National Geographic

Explorer Classroom

Show your students that science, exploration, and conservation are alive outside of their textbooks. Join a virtual field trip with a National Geographic Explorer!

March 26, 2018 at 10:30 AM EST

PAul Salopek: Journalist

Paul Salopek’s 21,000-mile odyssey is a decade-long experiment in slow journalism. Moving at the beat of his footsteps, Paul is walking the pathways of the first humans who migrated out of Africa in the Stone Age and made the Earth ours. Along the way he is covering the major stories of our time—from climate change to technological innovation, from mass migration to cultural survival—by giving voice to the people who inhabit them every day. His words, as well as his photographs, video, and audio, create a global record of human life at the start of a new millennium as told by villagers, nomads, traders, farmers, soldiers, and artists who rarely make the news.

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Photograph by John Stanmeyer

April 2018: Year of the Bird

2018 is the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the most powerful and important bird-protection laws ever passed. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic has joined with the Audubon Society, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, as well as  nature lovers around the world to celebrate the “Year of the Bird” and commit to protecting birds today and for the next hundred years. This April, Explorer Classroom will feature scientists and experts from around the world that study birds. See the full schedule below!

upcoming events

April 4

1:00 PM EST


Anusha Shankar

Anusha Shankar is a Ph.D. candidate at Stony Brook University in New York who studies how hummingbirds balance their daily energetic needs. She is especially fascinated by hummingbirds’ strategy of entering a torpid state at night to save energy. She is now using infrared video to capture the secret nightlife of hummingbirds (they pee in their sleep!). On the way, she is competing with her brother to get to more countries (she's at 14, he's at 10). She also loves salsa and swing dancing, photography, and reading fiction.

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April 9

2:00 PM EST

Conservationist and Penguin Expert

Dr. Lee Boersma

Dr. Dee Boersma is a conservationist dedicated to the study of global warming's impact on penguins. For the last 35 years, she has been successful in stopping both harvesting and the development of oil tanker lanes through Magellanic penguin colonies off the coast of Argentina. Dr. Boersma enjoys the penguin colony because it is noisy, bustling with activity and 100 miles from the nearest city.

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April 30

1:00 PM EST

Conservation Geneticist

Kristen Ruegg

Kristen Ruegg has over 15 years of experience working on migratory birds and is the co-founder and co-director of the Bird Genoscape Project. Kristen oversees research on 14 species of birds and works to bridge partnerships between academia, NGO’s and governmental agencies to translate the science of the Bird Genoscape Project into conservation action.

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Getting Started

All you need to participate in Explorer Classroom is the ability to access YouTube. Many classrooms also use a projector for bigger and better viewing!

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Register for an Explorer Classroom session by clicking the “Register Now” button. You’ll find the link to the live stream on the registration form.  

Prep your Class

The first six classrooms to register will be awarded on-camera spots.* Those classrooms will have the opportunity to interact with the featured Explorer directly—just like in a Skype call. If you are one of the chosen classrooms , you’ll hear from your host Joe Grabowski or a Nat Geo staff member by email at least one week before the event.

If you do not secure an on-camera spot, no worries! An unlimited number of people can watch live, and anyone can ask questions by tweeting #ExplorerClassroom.

See you there!

Tune in at the scheduled time and date! The live stream link is on the form you used to register.

If you can’t join live, you can catch up later. All Explorer Classroom sessions will be archived on YouTube.


​*Please Note: Explorer Classroom sessions are live events hosted on YouTube. They are open to the public and recorded. Please share these terms with parents of students who will participate live on camera. If any parents or students prefer not to be on camera, please accommodate their wishes in your classroom.

Archived Hangouts

All Explorer Classroom hangouts are recorded so you can review them a second time or save them for just the right moment in the semester. Browse our archive to start exploring now!

Meet More Nat Geo Explorers

See the remarkable range of work National Geographic explorers are doing across the globe, and find out how they continue to make an impact as they explore and protect our planet.

Learn More

Photos: Ben Mirin by Drew FUlton, Erika Bergman by Barry Brown, Andrew Stein by Katy Daily, Carlton Ward Jr. by Mac Stone, Ricardo Moreno by Mauro Colombo, Shivani Bhalla courtesy Shivani Bhalla, Paola Bouley courtesy Paola Bouley, Steve Winter courtesy Steve Winter