Photo by Steve McCurry – Afghanistan | 1984 Editor Bill Garrett had a fabulous eye: It was he who plucked this Kodachrome frame from a pile of rejects and made it the most famous cover image in the magazine’s history.
At a time when so much about the planet is changing-and our need to understand and find solutions to global challenges so urgent-the work of exploration and discovery is more important than ever. The National Geographic Society takes great pride in funding scientific and exploration projects that may not be funded otherwise. “We are not afraid of big ideas; we are not afraid to fail. Over past 126 years we have funded nearly 11,000 grants to people pushing the boundaries of exploration,” said Terry Garcia, Executive Vice President of Mission Programs.
National Geographic funds initiatives such as Pristine Seas – a project to find, survey, and help protect the last wild places in the ocean. With help from individual donors and corporate sponsors such as Blancpain and Davidoff Cool Water, Pristine Seas leader and Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala has encouraged governments around the world to protect more than 400,000 kilometers of ocean.
National Geographic also funds the Big Cats Initiative, which raises awareness about the dwindling populations of big cats. Initiative grantees work to save lions, tigers, cheetahs, and other big cats by reducing the threats they face and working with bordering human communities to find ways both can safely thrive.
These are just a few of thousands of projects National Geographic supports with the help of our members, partners, and donors-including a number of grants active in the New England region today, from studying the behavior of honeybees and right whales to the agricultural significance of Maine’s wild blueberries.
The Society produces content about the work of its explorers in its award-winning magazine as well as on its cable channel. It also has live events around the world-including a lecture series and traveling exhibits-that attract over one million people each year. “We know that the next Jane Goodall or Robert Ballard is out there, and we want to find them, inspire them, and give them the support they need to change the world,” Garcia said. “Becoming a member of the New England Council provides a unique opportunity to find new and local partners, while sharing our stories of exploration with the people of New England and inspiring the next generation of explorers.