Photograph by Ben Horton, Will Steger Foundation
Photograph courtesy Will Steger Foundation, Elizabeth Andre
The fourth person ever to reach both Poles, Will Steger is known by many titles—educator, activist, photographer, and explorer. This former explorer-in-residence for National Geographic is a pioneer in his field, with a series of firsts in polar exploration to his credit.
In 1986 he made the first confirmed unsupported journey to the North Pole, leading a team of eight people with 50 sled dogs. Two years later he guided the longest unsupported dogsled expedition in history, a 1,600-mile south-north traverse of Greenland. In 1995, he led a 1,200-mile expedition between Russia and Ellesmere Island, Canada, via dogsleds and canoe sleds with a team of five educators and scientists. This sweeping project earned Steger the prestigious National Geographic John Oliver La Gorce Medal, awarded only 19 times since the founding of National Geographic in 1888. Steger joins Roald Amundsen, Amelia Earhart, Admiral Robert Peary, and Jacques-Yves Cousteau in this honor.
In 2004, Steger led a five-month journey through the Northwest Territories in Canada.
Having testified before the U.S. Congress on polar and environmental issues, Steger has become a recognized authority on polar environmental concerns.
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It isn't just the polar bears that are having the ice pulled out from under their feet. Arctic melting due to global warming is also undermining the human way of life in the far north, says a team about to embark on a 1,200-mile dogsled expedition.
Support My Project
Established in January 2006 by National Geographic polar explorer, educator and author Will Steger, the Will Steger Foundation first launched the Global Warming 101 initiative to raise broad public awareness about the issue and solutions. Since 2006, they have been making a tangible impact on public awareness concerning the threat of climate change through curricula outreach, youth programming, expeditions, and public outreach.
In Their Words
Having traveled for 45 years in the Arctic, what I've seen the last 15 years is shocking. We need to finally face up that we have an issue here and we need to get back to solutions.
Will Steger reflects on the COP15 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Will Steger was the first person to reach both Poles by dogsled. A later expedition between Russia and Ellesmere Island, Canada, earned him the prestigious National Geographic John Oliver La Gorce Medal.
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