Dream Job: National Geographic Explorer

The chance to play outside for a living doesn’t come along every day. But when it does, we want to give you a shot at it. Our “Dream Jobs” column will serve to highlight some of the best outdoor gigs we see. Happy hunting.


photo by Mark Going

Dream Job: National Geographic Explorer

Job Description: Conduct an expedition that sheds light on a corner of the world or inspires others to go out and explore. You go on an epic trip and bring back stories that enrich the rest of our lives.

National Geographic offers research and exploration grants for applicants in a variety of fields. We recommend Media Driven Storytelling, which, according to Nat Geo, “funds exploration of little-known areas of the world, as well as regions undergoing significant environmental or cultural change.”

You’d be in good company: National Geographic Explorers include mountaineer Conrad Anker, whose accomplishments include finding the body of 1920’s Everest explorer George Mallory; archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli, who discovered the lost Mayan city of Cival in Guatemala; and climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, who became the first woman to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without supplementary oxygen.

Requirements: According to the website, “Proposed projects must have the potential to yield compelling stories and images. Applications are also judged on the project’s merit, uniqueness and safety protocols.”

Compensation: $15,000 – $35,000 to go toward field expenses.

How to Apply: Go to Nat Geo’s website and fill out a pre-application here .

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