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September 2002

Browse our online feature offerings, from field adventures and factoids to maps and multimedia. On every feature screen you can Zoom In on Web-exclusive photo galleries and get the tech facts behind the frames. Then enter the world of writers and photographers with behind-the-scenes tales of life On Assignment. Finally, find full resource listings from links to printable maps in More to Explore. Be sure to check out this month’s Sights & Sounds—our multimedia showstopper.

Water Pressure Thumbnail Water Pressure
How can such a wet planet be so short on clean fresh water? The latest installment in the “Challenges for Humanity” series plumbs the problem.

Highlight: FORUM What can local communities do at a grass-roots level to solve their water problems? What long-discarded methods might work today? Enter>>
Down the Drain Thumbnail Down the Drain?
The Great Lakes hold a fifth of Earth’s surface fresh water, and they’ve shrunk dramatically. If it keeps up, shipping and fisheries could be left high and dry.

Highlight: MAP Downloadable, printable, high-resolution map of the shrinking Great Lakes.

Highlight: FORUM What concerns do you have about diminishing freshwater supplies? Enter>>

Highlight: ONLINE EXTRA Learn about Chicago’s long history of water management.

Meeerkats Thumbnail Meerkats
The meerkat motto: You get by with a little help from your friends. Welcome to the strange social life of one of Africa’s most beloved carnivores.

Highlight: MAP Downloadable, printable, high-resolution map of meerkat range.

Highlight: SIGHTS & SOUNDS Posted sentinels? A babysitting service? Photographer Mattias Klum delves into the intricate social structure of meerkats.

Highlight: FINAL EDIT The photo rescued from the cutting room floor is this month’s Final Edit.

Highlight: MULTIMEDIA Photographer Mattias Klum talks about the natural behavior of meerkats in this video interview.

Highlight: WALLPAPER Let this meerkat nibble its way into your heart and onto your desktop.

Highlight: POSTCARDS These sun-loving meerkats make a warm e-greeting for a friend.

Highlight: ONLINE EXTRA Find out why author and zoologist Tim Clutton-Brock loves to ask “why?”
Crucible of the Gods Thumbnail Crucible of the Gods
Once upon a time in Turkey and Georgia, blood sacrifice to the gods really mattered. People still live that way along this isolated stretch of Black Sea coast.

Highlight: MAP Downloadable, printable, high-resolution map of the Black Sea coast.

Highlight: AUDIO Experience the challenges and frustrations of covering the Black Sea region as photographer Randy Olson reads from his journals.

State of the Planet Thumbnail State of the Planet
In 1992 representatives from nearly every country met in Brazil to hash out what could be done to protect Earth’s resources. A decade later, here’s a global report card.

Highlight: FORUM We’ve made some progress in solving Earth’s environmental problems, but much remains to be done. What can one person do to improve the health of the planet? Enter>>

Highlight: RESOURCES Learn what global experts have to say about Earth’s environmental health, and expand your knowledge of the issues with this listing of links and books.

ZipUSA: 10013 Thumbnail ZipUSA: 10013
Portrait of a neighborhood torn apart: Three New Yorkers—a firefighter, a television producer, and a journalist—remember September 11 and reflect on how it changed their shocked city forever.

Highlight: FORUM The September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States left the nation reeling, a reaction that spread around the world. How have you been affected by September 11? How can we help families and the nation heal? Enter>>

Highlight: SANCTUARY AT GROUND ZERO Learn how St. Paul’s Chapel, on the periphery of ground zero, survived and transformed itself into a safe haven for rescue workers. Take a multimedia tour and listen to volunteers and workers share uplifting stories, then manipulate 360° images and go inside and outside the “little chapel that stood.”

Highlight: POSTCARDS Send a New York-style e-greeting to a friend.

Highlight: NOMINATE your own wonderful, weird, or wacky choices for this magazine series. Enter>>

Best of America Thumbnail Best of America

From Vermont to Vegas. From bluesmen to bull riders. You’ll find prime slices of all things American in National Geographic’s latest collector’s edition. 

Highlight: WALLPAPER Decorate your desktop with the best from Best of America. 

Highlight: POSTCARDS Surprise a friend with an e-greeting and write your own caption. 

Highlight: FORUM Some say America’s strength derives from its diversity of landscapes and cultures. What does “Best of America” mean to you?  Join our discussion boards inspired by this special edition. Enter>>

Highlight: ORDER  our second special collector’s edition, Best of America, online. Give yourself, or someone you know, a gift today.

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