The National Geographic Society is a global non-profit that funds the best and brightest individuals around the world dedicated to our mission to use the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.
This session will introduce how the work of the National Geographic Society aims to Spark curiosity, empower exploration and inspire change. It will also provide an overview of current funding opportunities – including for applicants from or in Japan.
During the session, National Geographic Explorers in or from Japan will introduce the challenges that they are working on, as well as the impact that they are aiming to have. In addition, they will talk about the importance of collaboration and science communication. Speakers will share successful examples and experiences of using science communication approaches, as well as innovative collaboration in order to drive change or impact.
During the panel discussion, Explorers will talk about the importance and power of collaboration and science communication. After that, the audience will have the opportunity to interact with all of the presenters and ask questions.
Attendees will have the chance to understand the work of the Explorers as well as current grant opportunities better. This will allow them to apply for NGS grant opportunities in the future. In addition, they will be inspired by the work of current Explorers.
Dr. Yannick Kuehl is the Executive Director, APAC of the National Geographic Society (NGS), based in Hong Kong. NGS is an impact-driven global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. As the lead programmatic representative for NGS he advance strategic priorities in APAC.
Previous to NGS, Yannick worked as Regional Director, East Asia, of TRAFFIC, an alliance of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Based at WWF in Hong Kong, Yannick directed TRAFFIC's conservation programme and teams in Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Taipeh, Hong Kong as well as Delhi and was leading the implementation of TRAFFIC projects in research, policy advice, communications and capacity-building. Before that, he was based in Beijing for three years as a Forest and Climate Change Expert for the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). Yannick obtained his BSc at Humboldt University - with a short stint at the University of Mauritius, his MSc and PhD in agricultural economics at the University of Hohenheim and the China Agricultural University - where he also worked as an Agricultural Economist.
Frederic Sinniger Harii is a biologist studying marine biodiversity and ecology. After obtaining his PhDs at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) in biology and at the University of Aix-Marseille (France) in marine environmental science, he began working at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa. His research on the deep parts of coral reefs, between 30 and 120 m depth, examines how these ecosystems can contribute to the conservation of coral reefs in a warming ocean and identifies the threats they face. As a National Geographic Explorer, he explores the unique communities living at the deepest edge of coral ecosystems in Okinawa. In his research, he uses a variety of approaches from image analyses and field experiments to DNA work.
A key development in Sinniger Harii’s research was the discovery of abundant corals in a deep reef in Okinawa. One common species there was reported extinct from the neighboring shallow reefs after massive coral bleaching damaged reefs in 1998 and 2001. This discovery highlighted the beneficial potential of deep reefs for the conservation of coral biodiversity. Through his work, he raises awareness about deep reefs to both researchers and the general public.
Narumasa Tsutsumida is a geographic information scientist who studies land cover classification and its uncertainties, and develops novel techniques for analyzing land cover. He has conducted case studies of urban expansion in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and Jakarta, forest biomass mapping in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, and plant functional type classifications in the forests of Japan. As a National Geographic Fellow, Tsutsumida incorporates human perception of nature into land cover maps and integrates satellite/aero and street-level sequential images to collect ground information for land cover mapping.
Tsutsumida is also a charter member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation and is developing several open source algorithms to explore spatial heterogeneity in geographic phenomena. He received his Ph.D in global environmental studies at Kyoto University, where he conducted terrestrial environmental monitoring using remote sensing and GIS.
Rajan Prasad Paudel is a National Geographic Explorer. He looks for patterns and processes in nature and is focused on the Himalayas. Paudel is interested in investigating the distribution of wildlife and the impacts of global changes on their survival.
His work involves a combination of adventure and science. He has M.Sc. in Biodiversity and Environmental Management and an undergraduate degree in Forestry. He has done a lot of traveling in the past few years--he walked through the dense forests, grasslands, and mountains in hopes of getting a glimpse of the elusive snow leopards. Currently, he looks for sloth bear poops and analyzes them in the laboratory. He hopes that his work will support conservation of this endangered bear endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
Paudel believes in the power of unity in diversity--be it in nature or in society. He has traveled widely within Nepal and few areas in Europe and the States and hopes that he could further explore the diversity of nature, culture, and life in different places.
Welcome and introduction of speakers
Introduction of the mission and objectives of the National Geographic Society, as well as current funding opportunities (Dr. Wolf Yannick Kuehl)
3 presentations by National Geographic Explorers based in or from Japan
Panel discussion on the importance of collaboration and science communication