National Geographic to visit McGill University

National Geographic will hold a workshop at McGill University Saturday, Sept. 29 to promote their new Young Explorers Grants in the hopes of discovering young talent and innovative research.

“The idea is really simple,” said Dr. Colin Chapman, who is part of National Geographic’s Committee for Research and Exploration. “It’s to get young people out in the field doing exciting things, doing exploration that National Geographic believes in, and getting them started.”

The Young Explorers Grants look to support individuals between the ages of 18 to 25 in their research, exploration, and field-based projects. Candidates do not have to be students and their work does not have to be within the fields of biology or ecology but can be focused in journalism, photography, music, and a wide array of other fields.

“It’s also nice because it feels attainable,” said Johanna Bleecker, an organizer of the event and a recent McGill graduate.

“Not being a student, it shuts off a lot of sources of funding for me if I would want to pursue independent research,” explained Bleecker. “So it’s nice to see such an inclusive grant.”

This is the third workshop for the Young Explorers Grants and the first in Canada. The event will begin with a presentation about National Geographic and the grant, as well as a presentation from three previous grant winners. National Geographic staff members, researchers, and scientists will then have different discussion groups to answer questions about the grant and how to apply for a grant in general.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Andrea Reid, last year’s Young Explorers Grants winner for her research on fish in the Lake Victoria basin of East Africa. “Because National Geographic is so high profile, it’s a really great way to get attention for issues that we think are important.”

“By presenting my work I’m going to reach a really broad audience which I think is the biggest benefit more so than the money,” added Reid.

This free workshop will take place between 9:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. in room 132 of the Leacock Building at McGill University. The workshop is open to people of all ages; however, individuals must register online beforehand and space is limited. At 7:30 p.m., there will be another free presentation given by two National Geographic explorers which is open to the public on a first come, first serve basis.


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