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!

February 22, 2018 at 1:00 AM EST

Leslie Dewan: Linguistic Anthropologist

A National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Dr. Leslie Dewan is co-founder and chief executive officer of Transatomic Power, a nuclear reactor design company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is developing the next generation of sustainable nuclear power plants.


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Picture of Leslie Christina Dewan

Photograph by Sora Devore



February 11th is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In celebration, Explorer Classroom will spend the month of February connecting with amazing women doing incredible work in the fields of science, exploration, and conservation.

Note: This schedule is still being filled. Be sure to check back, we will continue to add more sessions!

At habitat's hemispheric window Dr. Earle shows algae to an engineer.

Photograph by Bates Littlehales 

Upcoming Events

February 23

12:00 PM EST

Ocean Explorer

Katy Croff Bell

Dr. Katy Croff Bell is an ocean explorer, using deep sea technology to explore what lies at the depths of the ocean. For more than 15 years, she has participated in or led more than 30 oceanographic and archaeological projects. Katy’s current work involves the utilization of telepresence technology on ocean exploration projects for remote science and education. She works with a large team to implement this technology on multidisciplinary expeditions around the world aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus. Expeditions are shared with the world live on, revealing the wonders of the undersea world in real time, in an effort to engage and inspire a new generation of young explorers.

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February 23

1:00 PM EST

Conservation Photographer and Cave Diver

Jenny Adler

A conservation photographer, cave diver, and National Geographic Young Explorer, Jennifer Adler has spent her life in, on, and surrounded by water. Her love for the ocean while growing up inspired her to study marine biology at Brown University and later to work as a biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Florida. Her current work is focused on reconnecting the next generation of Floridians to the aquifer beneath their feet.

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February 26

10:00 AM EST

Cultural Ecologist

Alizé Carrère

Alizé Carrère is a National Geographic Explorer researching and documenting climate change adaptation in practice. In 2012, Alizé received support from National Geographic to conduct research in Madagascar, where she spent several months uncovering an unlikely agricultural adaptation in response to severe deforestation. Learning of farmers who were turning erosional gullies into fertile pockets of farmland, her work evolved into a greater story of creativity and resourcefulness amongst the oft-repeated narrative of climate doom. She continues to spearhead research on innovative adaptations to climate change, and is working with a film team on a web series that highlights the remarkable resilience of the human species.

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February 26

1:00 PM EST

Photojournalist & Social Ecologist

Shannon Switzer Swanson

Shannon Switzer Swanson is a waterwoman, photojournalist, and social ecologist from San Diego, California. Shannon works with coastal communities in Southeast Asia and Oceania to understand how they can most effectively manage their resources to sustain both prosperous livelihoods and a healthy environment. As a PhD student in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, she explores new research methods using film and photography to engage community members as active participants in the research process. She is currently preparing for a year of fieldwork living and conducting research with the traditionally nomadic Sama-Bajau fishermen of Eastern Indonesia

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February 27

2:00 PM EST

Marine Biologist

Tierney Thys

Tierney was born in California. As soon as she could walk, her parents slipped her into a homemade wetsuit and tossed her into the surf. She's a marine biologist, National Geographic Explorer, certified seaplane pilot and diver. Since 2000, Tierney and her colleagues have been traveling the world's oceans studying the giant ocean sunfish (mola). Though these fish can grow more than ten feet (three meters) long and weigh over 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms), little is known about them. By placing high-tech satellite tags on molas and collecting tissue samples for genetic and pollutant analysis, Tierney and her colleagues hope to uncover the molas' secrets: How did they come to occupy all tropical and temperate seas? Where, when and at what size do they reproduce? How do they locate their jellyfish prey? Are there more ocean sunfish species yet to be discovered? Are their populations endangered? How can they help us understand the changing oceans?

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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