About the Emerging Explorer Program

National Geographic's Emerging Explorers Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring young adventurers, scientists, photographers, and storytellers—explorers who are already making a difference early in their careers. To help the Emerging Explorers realize their potential, National Geographic awards each of them $10,000 for research and exploration.

Selection Process


The Emerging Explorers Program does not accept applications or unsolicited nominations. National Geographic relies on a network of experts who nominate new candidates each year. Candidate lists are kept confidential, and nominees are not notified that they have been nominated. What qualities define Emerging Explorers? First and foremost, they should be at the beginning of a promising career in exploration. Their recent accomplishments should show a potential for future breakthroughs. In addition, the Emerging Explorers Program should reflect the world's diversity and should be a home for dynamic personalities who are making a significant contribution to world knowledge through exploration.

Meet the 2016 Emerging Explorers »

Meet All Our Explorers

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    Explorers A-Z

    At the heart of our explorers program is the quest for knowledge through exploration and the people who make it possible.

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    Explorers by Category

    Browse our different areas of exploration and discover the fascinating people behind the projects.