Every year, National Geographic recognizes a small group of visionary trailblazers dubbed “Emerging Explorers.” These young people show particular promise in their line of work, are making an impact in their field and show potential for spearheading major breakthroughs as their career continues.
For 2013, the organization chose 17 winners from around the world from disciplines as varied as robotics, astrobiology, glaciology and entrepreneurship. Recipients include archaeologist Sayed Gul Kalash, who works to preserve the endangered Kalash culture and language in remote Pakistan; Sandesh Kadur, whose films and photographs show the need to protect threatened species and habitats; Shah Selbe, an engineer who devised a system to track illegal fishing activities worldwide; and Erin Pettit, who studies glaciers to better understand and predict climate change and rising seas.
This year’s list also highlights the expanding definition of “explorer,” with recipients such as Jer Thorp, an entrepreneurial data artist who helps make complex data accessible and fascinating to the general public.
Each of the award recipients earned $10,000 toward their research projects. Click here to see the complete list of winners.