In 2013, filmmaker Ben Masters, three of his friends, and 16 wild mustangs journeyed across 3,000 miles of some of the most rugged and uncompromising territory in the American West. This audacious trek—to inspire adoptions of wild horses and burros—has since inspired Ben to help others on their own journeys. Hear Ben share inspiring stories from the road and watch clips from his documentary Unbranded. The film, directed by Phillip Baribeau, tracks this journey from the Mexican to Canadian border to inspire adoptions of the 50,000 wild horses and burros living in government holding pens. There’s a public lands war raging in the American West over ranching rights, wildlife habitat, oil, wilderness protection, and resources. Wild horses—symbols of the American West—have now also become symbols of a controversial question: How do we want our public lands and wildlife to be managed?
Rocket scientist and engineering activist Shah Selbe has been charged by elephants in Botswana and swum with sharks in the Pacific. Experiences like these only deepened his love for nature and led him to invent cutting-edge surveillance drones and sensors that are saving the environment—on land and in the ocean—from poachers and pollution. A National Geographic emerging explorer, Shah is a longstanding believer in the power of engineering and open-source data to solve the world’s biggest problems. He has targeted his efforts on saving marine ecosystems, creating renewable energy projects, and implementing water distribution systems.