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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 EXPEDITION SPOTLIGHT
arita baaijens: The Land That Speaks
Arita Baaijens, who was inducted as a WINGS Fellow in 2014, conducted an expedition from November 2016 through February 2017 to Mount Bosavi, a volcano in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. This is the second time she carried a WINGS Flag.
For over two months she lived with the local indigenous people, the Kaluli Tribe to learn about how their unique environment has impacted their culture. She slept like they do, hunted with them and ate the same food, including bats. She conducted a 14-week ethnographic survey and employed the "deep mapping" method, a participatory mapping tool designed for hard-to-reach communities. This will allow the Kaluli people to record their ecology, geography, mythology and linguistic history in their own terms. The results of the study will be published in National Geographic and other news outlets.
Volcanologist Rosaly Lopes, who received the WINGS Air & Space Award in 2009, spent one month at Mount Erebus, the southernmost active volcano on Earth, working on book project that will use landscapes in Antarctica as a model for what landscapes look like on other planets.
Lopes took special interest in Mount Erebus because it features one of the only lava lakes that exists on earth; they’re a phenomenon that is common on Jupiter’s moon Io, however.
The book will feature artwork by astronomical artist and science writer Michael W. Carroll. The two are completing their work through the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program.
Seventy-six women spent 21 days aboard a ship to Antarctica during the inaugural Homeward Bound voyage, an initiative that aims to elevate the voices of women in science in the hopes that they will play a large role in influencing scientific policy in the years to come.
One of the goals of Homeward Bound is to discuss sustainability and global issues related to climate change, making Antarctica a fitting backdrop because of its importance in the study of global warming. Homeward Bound’s leaders hope to reach 1,000 women with critical science backgrounds over the course of 10 years.
Sophie Hollingsworth: Female Chiefs of Maewo Island
Sophie Hollingsworth and her team carried the WINGS World Quest flag on an expedition to Maewo Island, located within the Pacific Island Nation of Vanuatu, during which they observed 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 met and interviewed these women chiefs to learn about their customs and ceremonies. During the festival, the women demonstrated their practices and powers, undertook grade promotions, engaged in traditional dancing and performed secret ceremonies, including the use of black and white magic. Hollingsworth also visited 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.
Swampscapes: Archaeological Exploration in the Great Dismal Swamp
Becca Peixotto, a PhD candidate at American University, School of Archaeology, led 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. Read her flag report here.
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.
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
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
Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia, U.S.
Swampscapes: Archaeological Exploration in the Great Dismal Swamp, Becca Peixotto, 2016
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