As the longtime photo editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine, Dan Westergren was responsible for the magazine’s photographic vision, which has earned the publication numerous awards for photography. He's been lucky to photograph amazing places for Traveler, such as the summits of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Kilimanjaro, and the North Pole. Dan is especially drawn to Arctic regions, having made more than ten trips above the Arctic Circle.
On one of these memorable assignments, Dan flew to Svalbard Island and then jumped on a Russian plane that took him over the pack ice, a landscape that is depicted in his favorite painting that hangs in the boardroom at National Geographic’s headquarters. The painting depicts Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s historic flight to the North Pole. The Russian plane landed near 89 degrees north latitude, and with a small group of intrepid travelers, Dan skied the “Last Degree” to the North Pole. After seven days of skiing in the cold footsteps of Fritjof Nansen and the other famous adventurers who have gone north from Svalbard, Dan finally stood for himself at the North Pole, and felt he had personally reached out and touched the heart of exploration at the Society. Westergren is an experienced teacher, having led workshops and served as photography expert for National Geographic Expeditions around the world—from Yellowstone, Baja, and the Galápagos Islands to Alaska, Antarctica, and the high Arctic.