Franz Josef Land, a remote Russian archipelago, harbors a wild Arctic ecosystem that includes polar bears, walruses, whales, seals, and large nesting colonies of seabirds. But global warming may be affecting this remote ecosystem in ways we still do not fully comprehend.
In July-August 2013, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala will lead a Pristine Seas expedition to Franz Josef Land in collaboration with Russkaya Arktika National Park, the Russian Geographical Society, and National Geographic. An international group of scientists and filmmakers will assess how pristine the ocean-land ecosystem is and compare its current state with historical scientific baselines and photographs obtained by explorers in the late 1800s.
The scientific results of the expedition will inform the management and conservation of this Russian Arctic jewel. In addition, National Geographic will produce a documentary film to showcase the natural wonders of Franz Josef Land and the efforts of Russian authorities to preserve this unique area's globally significant biodiversity and historical value.
Pristine Seas Blog Posts
- Give Back to the Ocean on #GivingTuesday
- New Caledonia Expedition: An Army of Giant Parrotfish
- New Caledonia Expedition: A Treasure Trove of Stunning Sea Life
- New Caledonia Expedition: Green Umbrellas in the Reef
- New Caledonia Expedition: Diving in a Place Where the Fish Have Never Seen Divers
- New Caledonia Expedition: Turtle Lovin’
- New Caledonia Expedition: And We’re Off!
- Pristine Seas: New Caledonia Expedition Begins
- Photo: Underwater View of Raindrops Hitting the Ocean Surface
- Amazing Facts From the Franz Josef Land Expedition
Facebook Live Interview: Pitcairn Islands
Last year Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala phoned in from the South Pacific to give an update on the Pitcairn Islands expedition and answer questions from Facebook fans around the world.
Pristine Sea Expeditions
National Geographic and Oceana, in collaboration with the Chilean Navy, travelled to the remote Salas y Gómez Island, some 200 miles (about 323 km) east of Easter Island, Chile.
In September 2009, Enric Sala, Sylvia Earle, and a team of scientists gathered in Costa Rica to document the pristine waters of Cocos Island and study the Gemelas Seamounts.
During the spring of 2009, Enric Sala and a team of scientists returned to the central Pacific-this time to the southern Line Islands, a province of the Republic of Kiribati.
In 2005 and 2007, Dr. Enric Sala and a team of scientists traveled to the northern Line Islands in the North Pacific.
Pristine Seas Videos
Video: NG Live! Pitcairn Islands
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala dives deep into the waters of one of the most pristine places on Earth—the Pitcairn Islands—only to discover its delicate ecosystem is not as unspoiled as it may seem.
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- Marine Food Chain
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- Ocean Overview
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