the South Pacific. Cory’s photography has appeared in National Geographic magazine, Outside, and the New York Times; and his film work has won awards at nearly every major adventure film festival including the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Cory will join the Switzerland & France expedition.

David Yoder

Photojournalist Dave Yoder was born in Indiana but grew up on the foot of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, where he kept pet monkeys and mongooses. He is a contributing photographer to National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Traveler. His assignments for National Geographic magazine include a search for a lost Leonardo da Vinci painting, uncovering the architectural mystery of the Brunelleschi Cupola in Florence, and documenting the largest ground-based telescope- ALMA- in Chile’s Atacama desert. His assignments for National Geographic Traveler have taken him to Ireland, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Rome, Sardinia, and his adopted home city, Milan. Dave will join the June 28 Paris photo workshop.

Denise Rambaldi

Brazilian conservationist 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 Director of Biodiversity and Forests 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 the Brazil expedition in the Atlantic Forest.

Florian Weise

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.

Ford Cochran

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.

Gianluca Colla

Gianluca Colla has traveled and photographed around the world, from the Arctic Circle to Africa’s deserts and from the Amazon to the streets of London. 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 hidden mummies in Sicilian crypts. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Gianluca will lead the London photography workshop.

Greg Marshall

Discover the marine life of Belize 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—giant oceanic manta rays. Greg will join the July 19 and July 26 departures of the Belize conservation in action program on Blackbird Caye.

Gregg Treinish

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Gregg Treinish is the founder of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, an organization that connects outdoor adventurers with scientists in need of data from the field. An adventurer and a conservationist based in Bozeman, Montana, Gregg has also worked as a wildlife biologist, a backcountry guide, and a supervisor in wilderness therapy programs. After becoming the first to trek the length of the Andes Mountain Range, south of the equator, Gregg was awarded the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award in 2008. Gregg will join the Yellowstone & Montana Field Workshop in Yellowstone National Park.

Jason Matthews

Jason is an professional naturalist, environmental educator, wildlife photographer and videographer 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. Jason's work has appeared on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD, and he recently was part of a National Geographic team studying brown bears and polar bears on Kodiak Island and the arctic of Alaska. Called an "encyclopedia" by the New York Times and based near Yellowstone National Park where he lives with his family and 48 sled dogs, Jason loves to share his passion for wild places. He will join our Alaska Expedition in Denali National Park.

Jay Dickman

Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Jay Dickman has worked in photojournalism for more than 35 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 over 25 assignments for the National Geographic magazine, 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 in addition to having photographed many stories on cultures built around rivers. These include: The Yukon River, the Tatshenshini-Alsek, the Fox River and one of the last, dam-free Class V white-water rivers, the Futaleufu in Chile. One of National Geographic's most popular photo instructors and expedition leaders, he has also published five books and numerous articles for National Geographic Traveler, LIFE, Condé Nast Traveler, Time, Sports Illustrated, and Forbes. Jay will join the Grand Canyon & the Southwest Field Workshop at the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

Ivan Kashinsky

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 5 and July 19 departures of the Ecuador & the Galápagos expedition in Mindo and the Paramo.

Kip Evans

Photographer, filmmaker, and San Francisco native Kip Evans has led or participated in over fifty expeditions throughout the world including recent trips to Alaska, Cuba, Israel, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama. He has worked on a number of National Geographic Society projects since 1998, including a five-year project to explore our world’s oceans. Kip’s work has been featured in numerous books, exhibits, travel guides, advertisements, and magazines including National Geographic magazine, Huffington Post, Patagonia, and Outside. Kip is also an award winning filmmaker and his films have been shown at film festivals throughout the world. Kip will lead the June 30 San Francisco photography workshop.

Marc Brody

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.

Massimo Bassano

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.

Matthieu Paley

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 global story for National Geographic magazine called “The Evolution of Diet” (November 2014), which took him to countries around the world, including Afghanistan, Bolivia, Greenland, and Tanzania. Matthieu’s work has also been published in numerous other magazines including Geo, Newsweek, Time, Outside, and Le Monde. Matthieu is excited to lead the Prague photography workshop, taking him back to his European roots.

Peter Frost

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 our Peru expedition in Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
Watch our Peru video featuring Peter.

Rachel Graham

Conservation biologist Rachel Graham has over 25 years of experience in marine environment projects in Latin America, Africa and Oceania and has been based in Belize for 16 years. Rachel’s organization, MarAlliance, uses community-based research and conservation programs to study and protect sharks and rays. Rachel has consulted on multiple National Geographic television productions including Feast of the Giant Sharks, Tales of Belize and Great Migrations. Her current work focuses on the biology and spatial ecology of threatened species of fish and the development of management and conservation strategies. Rachel will join the July 22 departure of our Belize expedition in Caye Caulker.

Susan Seubert

Award-winning travel and editorial photographer Susan Seubert has photographed more than 20 feature stories for National Geographic Traveler, including the September 2008 cover story, "Authentic San Francisco." Her subjects range from Canada to the Caribbean and Texas to Thailand. Based in Portland, Oregon and Maui, Hawaii, Susan travels throughout the world shooting a variety of subjects and specializes in capturing a sense of place through her wide ranging imagery. Susan's in-depth knowledge of digital technologies and her multimedia skills keep her at the cutting edge of visual storytelling. Susan will lead the July 14 San Francisco photo workshop.

Taylor Edwards

A staff scientist at the University of Arizona, conservation biologist Taylor Edwards worked on the National Geographic Genographic Project. 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 July 9 departure of the Costa Rica expedition at the La Selva research station.
Read an interview with Taylor.
Watch our Costa Rica video featuring Taylor.

Tierney Thys

National Geographic Emerging Explorer and grantee Dr. Tierney Thys is a marine biologist, filmmaker and science media producer. She researches some of the ocean’s largest animals, including the giant ocean sunfish and has led and participated in research expeditions worldwide from Alaska to Galápagos, Indonesia to South Africa. Tierney works with all ages promoting ocean conservation through numerous creative means: teaching underwater fieldwork techniques, creating video games, making sculptures from beach trash, advising dance troupes and working with the TED conferences. This summer she looks forward to sharing the wonders of the Coral Triangle with our students. Tierney will join both departures of our Bali conservation in action trip.

Tino Soriano

Born and raised in Barcelona, Tino Soriano divides his work between photojournalism and travel photography. A frequent contributor to National Geographic Books, he has photographed seven National Geographic Traveler guidebooks including Spain, Rome, Madrid, Portugal, and southern Italy. Tino has worked on three television documentaries for National Geographic's domestic and international channels, and played a lead role in the documentary Andalusia: The Awakening of the Senses . Tino has received multiple prizes for his photographic work, including a World Press Photo Foundation first prize, and his photography has appeared in National Geographic magazine, Smithsonian magazine and The New York Times. Tino will join the Barcelona photography workshop and the July 12 Paris photography workshop.

Ulla Lohmann

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 to the National Geographic Channel and National Geographic magazine (France, Germany), and has appeared in several television programs for National Geographic and the BBC. Most recently, Ulla published a photographic book with National Geographic Germany documenting a year-long journey hiking, biking and skiing Italy’s Dolomite mountains. Ulla will join our both departures of our Australia expedition at the Great Barrier Reef.
Read an interview with Ulla.



Florian Weise certainly has the best job in the world. He gets to live in Namibia and work with cheetahs, caracals, and springboks everyday. He truly made me realize the importance of conservation, more so than the multiple teachers who have spent entire semesters explaining the concept to me.

Trevor H.
Namibia, 2013






Greg Marshall was awesome! His enthusiasm for his work and exploration in general was contagious. He motivated us in our own projects and helped us to maximize our experience on the trip, and overall just made everything more fun.

Emily P.
Ecuador & the Galapagos 2013






Tierney was one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. I loved that she gave us several informative presentations on what she does, as well as about marine life in general. Tierney jumped right into it with us, riding bikes, walking in the rain, whatever. You could tell that she really valued our opinions and wanted to learn about us.

Alexandra D.
Belize, 2013






Jay Dickman is probably the most courageous, passionate, decent and gentle person I have ever met! He is such a good photographer and I am thrilled I got the chance to work with him on my On Assignment project.

Laurence D.
Grand Canyon, 2013

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