Special Content for iPad Edition Includes:
- Teenage Brain video — Interview with photographer Kitra Cahana, including behind-the-scenes footage of her on assignment.
- Hothouse Earth interactive — View a timeline of mammal life in the Bighorn Basin, and click along for added text and graphics.
- Ulaanbaatar video — Experience life in Mongolia first-hand through author Don Belt’s video journal of his time with Ochkhuu Green and his family.
- Australian Canyons video — Follow the canyoneers on their descent into Danae Brook Canyon, with maps to track their progress along the way.
- Ansel Adams Wilderness area interactive — View a map of the Ansel Adams Wilderness area, and click on hotspots for bonus location information.
Writers and photographers are available for interviews Sept. 15-Oct. 15 (See specifics below)
Beautiful Teenage Brain (cover story), by David Dobbs, photographed by Kitra Cahana (Page 36) Moody. Impulsive. Maddening. Why do teenagers act the way they do? This is a question parents and scientists have long pondered. The decisions teenagers make and they way they act are often criticized, but when viewed through the eyes of evolution, adolescent behavior makes total sense. David Dobbs investigates what makes teenagers quite possibly the most fully, crucially adaptive human beings around. Their often exasperating traits of seeking excitement, new experiences and risk are behind many of the poor choices made during the teenage years, but they are also fundamental to success as an adult. Dobbs and Cahana are available for interviews.
Genghis Khan’s Urban Clan, by Don Belt, photographed by Mark Leong (Page 110) Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, houses close to half of the nation’s 2.8 million people — many of them former nomads, who cluster in outlying neighborhoods in gers, or traditional tents. Driven into the capital by bad winters and the prospect of mining jobs, education and health care, the influx of nomads has turned the city upside down. For ger dwellers, jobs are hard to find. Nearly half live below the poverty line. The influx comes at a time when Mongolia is seeking to reassert itself between its two powerful neighbors, China and Russia. “Nationalism — even xenophobia — is on the rise, and foreigners are increasingly blamed for Mongolia’s problems,” writes author Don Belt, as Mongolians have channeled Genghis Khan as a symbol of Mongolian pride. Belt and Leong are available for interviews.
A Whale of a Shark, by Jennifer S. Holland, photographed by Michael Aw (Page 82) A few miles off the coast of Papua, Indonesia, a group of whale sharks looks for handouts from local fisherman. Usually loners by nature, this group exhibits unusual behavior by mingling with each other, drawn daily together by the lure of fishy tidbits. Normally, whale sharks are extremely elusive — they can disappear for weeks, diving more than a mile and resting in the chilly deep for a while. No one has ever found their mating or birthing grounds. Cold-blooded and equipped with gills to breathe, whale sharks can weigh up to 50,000 pounds, which accounts for the “whale” in their name. Holland and Aw are available for interviews.
World Without Ice, by Robert Kunzig, photographed by Ira Block (Page 90) Fifty-six million years ago a mysterious surge of carbon sent global temperatures soaring, changing life on Earth forever. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, lasted more than 150,000 years, until the excess carbon was absorbed. It brought on drought, floods, insect plagues and a few extinctions. While the exact cause of the carbon surge is unknown, scientists compare this fever period to our own global warming as we burn fossil fuels, taking what took millions of years to accumulate and releasing it in a geologic instant. The long-term effects of the 300 billion tons of carbon we have released since the 18th century are not certain, but as author Robert Kunzig describes it, “the PETM merely puts the choice in long perspective. Tens of millions of years from now, whatever becomes of humanity, the whole pattern of life on Earth may be radically different from what it would otherwise have been — simply because of the way we powered our lives for a few centuries.” Kunzig and Block are available for interviews.
Lost in Slot Canyons, by Mark Jenkins, photographed by Carsten Peter (Page 60) A handful of Australians has taken canyoneering to a new extreme in recent years by exploring new and unknown canyons. Described by author and climber Mark Jenkins as “a hybrid form of madness halfway between mountaineering and caving in which you go down instead of up,” canyoneering requires athletic ability and skill to maneuver through wet tunnels and narrow passageways. In Australia’s Blue Mountains, canyoneers bushwalk to mysterious canyons before plunging by rope into the unknown in search of unforgettable adventures. Jenkins is available for interviews.
An Homage to Ansel Adams, by Robert M. Poole, photographed by Peter Essick (Page 128) After his first trip to the Sierra Nevada at the age of 14, Ansel Adams was enraptured by the solace and artistic inspiration of the craggy California wilderness. The world-famous photographer and wilderness advocate returned many times throughout the next seven decades. Many years after Adams’ death in 1984, his son Michael set out to retrace his father’s steps and locate the exact spot where he made his famous photo of Thousand Island Lake and Banner Peak. It is in this same area, recently named the Ansel Adams Wilderness area, that Michael reflects on his father’s life. “I think my father was happy that the Sierra Club and others put his work to good use,” Michael tells author Robert Poole. “He’d be tickled to know that this part of the country has his name on it. He’d love that.” Poole and Essick are available for interviews.
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 13 National Magazine Awards in the past five years: for Magazine of the Year and Single-Topic Issue in 2011; for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Essays, plus two 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 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 to the Society.