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  



arita baaijens: The Land That Speaks

Arita w camel.jpg

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. 

Read her flag report here >>


Becca Peixotto (left) and Emily Duncan in the Great Dismal Swamp

Becca Peixotto (left) and Emily Duncan in the Great Dismal Swamp

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 >>


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 ForestsMeg Lowman, 2010

Kenya and Tanzania
No Water No Life takes to the Mara River Basin, Allison Jones, 2009

Namibia and South Africa
Field Study: How African Elephants Use Water, Terrie Williams, 2007

Sahara Desert
Water Supply: Across Borders  Helen Thayer, 2013




Access Water : Ganges River Valley,  Ann Bancroft & Liv Arnesen, 2015

Pamir Mountain Range
Kate Harris : BORDERSKI, Pamir Mountain Range, 2015
A film about this expedition is being made! Check out the teaser

Altai Mountains
Expedition to Paradise, Altai Mountain Range, Arita Baaijens, 2013

Eastern Tibet
Documenting Flora on the Tibetan Plateau, Diane Agaki, 2007

Western China
Cycling the Silk Road: On the Trail of Marco PoloKate Harris, 2007

Studying the Habitat of the Greater One-Horned Rhino in West Bengal, Gitanjali Banerjee, 2006

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Northern Bahamas
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 StudyAnna Cummins, 2010

Atlantic Ocean
Crossing the Ocean on a Reed Sailing Boat, Sabrina Lorenz, 2007

Atlantic Ocean
Following the Route of Columbus: Crossing the Atlantic by Sailboat, Beryl Bell, 2007

Collecting Geochemical Samples from a Cave on San Salvador Island, Stephanie Schwabe, 2005



Photographing Ancient Sites on the Island of CreteMarilyn Bridges, 2010

Following Endangered White Storks Across Two Continents, Lorie Karnath, 2007

Tracing the Transition from Neanderthal to Cro-Magnon in Western Europe, Anna Pinto, 2005


North/Central America

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

Dry Tortugas
Bird Banding in the Dry Tortugas, Dalia Amor-Conde, 2005

Florida/California, U.S,
Deep-Sea Exploration with New Eyes and Ears, Edie Widder, 2007

Roads, Deforestation, and Jaguars, Dalia Amor-Conde, 2006

Wyoming, U.S.
Searching for Cretaceous Dinosaurs, Sue Hendrickson, 2006

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

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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

Papua New Guinea
Diving to Observe Poisonous Catfish, Eugenie Clark and Anne Doubilet, 2007

Republic of Vanuatu
Female Chiefs of Maewo Island, Sophie Hollingsworth, 2016


Polar Regions

Exploring the Greenland Ice Sheet, Natalie Kerhwald, 2007

Chasing the Light at 79 Degrees North, Rena Bass Forman, 2008

Lake Baikal
Life On Thin Ice, Felicity Aston, 2008

Labyrinth Sublime: The Inside Passage, North to Alaska, Rosemarie Keough, 2008

Kangiqtugaapik/Clyde River, Baffin Island
The Siku-Inuit-Hila Conference on Sea Ice and Climate ChangeLene Keilsen-Holm, 2008

Amundsen Expedition -Exploring and Documenting Marine Benthic Ecosystems in the Arctic, Maeva Gaulthier, 2010

Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada
Katujjiqatigii: Working Together, The Sedna Epic Expedition, Susan R. Eaton and the Team Sedna, 2016

Antarctica and Mount Erebus as Analogues for Planetary Landscapes, Rosaly Lopes, 2016