National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Kids and Makers of Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer Announce First National Geographic Kids Expedition Team Members —
01/30/2006 – WASHINGTON (Jan. 31, 2006)–Proving their passion to explore and ability to describe their adventures, six boys and nine girls ages 9-14 have been selected as the first-ever National Geographic Kids Expedition Team, scheduled to explore the Galapagos Islands from May 13 to 22, 2006.
The 15 young explorers include an aspiring 13-year-old nature photographer from Norman, Okla., a 9-year-old in Crystal Lake, Ill., who likes to explore garage sales and a 10-year-old who enjoys exploring St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, Fla., her newly adopted home after fleeing Hurricane Katrina. They competed with thousands of other youths nationwide in the National Geographic Kids magazine and National Geographic Channel’s “Everyday Explorer Challenge,” sponsored by the makers of Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer.
The kids expedition team will embark on the ultimate field trip — a 10-day expedition to the Galapagos Islands — onboard Lindblad Expeditions’ newest vessel, M.S. Islander. “Everyday Explorer” behavioral ecologist Mike Heithaus, National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths Belt, and Lindblad naturalists and underwater experts will accompany the group, along with a parent or guardian for each young team member. The expedition team will experience the Galapagos’ abundant wildlife in its natural and pristine setting, and learn from experts how to observe while not disturbing the unique place. Equipped with their own Nikon Coolpix digital cameras, the young explorers will be mentored by National Geographic and Lindblad experts on capturing their discoveries in pictures and words.
The “Everyday Explorer Challenge” asked kids to submit a picture of a place they discovered or like to explore in their own community and to describe in 100 to 200 words how they actively explore that place and the most interesting things they have found. A panel of National Geographic experts selected 15 young explorers whose essays and photographs were exceptional.
A Kodiak, Alaska, boy explored a beach where you can find “birds, whales, maybe even gold”; a Crystal Lake, Ill., explorer found dinosaur bone fragments at a garage sale; a Wenatchee, Wash., student ventured out and found that “what seemed like a big pile of horse manure in the middle of the trail was actually a coiled rattlesnake!”; and a Watchung, N.J., student, found “One Heart” trees symbolizing “forever love” and stood in front of them and “declared my forever love and respect to nature.”
“It’s a germy world, but no true explorer can resist getting their hands a little dirty,” said Dawn Kidd, senior product manager for Purell at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. “Outdoor learning can lead to wonderful new experiences, and using Purell to kill germs you may pick up on your hands gives you the freedom to explore and really be hands-on.”
“These kids are born to explore,” said Heithaus. “I can’t wait to explore the amazing Galapagos with them and see how they respond to the wonders of the natural world. This will be a life-changing adventure for all of us.”
“National Geographic Kids is all about getting kids excited about their world,” said Editor-in-Chief Melina Bellows. “National Geographic has a long tradition of identifying and supporting young explorers early in their research, many of whom have become household names like Jacques Cousteau, Dian Fossey and Bob Ballard. I can see no greater opportunity than this to seed the next generation of explorers.”
The Galapagos, a remote chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean and the site of Charles Darwin’s famed research, has been referred to as the soul of wildness. It is home to giant tortoises, sea lions, fur seals, penguins, iguanas, lava lizards, finches, albatrosses, geckos and more than 1,600 species of insects.
The “Everyday Explorer Challenge” is part of the National Geographic Channel’s “Everyday Explorer” program. This public-outreach campaign includes lesson plans; giant maps of the world for participating schools; a robust Web site with materials for teachers, parents and students; high-speed Internet content; and local events in select markets, featuring National Geographic explorers.
The inaugural National Geographic Kids Expedition team members are:
Heather Snyder, 11, Goshen, Ala.
Gregory D’Elia, 13, Kodiak, Alaska
Colin Carlson, 9, Coventry, Conn.
Morgan Eguia, 10, Panama City Beach, Fla.
Keegan Flanigan, 13, Newnan, Ga.
Mitchell Ramirez, 9, Crystal Lake, Ill.
Ella Beaudoin, 11, Minneapolis, Minn.
Caitlin Zera, 14, St. Louis, MO.
Gunther Errhalt, 12, Jackson, N.J.
Robin Wu, 13, Watchung, N.J.
Emily Cancian, 8 (9 on trip), Strongsville, Ohio
Leah Dile, 13, Norman, Okla.
Elena Mpougas, 11, Sullivans Island, S.C.
Sarah Koehler, 12, Franklin, Tenn.
Max Schneider, 10, Wenatchee, Wash.
Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, DC, the National Geographic Channel is a joint venture between National Geographic Television & Film (NGT&F) and Fox Cable Networks. National Geographic Channel debuted to an initial 10 million homes in January 2001, and has been one of the fastest growing networks in history. The Channel has carriage with all of the nation’s major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available to more than 56 million homes. For more information, please visit www.nationalgeographic.com/channel.
National Geographic Kids, a multitopic, photo-driven magazine for 6- to 14-year-olds, empowers its readers by making it fun to learn about the world. It has received numerous industry awards, including the 2005 Periodical of the Year award from the Association of Educational Publishers and Folio’s 2005 gold Eddie award for best family magazine. Published 10 times a year, National Geographic Kids has a circulation of 1.3 million is available by subscription for $19.95 a year and on newsstands for $3.95 a copy. Its Web site is at nationalgeographic.com/ngkids.
Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer, which kills 99.99% of germs that may cause illness, can be used when soap and water are not available and when hands are not visibly dirty. Purell products are marketed by the Consumer Healthcare division of Pfizer Inc. Pfizer Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines for humans and animals and many of the world’s best-known consumer brands.
Lindblad Expeditions was founded in 1979, originally as a division of Lindblad Travel, which was founded in 1958 by Lars-Eric Lindblad, the pioneer of expedition travel. Lindblad operates a fleet of six ships in regions such as Galapagos, Antarctica, Arctic Norway, Alaska and Baja California, to name a few. The company is known for its commitment to sustainable tourism and is the recipient of many environmental awards. Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic recently joined forces to create one-of-a kind learning adventures for travelers of all ages.
Nikon and Coolpix are registered trademarks of Nikon Corporation.