Writers and photographers are available for interviews June 15-July 14 (see specifics below).
EVOLUTIONARY ROAD (cover story), by Jamie Shreeve (Page 34) National Geographic science editor Jamie Shreeve heads to Ethiopia’s Middle Awash region, where members of our lineage have lived and died for almost 6 million years. Over time, volcanoes, earthquakes and accumulating sediments conspired to bury bones and, much later, disgorge them to the surface as fossils. Shreeve and a team of experts walk backward through time, peeling away what makes us human, trait by trait, species by species. Research in the Middle Awash has yielded such fi nds as “Ardi,” an adult female more than a million years older than the famous Lucy skeleton, revealing controversial fi ndings on the
common ancestor we share with chimpanzees. Shreeve is available for interviews.
THE TALE OF A TOWER, by Virginia Morell, photographed by Tim Laman (Page 68) Donald, a Macgregor’s bowerbird living in the dark woods of Papua New Guinea, “has woven his spire of sticks and twigs. At its base, he has stacked piles of nuts, beetles and cream-colored fungi; from its lower branches he has strung garlands of caterpillar feces glistening with dew.” Once perched, he calls into the air. His purpose? To woo the female Macgregor’s bowerbirds and convince them he’s a worthy mate. Photographer Tim Laman documents this ritual, one that has fascinated scientists for its power of sexual selection — the evolutionary force defi ned by Charles Darwin. Author Virginia Morell examines the peculiar bowerbirds and reveals how Donald’s love tale ends. Laman and Morell are available for interviews.
PAKISTAN’S HEART, by John Lancaster, photographed by Ed Kashi (Page 82) Pakistan’s Punjab province is the wealthiest and most populous of the country’s four provinces, a place where East meets West and culture thrives. Home to Pakistan’s political and military establishments, it has also become a prime Taliban target in recent years, with a wave of terrorism attacks attempting to disturb the Punjab way of life. Writer John Lancaster, former South Asia bureau chief for the Washington Post, considers the resilience of Punjabis through the context of history, including the bloody partition of British India in the mid-20th century. Photographer Ed Kashi captures the status quo, one that many Punjabis refuse to give up easily. Lancaster and Kashi are available for interviews.
A SEA OF DUNES, by Ronaldo Ribeiro, photographed by George Steinmetz (Page 108) Photographer George Steinmetz takes readers to an unlikely place — towering white dunes, where silvery fi sh swim in brilliant blue and green pools left behind by the rains, and shepherds lead caravans of goats over the sand. Lençóis Maranhenses, on the tropical
northeastern coast of Brazil, is a desert of sorts, where 47 inches or so of rainfall a year mixed with strong winds create a magical sandscape. Ronaldo Ribeiro, senior editor of National Geographic’s Brazilian edition, writes of this unlikely ecosystem — one that’s beauty must be shared, yet protected. Steinmetz and Ribeiro are available for interviews.
21ST-CENTURY GRID, by Joel Achenbach, photographed by Joe McNally (Page 118) We are creatures of the electrical grid. The power it provides penetrates every corner of our lives. Yet, as Joel Achenbach reports, the infrastructure is rather old-fashioned for the 21st century. The grid needs to become more reliable, especially for our mushrooming population of fi nicky digital devices. Blackouts and other power outs cost Americans an estimated $80 billion a year. And the grid needs dramatic upgrading to handle a greener kind of power. That means, among other things, more transmission lines to carry wind power and solar power from remote places to big cities. Photographer Joe McNally hitched a ride on a helicopter to show how new transmission lines are built. McNally is available for interviews.
July’s Departments section looks at chasing solar eclipses; genetics that could bring back the extinct aurochs; debunking the five-second rule; the riskiest cities for pedestrians; and the power of pomegranates.
National Geographic magazine has a long tradition of combining on-the-ground reporting with award-winning photography to inform people about life on our planet. It has won 11 National Magazine Awards in the past four years: for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Essays and two inaugural Digital Media Awards for Best Photography and Best Community in 2010; for Photojournalism in 2009; for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Reporting in 2008; and for General Excellence and Photography in 2007.
The magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations. Published in English and 32 local-language editions, the magazine has a global circulation of around 8 million. It is sent each month to National Geographic members and is available on newsstands for $5.99 a copy. Single copies can be ordered by calling (800) NGS-LINE, also the number to call for membership in the Society.