When I was a kid growing up in small town Wisconsin, I was a voracious reader with eclectic tastes. One week, I would go to the comets. Then the whales. Herculaneum. Tectonic plates. Senegal. I would read something that would pique my interest and would head to the library to find books from which I could learn more.
I was lucky that my grandmother – someone who taught me a lot about staying curious throughout life – gave our family a subscription to National geographic when I was eight or nine years old. More often than not, the catalyst for my newfound obsession was an article in the magazine that exposed me to something I barely knew existed or thought I knew but didn’t really understand.
As I got older it was National geographic who opened my eyes to the wonders of our world. What I discovered in its pages helped me build a more complete and nuanced picture of our planet – the glory, the challenges and, above all, the exciting diversity of people, places and things.
It was also National geographic which ultimately inspired me to go out and do my own exploration. Experiencing our world not only increased my knowledge; it reinforced the importance and urgency of preserving and protecting our planet.
Although this issue is my first as National Geographic editor, our incredibly talented team produced it mostly before I arrived. As a reader, I would particularly recommend our fascinating cover story, “In a warming climate, we need to radically rethink how we conserve nature,” which explores the frontiers of American conservation as we seek to protect 30% of our land and water. by 2030.
I am delighted to be able to appear here, and honored to be associated with an organization that has had such an outsized influence on my life. Over the next few months, we will formulate plans to National Geographic future, in our effort to remain as essential, relevant and authoritative as ever. I am thrilled with what we have ahead of you and hope you will join us on this journey.