In 2003, Milbry Polk and Leila Hadley Luce founded WINGS WorldQuest to shine light on the under-recognized discoveries and accomplishments of women explorers, promote women working in the field sciences, and inspire the next generation of pathfinders.
The WINGS Women of Discovery Awards and Fellows Program were established to celebrate the ground-breaking work of women explorers and scientists who are actively out in the field today and provide critical, unrestricted funding to support and ensure continued study. To date, WINGS has honored over 70 extraordinary explorers through its Women of Discovery Awards and Fellows Program and provided more than $500,000 in research and field support.
The WINGS Flag Carrier Program was established in 2005 to exemplify the WINGS international community of explorers and certify the significance of its carriers' endeavors. More than 50 women explorers have flown the WINGS flag during expeditions across over 35 countries and all of the world's continents as they pursue groundbreaking discoveries.
In 2014, WINGS established the Emergency Fund to ensure the safety of WINGS Fellows who unexpectedly find themselves in danger or become injured in the field and require urgent, unfunded evacuation.