National Geographic Launches Yearlong Exploration of the Power of Parks in Celebration of 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service

Yearlong Exploration Includes Robust Online Portal,, 12-Month Series in National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Channel Specials, New Books, Maps and More

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service in 2016, National Geographic has launched a yearlong exploration of the power of parks, across all its platforms, to help people better understand the wonders and challenges of parks around the world. A Web portal, “Explore the Power of Parks,” dedicated to exploring how to preserve our wild places, will feature new content throughout the year and include the latest magazine stories and photos, travel guides with maps and tips from the experts, videos, photo galleries, educational resources and the ability to book authentic and meaningful travel experiences online. will aggregate content from a major series in National Geographic magazine that kicks off with the January 2016 issue and includes many digital-only features, videos, news stories and more.power_of_parks_pressrelease-506x400

For almost a century, the National Geographic Society has been raising the public’s awareness of the historical and cultural significance — and majestic beauty — of America’s national parks. The Society has consistently featured the national park system and specific national parks across all of its publications, television channels and expansive website. These features provide information and inspiration to individuals worldwide and educate Americans about the importance of protecting our nation’s heritage as represented by the national park system. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s flagship publication, devoted its entire July 1979 issue to U.S. national parks, and in October 2006, the magazine published a cover story on national parks throughout the world, including a special piece on the health of U.S. parks.

The magazine series begins with an introduction by writer David Quammen on why a national park is more than just a scenic place — it is a nation’s common ground — and features powerful day-to-night imagery by photographer Stephen Wilkes. The issue also includes a feature article by Florence Williams that looks at how spending time in the natural world benefits the human brain. Other parks and topics in the series include Alaska’s Denali National Park, Seychelles, urban parks, a special single-topic issue on Yellowstone National Park in May 2016, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Grand Canyon, Cuba’s coral reefs and a look at the next generation of park keepers.

One hundred years ago, the National Geographic Society helped persuade the U.S. government to create the National Park Service. Today, parks are more critical than ever to ensure the health and sustainability of our planet. They connect us with the natural world and inspire us all to be better stewards of our only home. Because we believe in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world, we’re harnessing our global content platforms to focus on the importance of these irreplaceable places,” says Chris Johns, chief content officer, National Geographic Society. “We want people to explore and experience the wonder of these protected places with us and through us, and support our efforts to understand and preserve them.

National Geographic will round out the magazine and Web coverage throughout the year with other consumer touchpoints, including:

  • National Geographic Books and Kids Books: Several new books published, including an updated edition of the best-selling “National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States, 8th Edition” (on sale Jan. 19, 2016) and “Yellowstone: A Journey Through America’s Park” by David Quammen (on sale August 2016). Kids books include the “National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide USA,” “Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure” and the “Junior Ranger Activity Book,” which is filled with puzzles, games and fun facts about national parks.
  • National Geographic Kids magazine and website: The May 2016 issue will be devoted to national parks and an online content hub,, will feature My Shot kid photos, park profiles and a quiz.
  • National Geographic Travel: Each issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine will feature a national park and special digital content, including videos, showcasing many of the parks online.
  • National Geographic Channel and National Geographic WILD: The National Geographic channels kicked off a yearlong celebration of the founding of our national parks with Wild Yellowstone, which premiered in December 2015 on Nat Geo WILD and won best cinematography and best editing at the Jackson Hole Film Festival. The channels will air multiple park specials throughout the year, starting with National Geographic Channel’s America’s National Parks: Everglades on Sun., Jan. 24, at 8/7c and America’s National Parks: Gates of the Arctic on Sun., Jan. 31, at 8/7c. Both specials will encore on Nat Geo WILD Sun., Feb. 28, beginning at 8/7c.
  • National Geographic Maps: Up-to-the-minute “National Parks Trails Illustrated” maps and new map guides.
  • Experiences: BioBlitz two-day biodiversity-themed outdoor classroom/festival events in parks in all 50 states. Six regional events will take place in national parks the weekend of May 20-21, 2016, with the largest taking place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. NG Live! parks-themed public programs in Washington, D.C., and major markets.
  • Expeditions: National park trips include a new Ultimate National Parks expedition to five legendary parks, expert-led trips to Yellowstone and Grand Teton as well as active Nat Geo Adventures, family expeditions and a student expedition.
  • K-12 Education: The National Geographic Bee, taking place May 22-25, 2016, in Washington, D.C., will feature geography questions about U.S. national parks. The “Find Your Park, Love Your Park” educational initiative (, developed with support from Subaru of America, teaches fourth graders across the United States about the importance of U.S. national parks and empowers students to preserve and protect them.
  • Lifelong Education: “Wonders of Our National Parks” DVD/streaming lecture course on the geology of North America, created in partnership with The Great Courses.
  • The Greatest American Road Trip: Follow former National Geographic staffer Jonathan Irish as he traverses the country visiting all 59 U.S. national parks in 52 weeks, starting on January 1, 2016. Find maps, photos, updates from the road and more at and

Travel Channel’s ‘The Trip: 2016’ Fourth Annual Sweepstakes And Network Event Kicks Off Today

One Lucky Winner Will Win A $100,000 Dream Adventure For Two To Five Tropical Caribbean Islands

Check Out “The Trip: 2016” On TRAVELCHANNEL.COM For Exclusive Content And Your Chance To Win This Dream Adventure

Host Andrew Zimmern holds up his freshly caught Caribbean rock lobster in Guadeloupe (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

Host Andrew Zimmern holds up his freshly caught Caribbean rock lobster in Guadeloupe (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

The Travel Channel has kicked off its fourth annual sweepstakes and network event, “The Trip: 2016,” which features a $100,000 dream adventure giveaway. This year’s trip is packed with the most thrilling, surprising and exclusive experiences one can find on the Caribbean islands of Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Guadeloupe and Saint Lucia.

Host Jack Maxwell gets a taste of the tropics on the island of Barbados (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

Host Jack Maxwell gets a taste of the tropics on the island of Barbados (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

Beginning today, fans can submit an entry at to win this year’s over-the-top prize itinerary curated by Travel Channel’s experts and hosts Samantha Brown, Josh Gates, Jack Maxwell, Anthony Melchiorri and Andrew Zimmern. “The Trip: 2016” online sweepstakes runs from 9:00 a.m. ET on January 4 through March 25 at 5:00 p.m. ET, and complements the one-hour special that premieres on Travel Channel on Tuesday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. The special features the five Travel Channel hosts showcasing the distinct cultures, cuisines and all the luxuries that make these Caribbean locales a fantasy tropical paradise.

Host Josh Gates enjoys Aruba's local island flavors (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

Host Josh Gates enjoys Aruba’s local island flavors (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

Host Samantha Brown kicks back in a hammock in Saint Lucia (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

Host Samantha Brown kicks back in a hammock in Saint Lucia (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

Travel Channel and its expert hosts scoured the Caribbean for this year’s most over-the-top getaway, and will reward one lucky viewer with the ultimate two-week travel itinerary worth approximately $100,000. “The Trip: 2016” features a collection of exclusive and world-class activities that only Travel Channel can create. Viewers will get an underwater look at one of the top 10 dive sites in the world – the wreck of the WWII German warship, the Antilla, located just off the coast in only 50 feet of water. Plus, explore the French-Caribbean cuisine with a local celebrity chef at his restaurant, Au Widdy’s, in the St. Francois harbor; take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Mount Gay Rum Distillery; swim side-by-side with dolphins in the Bahamas; and soak in a volcano-fed natural hot springs mud bath at Sulphur Springs Park.

Host Anthony Melchiorri swims with dolphins in the Bahamas (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

Host Anthony Melchiorri swims with dolphins in the Bahamas (PRNewsFoto/Travel Channel)

The white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Caribbean are an adventure lover’s paradise, and Travel Channel’s stars have curated a truly epic itinerary that balances just enough adrenaline with pampering,” says Courtney White, senior vice president, programming and development, Travel Channel. “‘The Trip: 2016’ gives unprecedented access to places and experiences you might only dream of, and one lucky fan gets to win it!

Go to “The Trip: 2016” show page on for additional show-related content and to enter for your chance to win the $100,000 dream vacation.

The Trip: 2016” is produced by Warm Springs Productions, and its executive producers are Marc Pierce, Chris Richardson and Bruce Klassen. For Travel Channel, the executive producer is Sean McKnight. Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans is the presenting sponsor, and additional sponsors for 2016 include Farmers Insurance, eHarmony and Atlantis Paradise Island.

The National Society of Film Critics Announces Awards for 2015 films

The National Society of Film Critics has weighed in with its choices for the best of film in 2015. With Academy members having received their ballots for the prospective nominations for the 87th Academy Awards, this list of winners has the potential to sway Academy voters as they deliberate over their personal choices, espcially in the acting categories.

The National Society of Film Critics counts among its members many of the country’s leading film critics. Its purpose is to promote the mutual interests of film criticism and filmmaking. Founded in l966, the Society differs from other critical associations in a number of significant ways. In the first place, it is truly national. Its members include critics from major papers in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Denver. Its members also include the critics not just of The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and The New Yorker, but also of The Village Voice, The Boston Herald, and prominent online sites. Second, membership is by election.

The Society represents movie criticism in the United States by supplying the official critic delegate to the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress and abroad by supplying the official American representative to FIPRESCI, the international federation of members of the film press. Besides responding to specific issues, such as imprisoned directors, film preservation, or the ratings system, the Society regularly meets early in January to vote on the Society’s awards for the finest film achievements of the year.

This annual voting meeting is usually scheduled for the first Saturday in January, except when that date is too close to New Year’s Day. In 2016 the meeting was held on Sunday, January 3rd. Submissions are not necessary; there is no nomination process. Any film that opens in the U.S. during the preceding year is eligible for consideration. Voting is conducted using a weighted ballot system. Scrolls suitable for framing are sent to the winners. There is no awards party. The 2015 Winners are:


*1. Michael B. Jordan (Creed) 29 points

Geza Rohrig (Son of Saul) 18

Tom Courtenay (45 Years) 15


*1. Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) 57

Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) 30

Nina Hoss (Phoenix) 22


*1. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) 56

Michael Shannon (99 Homes) 16

Sylvester Stallone (Creed) 14


*1. Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria) 53

Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) 23

Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) 17

Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy) 17


*1. Spotlight (Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy) 21

Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman) 15

The Big Short (Charles Randolph and Adam McKay) 15


*1. Carol (Ed Lachman) 25

The Assassin (Mark Lee Ping-bin) 22

Mad Max: Fury Road (John Seale) 12


*1. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy) 23

Carol (Todd Haynes) 17

Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller) 13


*1.Todd Haynes (Carol) 21

Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) 21 (because he was on fewer ballots; a winner must be on a majority of ballots)

George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) 20


*1. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako) 22

Phoenix (Christian Petzold) 20

The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien) 16


*1. Amy (Asif Kapadia) 23

In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman) 18

Seymour: An Introduction (Ethan Hawke) 15 Continue reading