National Geographic Live Virtual Speaker Series slated through April 14

Posted 2/8/21

Mesa Arts Center is hosting a live virtual speaker series with stunning imagery and stories from National Geographic’s world-renowned photographers, scientists, authors, filmmakers, …

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National Geographic Live Virtual Speaker Series slated through April 14

A high line photo by Keith Ladzinski.
A high line photo by Keith Ladzinski.

Mesa Arts Center is hosting a live virtual speaker series with stunning imagery and stories from National Geographic’s world-renowned photographers, scientists, authors, filmmakers, conservationists and adventurers from the comfort of home.

Tickets to the 2021 National Geographic Live Virtual Speaker Series are on sale at mesaartscenter.com or by calling 480-644-6500.

“We’re excited to be part of such an inspiring speaker series,” Randall Vogel, assistant director of Mesa Arts Center, said in a release. “National Geographic Live continues to make the world around us more accessible with leading explorers and storytellers sharing their experiences of resilience, bravery and ingenuity.”

National Geographic Live is the live events division of National Geographic. Its roster of talent share their behind-the-scenes stories from the front lines of exploration alongside stunning imagery and gripping footage to audiences throughout the United States and abroad. For more information on National Geographic Live and other National Geographic events, go to nationalgeographic.com/events.

Events include:

Natural history photographers

“Scientific Exposure,” with photographers Anand Varma and Prasenjeet Yadav, 8 p.m. Feb. 10. Cost of the virtual event is $10.
Natural history photographers working with National Geographic have often emerged from scientific backgrounds, enabling them to reveal wildlife and our natural world in surprising ways, the release states.

Molecular biologist-turned-photographer Prasenjeet Yadav combines his experience in research with his photography skills to highlight natural history and science stories in Asia. And Anand Varma has developed innovative techniques to create stunning images of creatures whose details are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Join these National Geographic Explorers for stories and conversation on the intriguing intersection of science and photography.

Science of dinosaurs

The virtual event “Reimagining Dinosaurs,” with paleontologists Nizar Ibrahim and Sebastián Rozadilla, is 8 p.m. Feb. 24 and costs $20.

Groundbreaking new science is changing what we thought we knew about how dinosaurs looked, moved, and lived. Newfound troves from the Moroccan desert suggest that the immense predator Spinosaurus used crocodile-like jaws and a unique, paddle-like tail to actively pursue prey in the water: a first for dinosaurs. And in Chile, scientists have discovered a shocking new therapod. Unlike its cousins, Velociraptor and T. rex, Chilesaurus consumed a vegetarian diet. Join leading paleontologists and National Geographic Explorers Nizar Ibrahim and Sebastián Rozadilla for stories and conversation about the evolving science of dinosaurs.

Stories of adventure on the screen

“Feats of Filmmaking,” with Bryan Smith, filmmaker; and Keith Ladzinski, photographer, is 8 p.m. March 17. The virtual performance is $20.
Meet two National Geographic filmmakers renowned for capturing extreme feats of adventure in some of the world’s most remote and inhospitable environments.

Based out of British Columbia, Mr. Smith brings stories of adventure to the screen from the South Pacific’s deepest canyons to the frozen waters of Niagara Falls. Mr. Ladzinski takes on the seemingly impossible — including chasing tornadoes, hanging from massive natural arches, and swimming with alligators— —to document the endeavors of the world’s most elite adventurers.

Fascinating ocean creatures

“Mysterious Seas,” with Diva Amon, deep sea biologist; and David Gruber, marine biologist, is 8 p.m. March 31. The virtual performance is $20.

Get a glimpse into the ocean’s greatest depths— — and the fascinating creatures that live there — with two leading marine biologists.

National Geographic Explorer Mr. Gruber searches the oceans for bioluminescent and biofluorescent marine species and designs delicate and noninvasive tools for studying and interacting with deep-sea life. Ms. Amon participates in expeditions around the world to study the unusual animals living in a variety of deep-sea habitats—and how humans impact them. Through stories and conversation, they’ll shine a light on this dark, cold, and mysterious world.

Movement of people

“Women and Migration,” with Danielle Villasana, photojournalist; Miora Rajaonary, documentary photographer; Saiyna Bashir, photojournalist; and Jennifer Samuel, the moderator, photo editor, at 8 p.m. April 14. The virtual performance costs $20.

Never before has the world been more tightly woven and the movement of people greater between and within continents and countries.

Although COVID-19 has slowed migration, in 2019 more than 270 million people — nearly half of them women — were living in countries other than the one where they were born. Drawn by the promise of a better future, women increasingly have traveled to wealthier countries, taking jobs in child- and eldercare and domestic work, as well as manufacturing and agriculture — a shift described as “the feminization of migration.” For women who are forced to leave home because of famine or violence, migration is a gamble for their very survival.

The Arizona National Geographic Live Series is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

Mesa Arts Center is 1 E. Main St. in downtown Mesa. Go to mesaartscenter.com.