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The Lyda Hill Foundation today announced a $1,000,000 grant to the National Geographic Society dedicated to supporting female scientists and explorers. The news was shared with a surprised crowd at the 2018 National Geographic Explorers Festival in Washington, D.C., a celebration of exploration bringing together the most fascinating and innovative scientists, conservationists, explorers and storytellers to share — with one another and the world — how their discoveries and ideas are creating change for the better.

Presented from the Festival stage by Nicole Small, president of the Lyda Hill Foundation, the gift embodies Lyda Hill’s ongoing commitment to advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This grant builds on the Foundation’s recent efforts to promote women making leading scientific breakthroughs; help them tell their stories; and inspire the next generation of world changers to consider STEM adventures and careers.

In a video message played after the announcement, Lyda Hill thanked National Geographic and all of its Explorers in the audience, saying: “It has been my pleasure to partner with National Geographic and many National Geographic Explorers over the years. I love science because I believe — in fact, I know — that science will solve many of our world’s most pressing problems, and it is all of you who are working day in and day out in the field to solve the challenges we face.”

The gift from the Lyda Hill Foundation will provide more than 60 female National Geographic Explorers much-needed capital and support — valued at up to $10,000 each — for trainings and networking activities that provide the training, tools and time to tell and share their stories. The Explorers will be able to use the funding to gain new skills in their fields, travel to and participate in conferences, take advantage of career-building opportunities, invest in professional development and cover family and dependent care costs.

In addition, the Lyda Hill Foundation will fund an exploration fellowship and grants to assist mid-career female Explorers advance and become leaders in their fields.

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About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.