With our range of National Geographic Learning educational materials that feature engaging content and real-life stories from the famed National Geographic Explorers and our on-going mission to bring learning to life, we wanted to share this unique learning opportunity currently taking place in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

 

On August 17, four National Geographic Emerging Explorers left for a nearly two-week long expedition to cross Botswana’s Okavango Delta. As a result of Emerging Explorer and TED Fellow Steve Boyes’ vision to “measure the heartbeat and blood pressure of the Okavango Delta,” the team will be delving into the world’s largest inland delta and one of the most biologically diverse and important wild places left on the planet.

In an effort to bring the Okavango to the world, the team, made up of Steve Boyes, Adventurers & Scientists for Conservation founder Gregg Treinish, data artist and educator Jer Thorp, engineer and conservationist Shah Selbe and a select group of experts, will be participating in a NatGeo Google+ Hangout from the field on Friday, August 22nd at 10:00 a.m. EDT. To watch the Hangout, follow this link on Friday: //on.natgeo.com/1srVrLs.

Prior to watching the update from the field, you can send in your questions for these National Geographic Explorers and guests, and they may be answered on air. Submit your questions by

  • Uploading a video question to YouTube with hashtag #LetsExplore
  • Posting a question on Google+ or Twitter with hashtag #LetsExplore

Named the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, the Okavango Delta is home to the largest elephant population in the world as well as to thriving populations of lion, hippo, giraffe, crocodile, cheetah, leopard, rhino, zebra and more. On this trip, Explorers, scientists, photographers and filmmakers will be documenting the current status of the Okavango using GPS location, research observations, wildlife sightings, biometrics (heart rate, etc.), photos, audio clips, and scientific data that is being mapped out live on the Into The Okavango website: intotheokavango.org. The data will be available to anyone to use through the website API.

The prototypes used during this trip will help the team in the design and engineering of a mesh network of environmental monitoring sensors (along with other exciting technologies) to be deployed during an expedition in 2015. Taking full advantage of the diverse backgrounds and associations of the team members, the expedition members are teaming up with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation to do any maintenance or data collection from the platforms and are using the skillsets of The Office for Creative Research to help share the data live.

Steve has spent many years in the Okavango, and now, through this project, he and his team will be able to monitor and live-share data that will be essential in helping to preserve this African wilderness.

Follow the expedition real-time through:

#Okavango14 on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)

Twitter via @intotheokavango & @okavangowild

National Geographic website: //newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/blog/okavango/

Live updates on intotheokavango.org

 

The images featured in this article come from the expedition members’ Instagram accounts. Follow them here:

Shah Selbe: @sselbe
James Kydd: @jameskydd
Adventure Science (Gregg Treinish): @adventurescience