National Geographic Offers Gifts for the Adventurer, Traveler, Stargazer, Photographer, Book Lover, Young Scientist and More

Explore The World With National Geographic And Give A Gift Inspired By Travel, Adventure, Science, Exploration, Photography And Global Craft This Holiday.

If you have a love of people, places, culture and history or if you are looking for gifts that are out of the ordinary, National Geographic has some unique selections in its 2016 Holiday Look Book. From books to home goods, eclectic apparel and jewelry, gear, photography workshops and private expeditions National Geographic offers high-quality, authentic gifts that would delight anyone on your list.

Another plus: All purchases support National Geographic Society’s vital exploration, conservation, cultural preservation and education programs around the globe.

Buyers from National Geographic travel the globe in search of beautiful, handmade objects that tell a story,” said Jill Dvorak, director of site merchandising & marketing, catalog and online operations for National Geographic. “We’ve assembled an extraordinary collection of gifts for the traveler, the book lover, stargazer, home decorator, adventurer, animal lover, young scientist and beyond that will inspire them to learn and explore the world around them.”

Highlights From The 2016 Gift Selection:

National Geographic Exclusive: Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit. $179.95

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Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit

The revolutionary Geno 2.0 Next Generation test has been enhanced to offer the most up to date ancestry available and now has:

  • -Improved results based on a higher-capacity DNA-testing chip
  • -More accurate regional ancestry—double the number of regions and 50+ reference populations
  • -Improved DNA haplogroup calls and 20 new ancestral stories.

Introducing the next generation of the Genographic Project Participation Kit. This new DNA test uses cutting-edge technology to give you the richest ancestry information available. Join the more than half a million people who have already taken part in National Geographic’s groundbreaking Genographic Project—contribute to this real-time scientific effort and learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells and his team designed Geno Next Gen based on the new technologies and insights that emerged since the launch of the Genographic Project ten years ago. Using an exclusive, custom-built genotyping chip, they test nearly 750,000 DNA markers that have been specifically selected to provide unprecedented ancestry-related information.

For the Holiday Host or Hostess: Personalized Nautical Flag Coasters (Set of 4), $55.00

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Personalized Nautical Flag Coasters – Set of 4

Although signal flags have been largely replaced by two-way radio and cell phones, in the 19th century they were how ships at sea communicated with each other. Each flag stands for a letter, but also represents a full message. For example, the “T” flag also meant “keep clear!” Today the flags are reserved for yacht racing and formal occasions. Choose your three-initial monogram and artisans in New England will create a coaster set on cork-backed, rustic tumbled marble that shows your initials along with the corresponding signal flags. Click here for a list of initials and their corresponding flags, or click on the Flag Meanings tab to see what phrase each flag symbolizes in the International Code of Symbols.

(Please note: Personalized items cannot be returned unless damaged or defective. Please check your order carefully; once placed, your order for this item cannot be canceled. Not available for shipment outside of the U.S. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery to the continental U.S. and 4-6 weeks for delivery to Alaska and Hawaii.)

For the Adventurer: Carabiner Clip Watch with LED Micro-Light, $45.00

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Carabiner Clip Watch with LED Micro-Light

Equipped with a powerful LED micro-light, this clever explorer’s watch has a built-in carabiner that clips right onto belt loops, packs, and more, keeping the time and a light source within reach as you travel. Luminescent hands and hour markers provide visibility in all kinds of conditions.

(Details: Uses one 376 watch battery and one LR1131 watch battery (both included). We recommend having a jeweler replace the battery. The case is intentionally challenging to open in order to better protect the mechanism and increase the watch’s water resistance. 1 1/2”W x 3”L x 1/4”D, 3 oz, Water-resistant to 100 feet.)

For the Book Lover: Wild, Beautiful Places: Picture-Perfect Journeys Around the Globe, $40.00

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Wild, Beautiful Places: Picture-Perfect Journeys Around the Globe

Experience the world’s most wild, remote, beautiful places with shots by National Geographic photographers and vintage photos pulled from the National Geographic archives. Highlighting 50 of Earth’s most pristine, scenic locales, this beautiful book is illustrated with stunning images, coupled with accessible, engaging descriptions and practical travel information. The book covers everything from otherworldly, secluded valleys to far-flung, soaring mountain ranges. National Geographic photographers share some of their favorite shots from around the world and explain how they got them, and historical photos culled from National Geographic’s hallowed image archive highlight old Society explorations in rugged, distant locations, and give a glimpse into the bygone days of these exotic places.

For the Photographer: Camera Lens Travel Mug. $24.00

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Camera Lens Travel Mug

Increase your focus, clarity, and zoom abilities. We’re talking about the coffee! This deceptively realistic, BPA-free travel mug looks just like a DSLR camera lens with details like a focus ring and grip—perfect for coffee lovers and camera enthusiasts alike. The stainless steel lining keeps drinks hot and is extra easy to clean. The screw-top lid with sliding sip top keeps your coffee from spilling as you venture off road to capture that perfect shot. Continue reading

National Geographic Teams Up with GovMint.com to Develop Limited Edition of Collectible Coins to Benefit Africa’s Big Cats

For the first time ever, National Geographic and the South African Mint have partnered to release limited-edition sets of legal-tender coins. The National Geographic Big Cats Coin Program will benefit the Big Cats Initiative (BCI), a long-term effort supported by National Geographic that aims to halt the decline of big cats in the wild. GovMint.com, one of the world’s leading sources of collectible coins, has signed on as the exclusive distributor. The collection is available for purchase on GovMint.com or by calling 1-800-642-9160.BigCats_SlvGold-634x370

The collection will feature on its coin face the cheetah, a native species of South Africa. Famously the world’s fastest land animal, cheetahs can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just three seconds. Their keen eyesight and ability to make quick and sudden turns also make them a fierce predator. The cheetah’s distinct spotted coat allows them to blend easily into high, dry grasses. Sadly, their population is dwindling due to human encroachment on the wide, open grasslands in which they live. It is estimated that only 7,000 to 10,000 of these big cats remain in their native eastern and southwestern Africa.

Struck at the South African Mint in 99.9 percent pure gold, each gold proof set contains four coins in tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce, half-ounce and one-ounce weights. All obverses feature the year and South African Coat of Arms depicting an eagle with a rising sun at the top and their motto. Each of the coins features four distinct cheetah designs created by the master artists at the South African mint. Coins are displayed in a beautifully crafted wooden case along with an official mint certificate of authenticity and booklet.

Since 1984, GovMint.com has been one of the world’s leading sources of collectible coins. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, GovMint.com is an official distributor for seven major world mints and offers collectible coins from over 120 countries. (More information at www.GovMint.com/bigcats or call 800-642-9160.)

When we consider new editions, we try to choose subjects that we think will not only resonate with our collectors, but that also represent a direct connection to the countries issuing the coins,” said Bill Gale, founder of GovMint.com. “South Africa is proud to feature the cheetah on its gold and silver coins, and shine a spotlight on such a beloved, iconic species.

Big Cats in the wild are disappearing at an alarming rate,” said Andy Reif, head of licensing for National Geographic Partners. “It is the goal of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative to halt this decline through on-the-ground conservation and education projects. We are happy to support this work through the Big Cats Coin Program, through GovMint.com.”

GovMint.com also offers a one-ounce Sterling Silver Crown 2 Rand (R2) proof. Each silver proof includes the official languages of South Africa surrounding the South African Coat of Arms. Each comes encased in original packaging from the South African Mint, accompanied by an informative booklet.

Proceeds from the National Geographic Big Cat Coin Collection supports National Geographic’s programs, including the conservation of animals and their habitats. National Geographic Society receives funds from National Geographic Partners LLC, funded in part by your purchase. To learn more, visit www.natgeo.com/info.

National Geographic Partners LLC, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, combines National Geographic television channels with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce businesses. A portion of the proceeds from National Geographic Partners LLC will be used to fund science, exploration, conservation and education through significant ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com. To find out more about the Big Cats Initiative’s work to stop the decline of lions, leopards, tigers and other big cats, visit www.causeanuproar.org.

‘Greeks’ Exhibition to Open June 1 at National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.

More Than 500 Greek Artifacts Make Final Stop on 4-city Tour

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Female Figurine © National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Part of the National Geographic’s The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C.

The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great” spans 5,000 years of Greek history and culture, presenting stories of individuals from Neolithic villages through the conquests of Alexander the Great. This unprecedented exhibition features more than 550 artifacts from the national collections of 22 museums throughout Greece, making it the largest exhibition of its kind to tour North America in 25 years. The Greeks makes its final of two U.S. stops, and its only East Coast appearance, at the National Geographic Museum, where it opens to the public on June 1.

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Relief of the “Youth Crowning Himself”- This relief shows a young athlete placing an olive wreath on his head. This image has become a symbol of Athenian democracy, which arose around the 5th century BC. Going forward, people would no longer be subject to the will of the gods, but instead would be masters of their own fate. © National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Part of the National Geographic’s The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C.

The Greeks was developed by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs (Athens, Greece), The Field Museum (Chicago, USA), the National Geographic Museum (Washington, D.C., USA), Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex (Montréal, Canada), and the Canadian Museum of History (Gatineau, Canada).

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Statue of a Soldier, Known as “Leonidas” This statue is thought to depict the Spartan king Leonidas, whose troops battled the Persians in 480 BC. Grossly outnumbered, the Spartans fought valiantly. Though eventually defeated, the battle gave hope to the Greeks that the massive force of Xerxes could be beaten back. © Archaeological Museum of Sparta. Part of the National Geographic’s The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C.

The Greeks is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of Greek history and culture to visit North America in a generation,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of Exhibitions at the National Geographic Society. “From their Bronze Age beginnings to the height of classical civilization, the Greeks and the traditions they founded continue to have a profound impact on our lives today.”

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Fragment of a Grave Stele © National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Part of the National Geographic’s The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C.

The exhibition contains more than 500 magnificent artifacts, many of which have never been displayed outside of Greece. Curator favorites include iconic stone figurines from the Cycladic Islands; gold funerary masks and other treasures from Mycenae; classical marble statues from the Acropolis Museum of Greek poets, athletes and heroes; and brightly painted ceramic vases featuring scenes from Greek mythology and daily life.

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“Mask of Agamemnon” (Replica) When unearthed in the late-19th century, archaeologists believed this to be the death mask of Agamemnon, the mythical king of Mycenae. © National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Part of the National Geographic’s The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C.

Museum visitors will experience the exhibition through the eyes of the ancient Greeks. Some are well-known even today — Oysseus, Homer, Agamemnon, Leonidas, Socrates, Pericles, Philip II and Alexander — with their achievements recorded in epic poems, historical writings and mythological stories. But many of the people featured in the exhibition remain unnamed and known to us only through the archaeological record: a priestess of Mycenae, a warrior of the Iron Age, two noble women of the Archaic period and an athlete of the classical era. The objects buried with these individuals provide insights into their lives and the roles they played within their respective families and societies.

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Votive Relief Offered to Asklepios In the center of this relief, Asklepios, god of medicine, leans on his staff, around which a snake is coiled. This symbol still represents medicine today. © National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Part of the National Geographic’s The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C.

Woven throughout the exhibition are the inventions, innovations and institutions that provide the foundation for much of Western culture. Scholars today trace the origins of modern democracy; the Olympic movement; and Western philosophy, poetry and theater back to Greece. Even many of the monuments of Washington, D.C., owe their architectural style to the mathematicians, builders and sculptors of ancient Greece.

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Alexander the Great Bust Sculpted shortly after Alexander’s death, this marble bust depicts him in the flower of youth. © Archaeological Museum of Pella. Part of the National Geographic’s The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C.

In addition to this exhibition, National Geographic is producing a three-hour series “The Greeks,” which will air nationally on PBS in late June. A rich complement of publications and public programming related to the exhibition will also be announced in early May. Special events will include an engaging Nat Geo Live event featuring Caroline Alexander, author of the recently published and critically acclaimed English translation of The Iliad.”

More information about The Greeks at the National Geographic Museum can be found here: http://events.nationalgeographic.com/exhibits/2016/06/01/the-greeks-dc/.

The National Geographic Museum (1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.) is open every day (except Dec. 25) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for National Geographic members, military, students, seniors and groups of 25 or more; $10 for children ages 5-12; and free for local school, student and youth groups (18 and under; advance reservation required). Tickets may be purchased online at www.natgeomuseum.org; via telephone at (202) 857-7700; or in person at the National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street, N.W., between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information on group sales, call (202) 857-7281.

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit membership organization driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to change the world. We fund hundreds of research and conservation projects around the globe each year. With the support of our members and donors, we work to inspire, illuminate and teach through scientific expeditions, award-winning journalism, education initiatives and more. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.

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, natgeo.com/parks, 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. www.Natgeo.com/parks 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, natgeokids.com/parks, 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 (NatGeoEd.org/LoveYourPark), 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 thegreatestroadtrip.com and http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/national-parks/.

National Geographic Travel Announces 2016 World Legacy Awards Finalists

Finalists Comprises of Travel Companies, Organizations And Destinations Driving Positive Transformation Of The Global Tourism Industry

The 15 finalists of the 2016 National Geographic World Legacy Awards were unveiled this past week. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between the National Geographic Society and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from large resorts to small eco-lodges and from wildlife conservancies to geoparks — driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the travel industry based on National Geographic’s work of inspiring people to care about the planet.NG-World-Legacy-Awards-634x358

Costas Christ, chairman of National Geographic World Legacy Awards, said, “Sustainable tourism is the foundation for the future of the travel industry, and those destinations and companies that understand this today will be the global leaders of tomorrow. Tourism is based on selling culture and nature — the very things sustainable tourism practices work to protect. Have you ever heard someone come back from a vacation and say, ‘I just had a great holiday hiking in a dead rain forest and then staying on a beach filled with trash?’ The World Legacy Awards finalists are all about protecting the places travelers love to visit and benefiting the local people who live there. Together, these 15 finalists are working towards a future when all tourism will be sustainable.

More than 150 World Legacy Awards entries were received, representing 51 countries and six continents. Finalists in five award categories were selected by an international team of judges. The judging process also included on-site inspections of all finalists. For details on the judges, go to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/judging.html.

The National Geographic World Legacy Awards finalists are:

CONSERVING THE NATURAL WORLD — Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.arkaba-walk-on-white_new

Arkaba by Wild Bush Luxury, Australia — Located on the outskirts of Flinders Ranges National Park, Wild Bush has systematically restored a 60,000-acre former sheep ranch into a thriving wildlife conservancy. Sharing its scientific monitoring of the area’s biodiversity with its guests, conservation groups and community members, Wild Bush is demonstrating that eco-tourism can be a vehicle for nature conservation and rural economic growth.The Elephant Camp

A Unique Elephant Experience at Elephant Hill, Thailand

A Unique Elephant Experience at Elephant Hill, Thailand

Elephant Hills, Thailand — With two tented camps bordering remote Khao Sok National Park, Elephant Hills focuses on the protection of the endangered wild Asian elephant. Through guest and community education, including caring for rescued elephants, Elephant Hills is demonstrating that local livelihoods can be improved through conservation-based tourism, while supporting an alternative to captive elephant riding as a tourism attraction.

Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, Mexico — This nonprofit grassroots community organization has been instrumental in the creation and maintenance of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, an area of rich biodiversity in central Mexico. Working with local communities, Sierra Gorda has provided new opportunities for employment, encouraging and supporting the development of small eco-tourism businesses, while monitoring and tracking benefits to biodiversity conservation and economic development.

EARTH CHANGERS — Recognizing cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon emissions reduction.

Mission Hills, China

Mission Hills, China

Mission Hills, China —Demonstrating that environmental responsibility can be adopted across the Chinese tourism industry, Mission Hills published a sustainability manual and was one of the first resorts in mainland China to engage in green operations. They launched an educational campaign against the sale of ivory and shark fin. Incorporating solar-powered golf carts and solar “pest control,” Mission Hills Haikou earned the UK based Golf Environment Organization’s certification in 2014.

Laguna Lodge, Guatemala — A luxury eco-lodge focused on green operations and environmental responsibility, Laguna Lodge uses solar power and carefully tracks and monitors energy, water, waste and purchasing. It grows most of its own food, sources locally, and offers a vegetarian and vegan menu to all guests. It also offers cooking classes and highlights the environmentally responsible benefits of food choices.

Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, Portugal — Located in Lisbon, this hotel works to minimize negative impacts on the environment, implement environmentally friendly operations and serve as a role model for Portugal’s tourism industry. In addition to careful tracking of energy and water, the hotel’s “Green Squad” provides leadership in implementing innovative sustainable tourism ideas both in the hotel and the community.

SENSE OF PLACE — Recognizing excellence in enhancing cultural authenticity, including implementing vernacular architecture and design, support for the protection of historic monuments, archaeological sites, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions.

CGH Earth, India — CGH Earth operates 16 properties in southern India emphasizing local cultural heritage, including lodge design, community relations and helping guests experience authentic local culture. All of its properties emulate the traditional design of the region’s villages and are built using local, recycled and reclaimed materials, while the introduction of organic farming and local markets contributes to the conservation of local biodiversity.

Tierra Patagonia, Chile — Built to blend harmoniously with the dramatic landscape of Torres Del Paine National Park, the goal of the lodge construction was to create a place that not only used local materials but also took care to ensure the least amount of disruption possible to the surrounding environment, taking wind patterns, animal trails and native vegetation into account in the lodge design.

TIME Unlimited Tours, New Zealand — TIME (To Integrate Maori Experiences) Unlimited Tours is an Auckland-based eco-tourism company offering environmentally friendly tours across New Zealand. A Maori-owned company, TIME Unlimited introduces guests to both the natural and cultural heritage of New Zealand, providing a “living cultural” experience that immerses guests in the local Maori way of life, benefiting local communities while promoting sustainable tourism. Continue reading

National Geographic Launches Free ‘Find Your Park, Love Your Park’ Activities, Interactive Map and Curriculum to Celebrate U.S. National Park Service Centennial

With Support from Subaru of America, Activity Modules for Educators Will Encourage Students to Explore, Protect and Love National Parks

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service in 2016, the National Geographic Society, with support from Subaru of America, Inc., has launched the “Find Your Park, Love Your Park” Educational Initiative (www.NatGeoEd.org/LoveYourPark), developed to teach fourth graders across the United States about the importance of U.S. national parks and to empower students to preserve and protect them.

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; and has consistently featured the National Park Service and specific national parks across all of its publications, television channels and expansive digital presence. National Geographic magazine’s April 1916 “Land of the Best” issue published more than 100 photographs of America’s scenic wonders and was used during congressional hearings to help influence Congress to create the National Park Service and the park system.

The “Find Your Park, Love Your Park” Educational Initiative complements the National Park Service and National Park Foundation’s Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement to celebrate and share inspirational stories from national parks nationwide. It also bolsters the White House “Every Kid in a Park” initiative, launched in February this year, which provides free entry into national parks for fourth-grade students. The Subaru and National Geographic effort is focused on engaging teachers of fourth graders through activities designed by National Geographic’s education specialists to help students appreciate the importance of protected spaces and consider their impact on them.

National Geographic has developed five free downloadable activity modules for educators, including an interactive map of all U.S. national parks, which invite kids to visit, explore and protect national parks. The activity modules provide educators with fun and engaging activities, including documenting animal tracks at local parks, geocaching scavenger hunts, using digital maps to explore different parks and discussing concrete ways students can help solve challenges facing national parks. Educators, students and their families are encouraged to participate and take a pledge on the new interactive “Pledge to Love America’s Parks” map to visit, protect and love specific parks.

Subaru and Subaru owners are incredibly passionate about the environment,” said Alan Bethke, vice president of marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. That’s why we created the ‘Subaru Loves the Earth’ initiative, focused on preserving, protecting and celebrating our national parks. Our support of National Geographic aims to educate and empower the next generation of park-goers to protect our national parks for another 100 years.”

While the activities were developed with fourth-grade educators in mind, they can also serve as a jumping-off point for younger or older students and for families to do together at home. For example, one of the activities is a mini field trip to observe the natural and man-made things they will see in a nearby place and begin mapping them. Parents and caregivers of young children can use these same basic concepts on nature walks — looking for animals and insects and tracking footprints — while older children can take some of the more complex elements of mapping and developing a plan to protect the area deeper.

The interactive map is mobile-responsive and allows users to easily search for national, state and local parks based on their ZIP codes; “claim” a park as their own; and pledge to visit, protect and love the park. The digital experience is filled with pictures and information about parks and allows students, families and classrooms to explore national parks across the country from wherever they are. Continue reading

National Geographic Launches 2015 Photography Contest

National Geographic invites photographers from around the world to enter the 2015 National Geographic Photography Contest. The grand-prize-winning image will be published in National Geographic magazine, and the winning photographer will receive $10,000 (USD) and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2016.

National Geographic logo.  (PRNewsFoto/National Geographic Society)

National Geographic logo. (PRNewsFoto/National Geographic Society)

Eligible contestants can visit natgeo.com/photocontest to submit photographs in one or all of three categories: People, Places and Nature. Entries will be submitted through National Geographic’s photography community, Your Shot, where members may comment on and “favorite” photos. The entry fee is $15 (USD) per photo, and there is no limit to the number of submissions per entrant. Entries must be in digital format and must be submitted electronically. The contest ends Monday, Nov. 16, at 12 p.m. EST (U.S.).

National Geographic uses photography to inspire, illuminate and teach our readers about our world and beyond,” said Sarah Leen, National Geographic Magazine’s Director Of Photography. “The National Geographic Photo Contest is an exciting opportunity for our photo community to participate in documenting the Earth, its creatures and its people. We look forward to seeing photographs that are passionate, skillful, surprising and beautiful. I’m very excited about seeing the entries we receive this year.

Judging consists of three rounds of evaluation based on creativity, photographic quality and genuineness/authenticity of the content. One first-place winner will be chosen from each category, and the winning photographs will be published on www.nationalgeographic.com. The overall grand-prize winner, announced in December 2015, will be chosen from the three category winners, and the grand-prize-winning photo will be published in National Geographic magazine.