The National Geographic Society has announced its third Early Career Leadership Cohort includes Callie Veelenturf as one of its 15 National Geographic Explorers. Veelenturf is a Marine Biologist and Founder and Executive Director of the Leatherback Project. She studied leatherbacks during her graduate studies under Professor Frank Paladino, renowned for his work with the marine reptiles.
“This is an incredible opportunity to learn and grow with an inspiring group of explorers and change makers,” said Veelenturf upon hearing of her appointment. “I’ve dreamed of conducting conservation research internationally and being supported by the National Geographic Society. To be actually living this dream is surreal.”
Veelenturf also received a National Geographic Explorer grant for 2019–20 in which she conducted a pilot study on sea turtle use of potential nesting and foraging grounds in the Pearl Islands Archipelago in Panama. Veelenturf holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marine Biology from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s degree in Biology from Purdue University Fort Wayne.