Meet The 2012 National Geographic Emerging Explorers

National Geographic Emerging Explorers Krithi KaranthLast week National Geographic announced the 2012 class of Emerging Explorers, honoring 15 men and women who have already made outstanding contributions to their field while still in the early stages of their careers. The distinction is bestowed upon adventurers, scientists, photographers and storytellers on an annual basis and includes a $10,000 award to help fund further research and exploration.

Among this years recipients are Sarah Parcak, an archaeologist who is employing satellites to help her find hidden sites in Egypt and conservationist Osvel Hinojosa Huerta, who is studying the impact of the diminishing Colorado River on the American West. They’re joined by Engineer Ibrahim Togola, who researches clean, renewable energy sources for West Africa and Barrington Irving, whose long list of accomplishments includes being the youngest person to fly solo around the world. To discover more about these four explorers, and the rest of the class, click here.

Reading through this list is not only interesting but also inspirational. This is a group of people who are dedicated and passionate about exploring the world around us, and each of them are doing some really impressive work in their particular field. Each of them was nominated for this unique honor by a network of experts who recognized their talent, dedication and potential, and most had no idea they were even being considered before the selections were announced.

Congratulations to the entire 2012 class of Emerging Explorers.

[Photo credit: Shekar Dattatri/Conservation India]