Will Steger

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Emeritus Member

A formidable voice calling for understanding and the preservation of the Arctic, and the Earth, Will Steger is best known for his legendary polar exploration. He has traveled tens of thousands of miles by kayak and dogsled for more than 45 years, leading teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history, earning him the Lifetime Achievement award from National Geographic Adventure Magazine in 2007. Will led the first confirmed dogsled journey to the North Pole without resupply in 1986, the 1,600-mile south-north traverse of Greenland (the longest unsupported dogsled expedition in history) in 1988, and led the first dogsled traverse of Antarctica (the historic seven month, 3,741-mile International Trans-Antarctica Expedition) in 1989–90.

Will has continued his commitment to education and exploration through the Will Steger Foundation. Recent expeditions have included a dynamic online component and have taken Will and his expedition teams to Ellesmere Island and Baffin Island in Canada’s High Arctic. From the front lines of global warming, Will Steger is inspiring, educating and empowering people around the world to take action on global warming solutions.

He has been invited to testify before the United States Congress, and has advised world leaders on environmental protection of Antarctica.
Steger holds a Bachelor of Science in geology, Master of Arts in education, and Honorary Doctorates from the University of St. Thomas, Westminster College, Northland College, and Franklin Pierce University. He founded a winter school and developed an innovative wilderness program in Ely, MN. Steger also established the Global Center for Environmental Education at Hamline University, and the World School for Adventure Learning at the University of St. Thomas, both located in St. Paul, MN.

Will Steger was the first National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence (1996), and the list of his numerous awards includes the Finn Ronne Memorial Award (1997), the Lindbergh Award (2006), and the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award (2007).