Modern Explorer




What does it mean to be an Explorer in the 21st century? Our idea of exploring the world is different than it was 100+ years ago when Ernest Shackleton ventured into the icy waters of the south Atlantic Ocean. National Geographic Explorer Alizé Carrère and Lindblad Expeditions Naturalist Tom Ritchie travel south to discover what it means to be a Modern Explorer. They look at how exploration has changed over the centuries, from exploitation to conservation, from collecting artifacts to documenting them, from conquering nature to celebrating it. This 9-episode series, developed in conjunction with National Geographic Education, is sure to inspire and excite travelers of all ages, as Tom and Alizé trek through penguin colonies, albatross nesting sites, and elephant seal harems, all while retracing part of Shackleton’s ill-fated 1916 expedition on South Georgia Island. Get ready for adventure!


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Episode 1: "Cabinet of Curiosities"

Collections of artifacts found on expeditions are a thing of the past. Today, explorers document rather than collect, sharing their adventures in a more sustainable and responsible fashion. Join National Geographic Explorer Alizé Carrère and Lindblad Naturalist Tom Ritchie  in Florida’s swamps to discuss how exploration has changed over the centuries.

Episode 2: "Adapting to the Atlantic"

How do species survive in a remote place like the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean? Adaptation. Colors, patterns, and body shape are just a few of the ways that animals like Commerson’s dolphins and Rockhopper penguins have adapted to help them survive in a blustery, unforgiving landscape.

Episode 3: "Animals of the Archipelago"

The Falkland Islands may not be huge, but they certainly make up for it with biodiversity— especially when it comes to birds. In this episode, Alizé and Tom explore the rugged habitats of skuas, ducks and penguins across the islands.

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Episode 4: "Adventurous Albatross"

Where the howling ocean meets the coast, you'll find the nesting site of one of the Falkland Island’s greatest travelers: the Black-browed Albatross. Alizé and Tom learn about this extraordinary bird as they walk along a cliff studded with  hundreds of nesting baby albatross.

Episode 5: "Live like a King Penguin"

It's time to meet the locals. Join Alizé and Tom as they meet one of the noisiest neighbors of South Georgia: King penguins. From tackling tough mud to deep diving in the Atlantic, see what it takes to live like a King penguin. Spoiler: it’s not easy!

Episode 6: "Future of King Penguins"

From courtship rituals to raising their young to feeding their growing chicks, there is never a dull moment within a King penguin colony. Alizé and Tom discuss what climate change is doing to the structure of these massive colonies, and what the future holds for their survival in a warming Antarctic climate.

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Episode 7: "Seal of Approval"

Elephant seals are hard to miss. Whether it's their massive size, memorable appearance or questionable smell, these large carnivores certainly take center stage on the beaches of South Georgia. Join Alizé and Tom as they learn about these creatures and some of their friendlier cousins, fur seals.

Episode 8: "South Georgia'S Dark History"

Humans can have a large impact on their surroundings. On the island of South Georgia, that came in the form of mismanaging natural resources and a lack of scientific understanding. However, like so many other natural places recovering from intense human activity, South Georgia’s local inhabitants have found a way to bounce back. Join Alizé and Tom as they talk about South Georgia's dark past and its hopeful future.

Episode 9: "A Tale of Two explorers"

One hundred years ago Ernest Shackleton trekked across the glaciers of South Georgia island after a failed attempt to reach Antarctica. In this episode, Alizé and Tom re-trace part of that difficult journey. Along the way they witness how climate change has dramatically altered the landscape since Shackleton’s time.



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