National Geographic Explorers to Speak at Free Event at UT

NationalGeographicTwo acclaimed adventurers—2011 National Geographic Explorer of the Year and ecological anthropologist Kenny Broad and renowned climber and The North Face athlete Mark Synnott—will be on campus on Saturday, September 20, to share their stories and encourage aspiring scientists and explorers.

The Evening of Field Research and Exploration event will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the University Center auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Paid parking is available in the Volunteer Hall garage.

Broad, who has a long history of diving and producing documentary films and was named one of National Geographic’s Explorers of the Year in 2011, will recount his diving expedition to one of the most challenging and spectacular frontiers in exploration—the Bahamas Blue Holes. To learn more about Broad, visit National Geographic’s website.

Synnott is an accomplished big-wall climber, free climber, and photojournalist. He will share highlights from his recent expedition climbing and sailing around Oman’s Musandam Peninsula, which led to several first ascents and was featured in the January 2014 issue of National Geographic magazine. To learn more about Synnott, visit this website.

The public presentation at UT aims to introduce students to National Geographic’s Young Explorers Grants program, which provides financial support to aspiring scientists and explorers ages eighteen through twenty-five in their pursuit of research-, exploration- ,and conservation-based field projects. The evening presentation will follow a daytime workshop that will enable students interested in pursuing Young Explorers Grants to meet with recent grant recipients as well as National Geographic staff, explorers, conservationists, and researchers.

“The National Geographic Young Explorers Grants program is a unique way for young scientists and explorers to take steps into field research and is a natural outgrowth of our other grant programs. We realized that by supporting younger individuals on their first field projects, we could reach a new sector and new generation of scientists and explorers, and this workshop is a way of reaching them where they study,” said John Francis, vice president of research, conservation and exploration at the National Geographic Society.

“The Evening of Field Research and Exploration is a way for us to continue sharing our rich history of research and exploration with the surrounding community.”

“The opportunity to host the National Geographic Young Explorers event is very special for UT,” said Taylor Eighmy, vice chancellor for research and engagement. “We look forward to our undergraduate and graduate student researchers learning more about the National Geographic Young Explorers Grants program and hearing from Kenny Broad and Mark Synnott—two world-class explorers.”

The events are hosted by UT with support from the National Geographic Society, Lucy and Henry Billingsley, the Brinson Foundation, the Luce Foundation, and The North Face.

With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the 126-year-old National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. For more information, visit National Geographic’s website.

For more information on National Geographic’s Young Explorers Grants program, visit the program website.

C O N T A C T:

Kelsey Flora, National Geographic (202-828-8023, kflora@ngs.org)

Whitney Heins, University of Tennessee (865-974-5460, wheins@utk.edu)