Dean Potter is nothing if not creative. In this short piece, he highlines across a desert landscape with a massive full moon as his backdrop.
Were his Olympic speed-skating gold medals in 1994 his only legacy, Norwegian Johann Olav Koss might have just become another athlete living off dusty accomplishments. Instead, Koss used the same singular determination and focus that took him to the top of his sport to make a difference in the lives of some of the planet’s most vulnerable and victimized children. Recognizing that sport has mobilizing power, and seeing opportunity where others might have seen only obstacles, Koss gave up a career in medicine for the challenges of international aid and development and created a global organization called Right to Play. This feel-good documentary of the same name directed by part-time Tellurider Frank Marshall (one of the most accomplished producers in Hollywood) captures Koss’s guiding principle that all children have the right to play, and his legacy now, far from obscure, extends to some 700,000 children in 23 countries.
For more than a century, National Geographic has provided grants to some of the world’s top explorers, adventurers and scientists, and now they offer a program for people under the age of 25. We’ve invited four of these Young Explorers to discuss their far-reaching work.
Sarah McNair-Landry grew up on Baffin Island and has followed in her parent’s Arctic-exploring footsteps. At the age of 18, she became the youngest person to ski to the South Pole. She followed that feat with a 1,400-mile snowkite across the Greenland Ice Sheet and continues to push her limits.
Rebecca Skinner is a photographer who has spent time in post-Katrina Louisiana and in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, documenting how areas recover from devastating natural disasters. Her inspiration to go to Indonesia came partly from James Balog (the photographer featured in Chasing Ice) who was there after the tsunami hit in 2004.
Shannon Switzer is a writer, photographer and avid surfer who noticed that her friends were getting sick from swimming in the water near San Diego, California. Inspired by Sylvia Earle, she set out to show how the area’s watershed was being polluted and how it could be protected.
Anand Varma studied biology at U.C. Berkeley, but he realized that the most effective way for him to tell stories was with a camera. Over the past few years, he’s spent many months in Patagonia, photographing and documenting the wetland forests in that region.