WINGS WorldQuest Flag Carriers are women leading original field research or documentation that focuses on investigating questions about the nature of our world and advancing conservation efforts on land, air and water through science and advocacy.
As part of their expeditions, all accepted Flag Carriers plan to write reports, make films, or otherwise formally share information about the findings and discoveries with the scientific community and the public. WINGS WorldQuest Flag Carriers are not associated with tourist trips or paying participants on tours.
WINGS Flag Carriers must submit a formal report, complete with high resolution images, to WINGS so that the expedition findings can be shared with the greater public. These reports are posted on the WINGS website and published elsewhere as appropriate.
WINGS is not accepting unsolicited applications. If you meet the above criteria and are interested in finding out more about the program, please email us at email@example.com.
in the field now
Sophie Hollingsworth: Female Chiefs of Maewo Island
Sophie Hollingsworth and her team are carrying the WINGS World Quest flag on an expedition to Maewo Island, located within the Pacific Island Nation of Vanuatu, during which they will observe a multi-day festival featuring the women chiefs of the island.
The women are seeking to gain official status as part of the Vanuatu National Council of Chiefs, which they have previously been denied.
Hollingsworth is meeting and interviewing these women chiefs to learn about their customs and ceremonies. During the festival, the women will demonstrate their practices and powers, undertake grade promotions, engage in traditional dancing and perform secret ceremonies, including the use of black and white magic. Afterward, Hollingsworth will visit nearby villages to learn more about both female and male chiefs.
In performing the first and only ethnographic study on the women, Hollingsworth’s work may help the female chiefs gain official status.
2016 EXPEDITION SPOTLIGHT
Swampscapes: Archaeological Exploration in the Great Dismal Swamp
Becca Peixotto, a PhD candidate at American University, School of Archaeology, is leading this archaeological expedition to help recover the remarkable story of resistance and resilience of African-Americans who fled enslavement and sought refuge in the harsh environment of the Great Dismal Swamp and to seek to better understand the cultural history of the Swamp landscape.
Home to thousands of marginalized people between 1660-1860, the Great Dismal Swamp remains today an expansive morass straddling the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina. Enslaved laborers built canals and harvested timber on privately-owned Swamp land. Deep in the Swamp’s interior, maroons, people of African descent fleeing the oppressive conditions of slavery, sought a measure of freedom. By going beyond previous site-focused research in the Dismal to investigate a new, large geographical area, this research examines how maroons made lives for themselves in a place that was viewed by outsiders as wild and forbidding.
Katujjiqatigii—Working Together, The Sedna Epic Expedition, Baffin Island, Nunavut
Team Sedna is a 12-woman international snorkeling team led by Founder Susan Eaton and Assistant Team Leader Renata Rojas. They are studying the impacts of global warming in the Arctic involving melting glaciers, disappearing sea ice, warming waters and ocean acidification; deliver ocean educational outreach to Inuit communities; empower and educate girls and young women in these matrilineal communities to be future scientists, documentarians and leaders to mitigate global warming and address climate change in the Arctic.
Team Sedna’s sea women will mentor teenage Inuit girls and young women during the expedition, involving them in all aspects of Sedna’s ocean educational activities and introducing them to careers in ocean science and technology, conservation, fisheries management, underwater videography and photography, and polar diving as an emerging form of ecotourism. Through these activities, Team Sedna hopes to inspire and empower women and girls to be the leaders of our future.
Sedna’s professional women started their arctic journey in 2014, carrying the WINGS WorldQuest flag during its proof-of-concept expedition to Labrador and Western Greenland. Team Sedna is dedicated to leading original research and undertaking scientific investigations, education and exploration in the Arctic for the next five years.
Dr. Strier, a professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, is an international authority on the northern muriqui monkey. She has been studying the endangered species in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest since 1982. Dr. Strier and her research team have made significant discoveries about the behavioral ecology, reproductive biology, and life histories of muriquis that have advanced our scientific understanding of primates in general, and contributed directly to the conservation and management of this critically endangered species.
Karen Strier, Ph.D. joined us via webinar from the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil to talk about her WINGS flag expedition, Saving the World's Most Peaceful Primate: Behavior, Ecology, and Population Demography of the Northern Muriqui.
2015 Expedition Spotlight
The first part of the multifaceted international Access Water Expedition, launched in India in October of 2015. Leaders of the 8 woman team WINGS Board Member Ann Bancroft and Fellow Liv Arnesen have recently completed their 2,400 km journey through the Himalayas and the Ganges River.
This extraordinary team of women explorers representing 7 different continents are working together to foster global awareness for the global water crisis. The team is partnering with classrooms and business to encourage conservation and environmental sustainability.
Ann Bancroft is an explorer, educator, sought-after speaker and philanthropist. In 1993 Ann led a team of four women across the South Pole, earning the distinction of being the first known woman in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles.
WINGS Fellow Kate Harris skied across the Pamir Mountains in Central Asia in Spring 2015 with a all-women expedition team to document the impact of border fences on wildlife.
A film about her expedition is being made! Check out the teaser
Her flag report has recently become available - click here
Over the course of six weeks, the team skied across the borders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan to “inspire others to think beyond borders.” The team is producing a documentary film about the Borderski Expedition, highlighting in particular the impact of the border fences on the migratory Marco Polo sheep and the need for conservation that transcends borders.
Named one of Canada’s top 10 adventurers by Explore magazine, and top 100 modern-day explorers by Canadian Geographic, Kate's journeys edging the limits of science, geopolitics, and the imagination have covered all seven continents, often by ski, bike, or foot.
FLAG EXPEDITION Archive
Below is a partial listing of expeditions with links to WINGS WorldQuest flag reports. The names of flag carriers who are WINGS Fellows contain profile links.
Reports bY region:
Conserving Ethiopia’s Church Forests, Meg Lowman, 2010
Kenya and Tanzania
No Water No Life takes to the Mara River Basin, Allison Jones, 2009
Expedition to Paradise, Altai Mountain Range, Arita Baaijens, 2013
Documenting Flora on the Tibetan Plateau, Diane Agaki, 2007
A film about her expedition is being made! Check out the teaser
Tracking Three Generations of Wild Dolphins in the Bahamas: 26 Years in the Field, Denise Herzing, 2010
South Atlantic Ocean
5 Gyres Expedition: The World’s First South Atlantic Ocean Plastic-Pollution Study, Anna Cummins, 2010
Crossing the Ocean on a Reed Sailing Boat, Sabrina Lorenz, 2007
Following the Route of Columbus: Crossing the Atlantic by Sailboat, Beryl Bell, 2007
Photographing Ancient Sites on the Island of Crete, Marilyn Bridges, 2010
Following Endangered White Storks Across Two Continents, Lorie Karnath, 2007
The Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, Jeanette Salfeety, 2005
Columbia River Basin
Exploring the Health of North America's Majestic Columbia River, Alison Jones, 2007
British Columbia, Canada
Tracking Wolves in the Great Bear Rainforest, Heather Bryan, 2008
Upper Columbia River Basin
Exploring Freshwater Values and Management Solutions, Allison Jones, 2008
Saving the World’s Most Peaceful Primate: The Northern Muriqui Monkey, Karen Strier, 2016
Santarem Salvage Project, Anna Roosevelt, 2009
Papua New Guinea
Underwater TV: Convict Fish Behavior at Sunrise and Sunset, Eugenie Clark, 2006
Papua New Guinea and Solomon Island
Headhunt Revisited: Charting Cultural Change in Melanesia, Michele Westmorland and Karen Huntt, 2005
Exploring the Greenland Ice Sheet, Natalie Kerhwald, 2007
Chasing the Light at 79 Degrees North, Rena Bass Forman, 2008
Life On Thin Ice, Felicity Aston, 2008
Kangiqtugaapik/Clyde River, Baffin Island
The Siku-Inuit-Hila Conference on Sea Ice and Climate Change, Lene Keilsen, Holm, 2008
Amundsen Expedition -Exploring and Documenting Marine Benthic Ecosystems in the Arctic, Maeva Gaulthier, 2010