Will Steger

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Will Steger (born August 27, 1944 in Richfield, Minnesota[1]) is a prominent spokesperson for the understanding and preservation of the Arctic and has led some of the most significant feats in the field of dogsled expeditions; such as the first confirmed dogsled journey to the North Pole (without re-supply, though his return trip was by airplane, drastically reducing the supplies required for the trip) in 1986, the 1,600-mile south-north traverse of Greenland - the longest unsupported dogsled expedition in history during 1988, the historic 3,471-mile International Trans-Antarctic Expedition - the first dogsled traverse of Antarctica (1989–90), and the International Arctic Project - the first and only dogsled traverse of the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Ellesmere Island in Canada during 1995. [2]

Having been invited to testify before Congress on polar and environmental issues, Steger co-founded the Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE)[3] at Hamline University in 1991. During 1993 he founded the World School [4] at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). In 2006, Will Steger established the Will Steger Foundation which is dedicated to creating programs that foster international leadership and cooperation through environmental education and policy.

Will Steger joins Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary, Roald Amundsen and Jacques-Yves Cousteau in receiving the National Geographic Society's John Oliver La Gorce Medal for "accomplishments in geographic exploration, in the sciences, and for public service to advance international understanding" in 1995.

Steger received recognition and numerous honors for record setting explorations and interactive educational initiatives: Explorers Club Finne Ronne Memorial Award 1997, National Geographic Society's First Explorer-in-Residence 1996,[5] Lindbergh Foundation's Lindbergh Award 2006, Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group 2006, Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award 2007, and the National Geographic Adventure Lifetime Achievement Award 2007.

He authored four books and his publications, photographs and interviews are distributed globally: Over the Top of the World, Crossing Antarctica, North to the Pole, and Saving the Earth.

Past explorer-in-residence[edit]

Will Steger holds many job titles—educator, writer, photographer, and lecturer. But polar adventurer is perhaps his best known and hardest-won. Steger first reached the North Pole in 1986, leading a team of six (Paul Schurke, Brent Boddy, Richard Weber, Geoff Carroll and Ann Bancroft) by dogsled. He returned again in 1995, while crossing the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Ellesmere Island, Canada, with a team of five by dogsled and specially adapted canoes.

Steger has also kayaked thousands of miles of northern rivers, including the Peace, MacKenzie, and Yukon. He often blazes new trails on the digital frontier, posting dispatches from his expeditions to millions over the internet.

National Scout Jamboree[edit]

Will Steger provided mentorship for southern units at the National Scout jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America. In Minnesota's Twin Cities, he works with the School of Environmental Studies project-based learning programs. Wilderness Inquiry was inspired and enabled by Will Steger's outdoor recreation community stewardship working in collaboration with Hamline's interdisciplinary CGEE programs.


  1. ^ http://www.facebook.com/willsteger
  2. ^ http://www.willsteger.com/public_files/docs/Will_Expert_Bio.pdf
  3. ^ CGEE
  4. ^ World School
  5. ^ Explorer-in-Residence

External links[edit]