National Geographic: Out There TV Series
Toyota has donated 11 Land Cruisers to National Geographic Society research grantees—paleontologists, archaeologists, wildlife biologists, and even a tornado-chasing meteorologist—to support their work in the field.

(To see the videos, you’ll need the free RealPlayer plug-in.)

Animal Ecologist

A professor at Britain’s University of Cambridge, Tim Clutton-Brock concentrates his research and fieldwork on the evolution of animal breeding arrangements, the management of population density, and natural and sexual selection in wild populations.

Clutton-Brock’s recent findings on meerkats (read news story) introduced the scientific world to a species that prospers through cooperation—a seeming rarity and a challenge to current thinking on evolution.

Tim Clutton-Brock


As director of research for the Jane Goodall Institute outpost in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, Anthony Collins carries the torch for Goodall, whose pioneering work with chimpanzees put Gombe on the map.

Prior to his appointment as research director, Collins focused on baboons, studying their ecology, behavior, and life history. Today he is equally focused on the humans of the region, taking his message of conservation to them in their native tongue.

Anthony Collins


Director of Kenya’s Laikipia Predator Project, Frank has been studying and helping to protect African predators for 30 years, including 23 years on spotted hyenas alone. Frank founded the Laikipia program in 1997 in an effort to safeguard predators—including lions, hyenas, and wild dogs—in Kenya.

Many of Kenya’s predators inhabit commercial ranchland or communal pastures, and there is often conflict when they attack livestock. Laikipia is working with the Kenya Wildlife Service and local people to find ways of reducing these attacks, thereby reducing the number of predators killed.

At the same time the project is making use of their rare opportunity to research animal biology and behavior in areas where these predators are under pressure from humans (as opposed to in parks).

Laurence Frank


Known to tourists as the proprietor of Estancia Harberton, a venerable farm in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, Natalie Goodall—no relation to Jane—leads a second life as perhaps the foremost authority on the mammals of her adopted region.

Part of Goodall’s work includes collecting and cleaning the bones of marine mammals and birds of the region, and her collection has become a boon to scientists the world over.

Natalie Goodall


Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s director for the Pyramids at Giza and a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, is credited with major discoveries such as the unusual double statue of Ramses II at Giza and the tombs of the Giza pyramid builders. His findings have contributed significantly to our knowledge of how the Pyramids were built.

In 1999 Hawass led an excavation and preservation project at Egypt’s Bahariya Oasis that discovered more than 200 Greco-Roman mummies, many of them lavishly gilded. This ancient cemetery, now called the Valley of the Golden Mummies, may hold hundreds more mummies and is considered one of the most important finds in Egypt since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. In addition Hawass recently directed the conservation of the Sphinx at Giza. More on Zahi Hawass >>

Zahi Hawass


A professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Tyrone Hayes focuses his research on how genes and hormones direct the developmental stages of amphibians—from tadpole to frog, for example.

Hayes’s fieldwork takes him to the deserts of the U.S. Southwest, the swamps of the southeastern U.S., and various habitats in Africa.

Tyrone Hayes


Wife of Richard and daughter-in-law of the late Louis and Mary, Meave Leakey is continuing the Leakey tradition of rewriting humanity’s family album.

Head of paleontology at the National Museums of Kenya, Leakey recently uncovered the fossil skull of what she believes to be a new hominid species and genus: Kenyanthropus platyops (“flat-faced Kenya man”). It is evidence, she says, “that for millions of years after our ancestors began walking on two legs, a multitude of hominid species likely existed.” More on the “Kenya man” find >>

Meave Leakey


A National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence, Johan Reinhard is perhaps best known for recovering the Inca ice maiden mummy on Peru’s Mount Ampato, a discovery chosen by Time magazine as one of the world’s ten most important scientific discoveries of 1995.

Reinhard’s expeditions in the Andes from 1996 to 1999 led to the discovery of 14 more Inca human sacrifices on five mountains higher than 18,000 feet (5,490 meters), including three remarkably preserved mummies on Argentina’s Mount Llullaillaco, the world’s highest archaeological site. More on Johan Reinhard >>

Johan Reinhard


This husband-and-wife team has made a life of unlocking the secrets behind Australia’s unique animals. In their decades-long search for the remains of ancient mammals and birds, they discovered fossils of dinosaurs left over from a time when Australia was joined to Antarctica at the South Pole—unique creatures apparently adapted to harsh conditions unlike any environments on Earth today.

Tom Rich and Pat Vickers-Rich


Director of the Institute for Cultural Ecology of the Tropics, Jeffrey Wilkerson studies the adaptation of humans—both ancient and modern—to the natural and cultural environments of the tropics. Among his accomplishments is the discovery of El Pital, the largest pre-Columbian settlement on Mexico’s Gulf Coast.

Jeffery Wilkerson


A researcher and professor at Beijing’s Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xu Xing has unearthed important dinosaur fossils at some of China’s most significant excavation sites. He has named 11 new dinosaur species, including 3 feathered specimens that have challenged the conventional wisdom on what dinosaurs looked like.

Xu Xing

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Photo credits: Tim Clutton-Brock by Big Wave Productions, Ltd.; Anthony Collins by James Kegley/NGCI; Laurence Frank by Noel Kearns; Natalie Goodall courtesy Natalie Goodall; Zahi Hawass by Kenneth Garrett; Tyrone Hayes by Robert Visty/NGT; Meave Leakey by Kenneth Garrett; Johan Reinhard by Maria Stenzel; Tom Rich and Pat Vickers-Rich by Cindy Hann; Jeffrey Wilkerson by Mark Christmas; Xu Xing by Huo Yulong; Trial By Fire photographs by Mark Thiessen; Lemurs in Peril photographs by Kevin Krug

Watch Out There
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Inside the Tornado

Join research engineer Tim Samaras as he rushes in where others flee—seeking the heart of a tornado. Will he succeed? Will he survive?
See—and hear—for yourself >>

Lemurs in Peril

On the African island of Madagascar, these bug-eyed primates are disappearing as bush-meat hunters take aim and land developers destroy habitat. But primatologist Mireya Mayor is Out There, fighting for the last lemurs.
Multimedia slide show >>

Fire Call: A Wildland Firefighter Speaks

Each summer wildland firefighters face oppressive conditions and sometimes even death. What keeps them coming back? See—and hear—for yourself >>

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