About the Professor: Ford Cochran, Master of Philosophy in Geology
“ There's little that excites me more than visiting an extraordinary place for the first time—and being able to share that experience with others is thrilling.”
Geologist, journalist, and educator Ford Cochran is Director of Programming for National Geographic Expeditions, where he selects and manages the expert scholars, writers, photographers, explorers, and scientists sent on educational expeditions for travelers to destinations around the world. As an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary, he studied English literature. He then took graduate courses in Earth Science at Harvard University and earned a Master of Philosophy degree in Geology at Yale University, where he was awarded competitive Global Change fellowships from both NASA and the Department of Energy. He was an Assistant Professor of Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Kentucky before joining the National Geographic staff. Over his more-than-20-year career with National Geographic, Professor Cochran has written for National Geographic magazine, served as principal contributing writer for its Historical Atlas of the United States, helped launch nationalgeographic.com and directed content development and programming for the website, and documented numerous Society-funded research expeditions in the field. He has traveled widely as an expert on National Geographic Expeditions, including tours to many U.S. national parks. His work online has earned multiple Webby, CODiE, and People’s Voice Awards, along with the American Association of Museums’ Gold MUSE Award.