Writers and photographers are available for interviews March 15-April 14 (see specifics below).
- Writer Heather Pringle and photographer Robert Clark explore the findings that are giving archaeologists insight into the Inca dynasty, rulers of the largest pre-Columbian empire in the New World, in GENIUS OF THE INCA. Pringle is available for interviews.
- The people of Crimea struggle to find an identity against the political and physical presence of Ukraine and their rich Russian past. National Geographic Editor at Large Cathy Newman and photographer Gerd Ludwig report in A JEWEL IN TWO CROWNS. Newman and Ludwig have limited interview availability.
- Photographer Carsten Peter and writer Michael Finkel document a team of the world’s leading volcano scientists as they descend into Nyiragongo, a 2-mile-high volcano threatening a town of 1 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in VOLCANO NEXT DOOR. Peter and Finkel are available for interviews.
- Writer Elizabeth Kolbert and photographer David Liittschwager consider the future of oceans taken over by acidification, and the toll carbon dioxide is already taking on marine life, in THE ACID SEA. Kolbert and Liittschwager are available for interviews.
- Photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel showcase the transformation of an elevated rail line into an urban oasis in New York City, which is allowing visitors to experience the city in a new way. Paul Goldberger, available for interviews, writes of those behind the revival, in MANHATTAN HIGH.
- Photographer Cyril Ruoso captures the mating ritual of European common frogs, which takes place each summer in the French Alps, in INDOMITABLE SNOW FROGS.
GENIUS OF THE INCA (cover story), by Heather Pringle, photographed by Robert Clark (Page 34) “Rising from obscurity in Peru’s Cusco Valley during the 13th century, a royal Inca dynasty charmed, bribed, intimidated, or conquered its rivals to create the largest pre-Columbian empire in the New World.” The story explores new clues on the Inca rulers, about whom little was known until recently. Now, archaeologists are combing mountain slopes near Cusco and discovering thousands of previously unknown sites, while also using colonial documents to relocate the past estates of Inca kings. They are piecing together dramatic evidence of the wars fought by these rulers and their ability to triumph on the battlefield and ultimately, build a civilization. Robert Clark’s photographs show the continuing influence of the Inca dynasty centuries after its demise. A sidebar on Hiram Bingham, the first person to study the Inca site of Machu Picchu, describes the moment he first saw the mountain stronghold.
A JEWEL IN TWO CROWNS, by Cathy Newman, photographed by Gerd Ludwig (Page 62) In 1954, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev signed Crimea over to Ukraine as a gesture of goodwill. Fifty-seven years later, the Crimean people are struggling to find an identity against the physical and political presence of Ukraine and their rich Russian past. Photographer Gerd Ludwig captures Russia’s lost paradise: a peninsula embraced by the Black Sea, warm and lush, with a curved coast of sparkling cliffs. National Geographic Editor at Large Cathy Newman writes of a republic that must solidify its sense of self amid a struggling economy and weak political traditions if it ever hopes to define itself as Ukrainian.
VOLCANO NEXT DOOR, by Michael Finkel, photographed by Carsten Peter (Page 82) Writer Michael Finkel and photographer Carsten Peter document a team of the world’s leading volcano scientists as they descend into Nyiragongo, a 2-mile-high volcano towering over the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet and also one of the least studied — a dangerous combination for the estimated 1 million people crammed into Goma, a city at the base of the volcano. Clouds of toxic gas, frequent tremors and boiling lava are among the challenges faced by the scientists racing against time to save the city from future eruptions. Carsten Peter and his team drop into Nyiragongo in “Man vs. Nature” at 10 p.m. ET Thursday, April 7, on the National Geographic Channel.
THE ACID SEA, by Elizabeth Kolbert, photographed by David Liittschwager (Page 100) The carbon dioxide we pump into the air is seeping into the oceans and slowly acidifying them. One hundred years from now, will oysters, mussels and coral reefs survive? In areas where the seawater is already corrosive, marine life is shrinking and stunted. David Liittschwager photographs the effects of acidification on marine organisms, from a sea star that weighs a fifth of one raised in normal water to a clownfish that can’t recognize the chemical signals that serve as a guide to its anemone home.
MANHATTAN HIGH, by Paul Goldberger, photographed by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel (Page 122) In the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, a mile-and-a-half-long steel structure supporting an elevated rail line that once brought freight cars into New York’s factories and warehouses has transformed into a thriving urban oasis. Until recently, the High Line — part promenade, part town square, part botanical garden — was a crumbling relic, set to be torn down under Rudolph Giuliani’s administration. New Yorker magazine architecture critic Paul Goldberger tells the story of those behind the revival, from a rail buff and photographer to two New Yorkers who formed a grassroots organization to save it. Photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel showcase the innovative space that’s allowing visitors to experience the city in an entirely new way.
INDOMITABLE SNOW FROGS, by Mel White, photographed by Cyril Ruoso (Page 138) Emerging each summer from a partially frozen pond more than 6,000 feet high in the French Alps, European common frogs set out to find mates and begin breeding activities. Photographer Cyril Ruoso captures the mating ritual.
April’s Department section looks at the rising number of interracial couples; official state rocks; an aeronautical chart that honors dogs and ponies that took part in Amundsen and Scott’s Antarctic expeditions; a corruption-busting bill in India; an ancient flier’s 17-foot wingspan; and a tiny fossil bloom that could offer clues to how sunflowers and daisies came to be. This month’s “Big Idea” focuses on the potential of perennial grains. Details can be found at blogs.ngm.com.
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 33 local-language editions, the magazine has a global circulation of around 8 million. It is sent each month to ational 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.