News Release

National Geographic Explorers to Speak at UCSD

San Diego, CA, September 19, 2011 – Two accomplished explorers — one who works in some of Earth’s highest places and the other who explores its depths — will describe their National Geographic adventures at a free public presentation at the University of California, San Diego, on Saturday, Oct. 1. 

Hosted by John Francis, vice president of research, conservation and exploration at National Geographic, and Albert Yu-Min Lin, research scientist in the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, the event will be held at Mandeville Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.; doors will open at 7 p.m.

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National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kenny Broad (left) and Pete Athans of The North Face. 

High-altitude mountaineer and athlete Pete Athans of The North Face — one of only three people in the world to have summited Everest seven times — will share highlights from his journeys into Nepal’s remote and forbidden Kingdom of Mustang, where ancient cliff caves have revealed pre-Buddhist antiquities.

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kenny Broad, an associate professor at the University of Miami, will recount his expedition to one of the most challenging and spectacular frontiers of exploration — the Bahamas Blue Holes. Broad’s work in the Blue Holes was the cover story of the August 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine.

Francis will discuss his role at National Geographic and the organization’s support of exploration around the globe. Lin will talk about National Geographic’s impact on his work, especially his project exploring the land of Genghis Khan, and his efforts to merge technology and innovation with exploration.

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Calit2 research scientist Albert Yu-Min Lin

The public presentation will follow a daylong workshop for UC San Diego students on National Geographic’s Young Explorers Grants program, to be held at Atkinson Hall’s Calit2 Auditorium from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 1. Young Explorers Grants support individuals ages 18 to 25 in their pursuit of research-, exploration- and conservation-based field projects. This workshop will enable students interested in pursuing Young Explorers Grants to meet with recent grant recipients and National Geographic staff, explorers, conservationists and researchers. They will learn about the kinds of projects the program aims to support and will have an opportunity to discuss their ideas for field projects with National Geographic grantees and staff. Lin and other UCSD-based grantees will take part in the workshop.


“Until starting the Young Explorers program in 2006, we tended only to fund more established researchers. We have now realized that, by supporting younger individuals on their first field projects, we can reach a dynamic, new sector,” Francis said. “With our increasingly diverse media and growing number of Young Explorers, we hope to better fulfill the National Geographic vision, which is to inspire people to care about the planet.”

The Oct. 1 workshop will be hosted by UC San Diego with support from the National Geographic Society, the Brinson Foundation, The North Face, Lucy and Henry Billingsley and ProBar.

“We are hosting the workshop to make students more aware of a tremendous opportunity,” said Ramesh Rao, director of the UC San Diego division of Calit2. “We are very proud of our joint Engineers for Exploration program with National Geographic, and this workshop will expose more students to the excitement of exploration – and the role science and technology can play in discovery.” Rao is also an electrical and computer engineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

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WHAT: Free public presentation by explorers from the National Geographic Society and The North Face

WHO: Pete Athans, climber and The North Face athlete; Kenny Broad, University of Miami associate professor and National Geographic Emerging Explorer; John Francis, National Geographic’s vice president of research, conservation and exploration; and Albert Yu-Min Lin, UC San Diego research scientist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer

WHERE: Mandeville Auditorium at UC San Diego

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Media Contacts

Doug Ramsey
Jacobs School of Engineering