Writers and photographers are available for interviews Dec. 15-Jan. 14 (see specifics below).
POPULATION 7 BILLION (cover story), by Robert Kunzig (Page 32) This year will bring a population milestone: 7 billion people on the planet. In the coming years, despite falling birthrates, numbers will continue to rise, mostly in poor countries. Global population is projected to reach 9 billion by 2045. Robert Kunzig, National Geographic’s senior editor for the environment, authors the first article in a yearlong series that will explore questions of population. As water tables are falling, soil is eroding, glaciers are melting and close to a billion people are going hungry each day, many wonder what more people will mean for the planet. Kunzig ponders the issues that could make all the difference, from how to raise people out of poverty to how to reduce the impact each of us has on the planet. Kunzig is available for interviews.
PHOENIX ISLANDS RISE, by Gregory S. Stone, photographed by Brian Skerry (Page 70) During the El Niño of 2002-2003, a rare lethal spike in the temperatures of local seawater surrounding the central Pacific’s Phoenix Islands severely bleached the region’s coral. Photographer Brian Skerry paints a hopeful portrait of the islands’ recovery: bountiful reef fish and vibrant corals growing up through the rubble. Gregory Stone, chief scientist for oceans at Conservation International, looks back at an effort that led to the protection of the area in 2006, which is largely the reason for the region’s resilience today. Skerry is available for interviews.
TELLTALE SCRIBES OF TIMBUKTU, by Peter Gwin, photographed by Brent Stirton (Page 84) National Geographic staff writer and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grantee Peter Gwin’s encounters with a salt merchant, a bibliophile, a Muslim holy man and a Green Beret’s girlfriend lead him to one conclusion: The ancient caravan city of Timbuktu harbors great books, mysterious letters — and a world of intrigue. Photographer Brent Stirton captures modern-day Timbuktu, where the knowledge found in ancient manuscripts still influences everyday life. Despite threats from terrorist cells, rebel groups and smuggling gangs in the northern desert of Mali, proud citizens work to preserve the manuscripts and emerging renaissance of the city. Gwin is available for interviews.
TO CONQUER A CAVE, by Mark Jenkins, photographed by Carsten Peter (Page 104) Carsten Peter’s photographs confirm a landscape that needs to be seen to be believed: a cave passage in Vietnam, nearly 300 feet wide and 800 feet tall — room enough for an entire New York city block of 40-story buildings — with light penetrating a 200-foot tower of calcite on the cave floor, smothered by a jungle of ferns, palms and other plants. Massive stalactites hang from the ceiling, and there are cave pearls the size of baseballs. “The tableau could have been created by an artist imagining how the world looked millions of years ago,” writes Mark Jenkins of the Hang Son Doong, as he reports on a daring band of explorers who complete the first push through what is very likely the largest cave passage in the world. Jenkins is available for interviews.
CAHOKIA: AMERICA’S LOST CITY, by Glenn Hodges, photographed by Don Burmeister and Ira Block (Page 126) A four-lane highway and a billboard for Joe’s Carpet King now mark the location of Cahokia Mounds in Illinois, the largest archaeological site in the United States and the greatest link to Indian life before Europeans arrived. Glenn Hodges writes
of the Indian city built four centuries before Columbus landed in the New World, where archaeologists have found evidence of a community of up to 15,000 people. The city lasted just some 300 years, and its disappearance is shrouded in mystery. Don Burmeister and Ira Block’s photographs tell the story of America’s forgotten city. Hodges is available for interviews.
January’s Department section looks at the logistics of a party with 7 billion guests; how eating a ray could save the Chesapeake Bay; U.S. women delaying pregnancy until later in life; 3-D butterfly structures that create brilliant green color; and human remains found near an ancient settlement high in the Himalaya.Details can be found on NGM Blog Central.
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 The National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations. Published in English and 33 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.