Celebrate Earth Month

Join National Geographic Explorers making remarkable discoveries and helping to reveal our ocean’s exceptional minds.

This Earth Month, let's come together to make a positive impact on our planet.

Earth Day is April 22, but at the National Geographic Society, we are celebrating throughout the entire month of April by highlighting the ocean’s exceptional minds and the National Geographic Explorers illuminating them. This Earth Month, join our Explorers as they share stories about researching the cognitive abilities of intelligent marine animals, including octopuses and other cephalopods, reshaping how we think about the ocean’s critical species and ecosystems.

Advancing scientific research is crucial to better understanding how we can create a more sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants, and our Explorers are sharing this knowledge with the world and inspiring us to care for and protect our shared home.

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Protect Critical Marine Life

This Earth Month, we are challenging you to support the work of National Geographic Society mission programs and Explorers as we protect marine life and safeguard our planet. Become a monthly donor today and be a champion for our planet Earth!

When you make a gift between now and April 30, it will be matched 1:1 through our EARTH MONTH MATCH CHALLENGE, provided by generous anonymous Society donors.

As a thank you from us, when you start your monthly gift, you will receive a LIMITED-EDITION 12” octopus plush made from recycled materials.

Revealing hidden mysteries of our ocean and working to protect it

Wildlife Intelligence Project

Inspired by the groundbreaking work of Dr. Jane Goodall and the Templeton Prize, the National Geographic Society conducted a rigorous global search to find three of the best emerging early-career scientists whose work seeks to answer questions and provide us with better insights into the minds and behaviors of animals — and what drives their decisions. As our planet faces unprecedented challenges, including the loss of precious wildlife and ecosystems, animals continue to adapt to their surroundings to find new ways to thrive — just like us. The more we understand about wildlife and their intelligence, the more we can reflect on our place and purpose within the natural world.

Meet the Explorers making an impact

Our global community of changemakers are pushing the boundaries of science, storytelling and education, and we’re making exploration more inclusive.

Marine Biologist, "Secrets of the Octopus"

Alexandra Schnell

Alexandra Schnell is a storyteller and researcher who is passionate about inspiring diverse audiences to care for the natural world. Schnell is a marine biologist and internationally recognized expert in comparative cognition. Her research explores the cognition of diverse animals, including birds and cephalopods. She received a 2023 Wayfinder award and a 2023 Meridian grant for her project Ocean Robocto, for which she and five others are designing and testing technology with octopuses.

Deep-Sea Biologist

Diva Amon

Diva Amon is a Trinbagonian deep-sea biologist who studies the weird and wonderful animals living in a range of deep-sea habitats and the human impact on them. She received the Emerging Explorer award in 2020 (now called the Wayfinder Award) and is a founder of SpeSeas, an organization dedicated to marine science, education and advocacy in her home country of Trinidad and Tobago.


Piero Amodio

Piero Amodio studies the behavior of non-human animals as a tool to unravel fundamental aspects of others’ minds and foster empathy toward fellow inhabitants of the planet. As a National Geographic Explorer, Amodio is collaborating with Mexican fishermen to locate and study the Larger Striped Pacific Octopus, an elusive species exhibiting unique social features. Amodio is also leading the Meridian grant project “Ocean Robocto”, whereby a multidisciplinary team of biologists, robotics and storytellers will work together to unveil octopus collaborative hunting with fish in Australia and Italy.

Behavioral Ecologist

Mauricio Cantor

Mauricio Cantor is a Brazilian biologist interested in behavioral ecology and the ecology of interactions among species and individuals. Mauricio was most recently awarded a newly announced Wildlife Intelligence Project grant. His research focuses on the emergence of patterns and strategies in animal societies, specifically on cetaceans due to their behavioral diversity, learning ability and complex social systems.

Marine Scientist, Photographer, and Filmmaker

Shireen Rahimi

Shireen Rahimi is an Iranian-American underwater visual storyteller, marine scientist, and the founder of Lightpalace Productions. Rahimi uses her expertise in underwater photography, film production, and science communication to uplift the marginalized voices of our oceans and encourage action and healing around our current ecological crisis. Rahimi is a 2023 Freshwater Initiative Storytelling Grantee, and is also an Explorer on the Meridian grant projects “Ocean Robocto” and “Climate Migration at the Extremes.”

Opportunities for the Next Generation of Changemakers

Freshwater and Community Conservation Remote Externship

Learn more ​about conservation careers.

Slingshot Challenge

Learn more about our youth challenge aimed at solving current environmental problems.

Explorer Classroom

Live interactive sessions that connect young people with National Geographic Explorers protecting the planet.

Photo credits (from top of page): Enric Sala, Mark Thiessen, Emilie Ehrhardt, Mark Thiessen, Kyle Christy, Piero Amodio, LAMAQ, Shireen Rahimi, Joel Sartore, Jonathan Irish, Costanza Piccoli, Rebecca Hale

Get updates about our critical work to explore and protect our planet.

The National Geographic Society is proud to invest in a global community of intrepid Explorers working to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Make a tax-deductible gift to support the Society today, and your support will help fund the next generation of changemakers.