Awards Announced for the First Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship

July 28, 2014

The U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society announced the five awardees selected as the first Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellows. This new component of the Fulbright program selects five U.S. citizens to travel overseas and use multi-media storytelling to build awareness of transnational challenges in one of the program’s eight themes: biodiversity, cities, cultures, climate change, energy, food, and oceans. Over a nine-month period, the Fellows will share their stories on National Geographic’s website using a variety of digital storytelling tools including text, photography, video, audio, graphic illustrations and/or social media.

The following awardees were selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board following recommendations by five senior editors from National Geographic magazine:

  • Ann Chen, an artist and researcher from New York City, will focus on mapping the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline in Canada through collective storytelling and citizen science.
  • Daniel Koehler, a filmmaker from New York City, will film a documentary on the San living near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, focusing on the loss and change of their culture.
  • Erin Moriarty Harrelson, of Washington, D.C., a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at American University, will explore the emerging culture of deaf Cambodians. She herself is deaf.
  • Mimi Onuoha, a New York City-based researcher, artist and educator, will head to the United Kingdom to explore the chasms and overlaps between the online and offline lives of a demographically diverse group of Londoners.
  • Michael Waldrep, a documentary filmmaker from Los Angeles as well as multimedia artist and researcher, will travel to Mexico City to document the city, its neighborhoods and its 22 million inhabitants through writing, mapping, data visualization, photography and video.

The Fellows will receive funding for travel, living expenses, health/accident insurance, and a materials and reporting allowance from the U.S. Department of State. Editors from National Geographic will mentor the Fellows to help them tell their stories to a wider global audience.

“We are thrilled to partner with the U.S. Department of State for the first Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship,” said Keith Jenkins, Executive Editor of National Geographic Digital. “This platform is exactly in line with our mission of inspiring people to care about the planet. Our editors are excited to work closely with the five Fellows on their projects throughout the coming year.”

For more information and details on applying for the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, visit