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Category archives for Cultures

Myth Busting for Mountain Lions

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been told that mountain lions target male mule deer (“bucks”) and, to a lesser extent, male elk (“bulls”). I remember one exchange in which a ranch hand in Colorado told me that if I walked out into the nearby sagebrush, I’d stumble upon buck carcasses just about…

Understanding Identity and Kyrgyz Cultural Values Through Food

Food is not just something we eat to enjoy and to give us nourishment; it is also a powerful tool through which we can view and begin to understand other cultures. Every culture brings its own cuisine to the world’s culinary table and each of these dishes tell a story. From the ingredients, we can…

From Our Archive: Rapids Ahead!

In November 1969, the National Geographic Society celebrated the centennial of John Wesley Powell’s expedition down the Colorado River. Powell, one of our founding members, embarked on his 98-day journey on May 24 1869. The purpose of his expedition — “Powell, in a last letter from Green River, explained, ‘The object is to make collections…

800,000 Children Under 5 Shouldn’t Be Dying From Diarrhea

Contact with contaminated water is one of the leading causes of diarrheal illness around the world. Stories from Madagascar illustrate some promising solutions for preventing it.

Seeing the Forest for the Apes: An Unlikely Partnership for Conservation

Look around your home or your office and you’ll quickly realize the sheer quantity of items and materials that are derived from the global logging industry. From printer paper to furniture and building materials, there is an unbelievable demand for wood and wood products. It’s simultaneously obvious but also easy to forget that for every…

Voyage of the Yellow-eyed Penguin

The latest numbers say that yellow-eyed penguins are still heading toward extinction on mainland New Zealand. Their only other breeding habitat is a handful of islands hundreds of miles to the south. In this four-part story I join a surreal voyage to the all-but-inaccessible Auckland Islands, where we’re trying to find out how this gravely endangered penguin is faring in the…

Large-Scale Art Makes Tiny Creatures ‘Impossible to Ignore’

Human-sized butterflies will be arriving across the U.S. over the next year. The first have already alighted on an airport tower in Springdale, Arkansas. And they’re on a mission.

Through the Mountain Pass

I’m sitting in a shared taxi en route to Talas, the region to the west of Bishkek. The sun is descending and night is falling. The inside of the taxi is dark – the only light coming from the small screen hanging from the roof playing Russian pop music videos. All I can see outside…

How Nature Is Nurturing Cities

Harini Nagendra has spent more than a decade studying the growth and functioning of cities in South Asia, supported in part by grants from the National Geographic Society in 2006 and 2011. In her new book, Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future she focuses in on the booming modern city of…

Adding an Indigenous Perspective to a Global Scientific Effort

In an exciting collaboration to better understand the world’s most complicated watersheds, the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have joined forces to create the Global Rivers Observatory (GRO)—an ambitious effort committed to the continuous study of watershed health around the world. So how cool that they recently invited us…

A Parable of Refugees, or a History That Is True

I want to take you back nearly 80 years, to Mexico City in 1939, when Lázaro Cárdenas, a revolutionary-turned-politician, sat in the president’s seat and made a decision that no other president in the world would make. Across the Atlantic, the Spanish Civil War had come to a brutal end. The Republicans had fallen. General…

Hōkūleʻa Joins the Centennial Tribute to Queen Liliʻuokalani

In honor of Queen Liliʻuokalani, Hōkūleʻa this morning set sail along the southern shoreline of Oʻahu to join in an observance ceremony shared across the island chain. At around 8:30 am, Hōkūleʻa was faced toward the direction of Iolani Palace, Kawaiahaʻo and Washington Place and her sails were lowered. At this moment, double rainbows appeared…

We Biked 5,000 Miles and Saw an American South Few People Know Exists

We two brothers embarked on an epic ride and found that the lines between left and right and conservative and liberal are often quite contrived, and many of these people have more in common than we could have imagined. We hope that this film can be part of a much needed bridge being built.

Indigenous Cultures and Hi-Tech Drones Reveal Secrets of Siberia

It takes a variety of approaches and perspectives from researchers and locals alike to make sense of this place from a social-ecological perspective, blending insights from geography, ecology, human and natural history, and climate.

‘It Wasn’t a Very Happy Childhood’: Rediscovering the Spanish Children of Morelia

Two years ago, we moved my grandmother. In the span of her lifetime, it was one migration among many. As a child, she had been moved from Spain to Mexico, to flee the Spanish Civil War. In 1937, she was put on a boat, called the Mexique, along with 456 other children: the Niños de Morelia. In 1937,…