107 episodes

Come dive into one of the curiously delightful conversations overheard at National Geographic’s headquarters, as we follow explorers, photographers, and scientists to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs.

Overheard at National Geographic National Geographic

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 180 Ratings

Come dive into one of the curiously delightful conversations overheard at National Geographic’s headquarters, as we follow explorers, photographers, and scientists to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs.

    She Shoots, She Scores: Title IX Turns 50

    She Shoots, She Scores: Title IX Turns 50

    Meet Kari. Now meet the other Kari. One played college lacrosse in the 1980s; the other currently plays at the same school for the same coach. College sports have radically evolved during that time—take the high-tech clothes that emit infrared radiation to maximize performance—but there’s one constant: Title IX of the Higher Education Act ensures that no person is excluded from university programs “on the basis of sex.” In collaboration with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company, we examine how Title IX continues to ripple across American society.
    For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard.

    Want more?
    Dive into ESPN’s Fifty/50, a month-long storytelling project that illuminates Title IX, one of the most significant pieces of American civil rights legislation—and maybe the most misunderstood.
    Title IX met fierce resistance even after it was passed. Learn why it was urgently needed and how its opponents pushed back.
    “If you’re not upset about this problem, then you’re a part of it.” Disparities in food and training facilities at an NCAA championship tournament led to a public reckoning for college basketball.

    Also explore:
    The Iroquois invented lacrosse. Now the Iroquois national lacrosse team—led by one of the sport’s biggest stars—wants to compete in the 2028 Olympics. The first step: gain recognition from international sports organizers.
    The stories of 20 women from the National Geographic archives show how these explorers mapped the ocean floor, conquered Earth’s highest peaks, and unearthed ancient civilizations—but didn’t always get the credit they deserved. 
    If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.
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    • 34 min
    Celebrate Juneteenth with Into the Depths

    Celebrate Juneteenth with Into the Depths

    In this special episode of Overheard in celebration of Juneteenth, we reconnect with now Rolex/National Geographic Explorer of the Year Tara Roberts, who upends her life—including leaving her job—to join a group of Black scuba divers searching for the wrecks of ships that carried enslaved Africans to the Americas. Tara is inspired by the stories of the Clotilda, a ship that illegally arrived in Mobile, Alabama, in 1860, and of Africatown, created by those on the vessel—a community that still exists today. The archaeologists and divers leading the search for the Clotilda lay out the steps it took to find it. As Tara talks to the living descendants of those aboard the ship, she admires their enormous pride in knowing their ancestry, and wonders if she can trace her own ancestors back to a ship. She hires a genealogist and visits her family’s small hometown in North Carolina, where she celebrates the nation’s first federal Juneteenth holiday. The spirit of community she finds at the celebration, as well as the surprising results she receives from the genealogist, bring Tara a sense of belonging to a place that she never could have imagined.
    Want more?
    Check out our Into the Depths hub to learn more about Tara’s journey following Black scuba divers, find previous Nat Geo coverage on the search for slave shipwrecks, and read the March cover story.
    And download a tool kit for hosting an Into the Depths listening party to spark conversation and journey deeper into the material.
    Also explore:
    Dive into more of National Geographic’s coverage of the Clotilda with articles looking at scientists’ ongoing archaeological work, the story that broke the discovery of the ship, and the documentary Clotilda: Last American Slave Ship.
    Meet more of the descendants of the Africans trafficked to the U.S. aboard the Clotilda, and find out what they’re doing to save Mobile’s Africatown community in the face of difficult economic and environmental challenges.
    Read the story of Kossola, who later received the name Cudjo Lewis, in the book Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” by author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston.
    Learn more about the life of abolitionist Harriet Jacobs, author of “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” who escaped Edenton, N.C., through the Maritime Underground Railroad.
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    • 45 min
    This Indigenous Practice Fights Fire with Fire

    This Indigenous Practice Fights Fire with Fire

    For decades, the U.S. government evangelized fire suppression, most famously through Smokey Bear’s wildfire prevention campaign. But as climate change continues to exacerbate wildfire seasons and a growing body of scientific research supports using fire to fight fire, Indigenous groups in the Klamath Basin are reviving cultural burning practices that effectively controlled forest fires for centuries. National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yüyan introduces us to people bringing back this cultural practice and teaching the next generation how to use fire.

    SHOW NOTES
    Want more?
    If you want to hear more from Kiliii, you can also listen to a previous Overheard episode where he shares stories from the many weeks he spent camping on sea ice with Native Alaskan whale hunters. 

    And you’re dying to see his photography, check out his website to see portraits of Indigenous people, Arctic wildlife, and more. 

    Also explore

    To learn more about Margo Robbins and her efforts to revive cultural burns, check out our article on the subject.

    For subscribers

    Cultural burns are just one of many stories that Kiliii and writer Charles Mann covered about the ways Indigenous groups are trying to reclaim sovereignty. That’s coming out in the July issue of the magazine.
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    • 29 min
    Sonic Postcards From the Appian Way

    Sonic Postcards From the Appian Way

    “All roads lead to Rome” was once more than a saying; it was a fact. The first of the great roads of ancient Rome, the Appian Way was the most important of them all. Italians still travel what’s left of the Queen of Roads, even if they don’t always know it. National Geographic writer Nina Strochlic and photographer Andrea Frazzetta take us on an immersive trip down the venerable road. The soundscapes they travel through—the voices and vibrations of modern and ancient life—reveal something essential about the Italian identity.
    For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard.
    Want more?
    So, how did the Romans build 200,000 miles of roads? It wasn’t easy. You’ll find out more here in an issue of National Geographic History.
    St. Peter fled Rome, so the story goes, along the Appian Way. As he left, he encountered Jesus Christ—resurrected. There is still a church on that site, aptly named Domine Quo Vadis, for the famous phrase St. Peter uttered before he returned to Rome and was crucified himself. You can see Annibale Carracci’s 17th-century painting of the event here.
    If going underground and being surrounded by bones doesn’t give you the willies, then you’ll love visiting the catacombs in Italy. Or you can take a look here, and read about why Romans buried their dead this way.
    Also explore:
    If your appetite is piqued after hearing about a trip through Italy, you might want to check out what the ancient Romans ate. You won’t find gelato (or a tomato) anywhere in sight. But you might be inspired to re-create a peppery custard. For the truly adventurous, try your hand at recipes from the oldest surviving Italian cookbook, De Re Coquinaria.
    If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 37 min
    Restoring a Lost Sense of Touch

    Restoring a Lost Sense of Touch

    When Brandon Prestwood’s left hand was caught in an industrial conveyor belt 10 years ago, he lost his hand and forearm. Scientists are unraveling the science of touch by trying to tap into the human nervous system and re-create the sensation for people like Prestwood. After an experimental surgery, Prestwood’s prosthetic arm was upgraded with a rudimentary sense of touch—a major development in technology that could bring us all a little closer together.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. 
     
    Want More?
    To learn more about this story and writer Cynthia Gorney’s other reporting on the science of touch, take a look at her feature article.
    The robotic arm isn't the only nascent technology that seems like it's right out of Star Wars. Our science desk has compiled a list of examples of real research inspired by the franchise.
     
    Also Explore
    More information about Dustin Tyler’s research can be found through his Case Western Reserve University website and his organization, the Human Fusions Institute.
    If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 33 min
    Where in the World Is Jessica Nabongo?

    Where in the World Is Jessica Nabongo?

    In 2019 Jessica Nabongo, author of the popular travel blog The Catch Me If You Can, became the first documented Black woman to travel to every country in the world. From swimming with humpback whales near Tonga to eating delicious dumplings in Georgia, the world traveler shares how globe-trotting changed the way she sees the world and humanity.
    For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard.

    Want more?
    Check out Jessica Nabongo’s forthcoming book, The Catch Me If You Can: One Woman’s Journey to Every Country in the World, published by Nat Geo Books. You can learn more about her adventures on her blog, The Catch Me If You Can, and Instagram page. 

    Also explore:
    Learn more about pangolins, why they are so heavily trafficked, and the ongoing efforts to protect them. 

    Archaeologists have found that humans have been making wine in Georgia for 8,000 years. Talk about vintage. 

    If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.
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    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
180 Ratings

180 Ratings

Flick Harris ,

Interesting & varied

Wonderful pod super interesting and so easy on the ear. It’s so refreshing to hear the opinions and views of true experts & those that have been there seen it done it & got the T Shirt -
Am totally addicted & am binge listening the back catalogue fabulous 👍🏼😃

Diffkdffofkdd ,

We waz kangzzzz

The perfect pod for nihilistic, self loathing, upper class white vegans.

ninja_reader ,

Interesting and intriguing

Brilliant podcast about the mountain's and it's history

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