Paul Siple

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Paul Siple in 1932

Paul Allman Siple (December 18, 1909–November 25, 1968) was an American Antarctic explorer and geographer who took part in six Antarctic expeditions, including the two Byrd expeditions of 1928–1930 and 1933–1935, representing the Boy Scouts of America as an Eagle Scout.[1] Siple was also a Sea Scout.[2] His first and third books covered these adventures.


Siple was born in Montpelier, Ohio but his family moved to Erie, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Central High School in 1926. He became an Eagle Scout in 1923 with 59 merit badges. After an extensive nationwide search in 1928, he was the first Eagle Scout selected for an Antarctic expedition. He became a brother of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity while attending Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He also attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, from which he received a Ph.D. in 1939. His dissertation was on "Adaptations of the Explorer to the Climate of Antarctic". He worked in the Army Scientific Office for most of his career.[2]

Siple was involved with the United States Antarctic Service Expedition of 1939–41, which would have been the third Byrd expedition. He served during Operation Highjump, (also known as the United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program 1946–47), developed cold weather gear for the Korean War,[2] and Operation Deep Freeze I in 1955-56. He was the inaugural scientific leader at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station 1956–1957, during the International Geophysical Year. This activity is covered in his fourth book.

Siple and Charles F. Passel developed the wind chill factor, and Siple coined the term. From 1963–66 he served as the first U.S. science attaché to Australia and New Zealand.

Antarctic features Siple Coast, Siple Island, Mount Siple, Siple Ridge and Siple Station were named in his honor.

Siple received the Silver Buffalo Award from the BSA in 1947[2] and the Order of the Arrow National Distinguished Service Award in 1958. He received the Hubbard Medal from the National Geographic Society in 1958.


  • A Boy Scout With Byrd (1931)
  • Exploring at Home (1932)
  • Scout to Explorer: Back with Byrd in the Antarctic (1936)
  • 90 Degrees South (1959)

See also


Note: Some sources say he was born in 1908.

  1. ^ "Paul A. Siple". Retrieved 2006-11-08.
  2. ^ a b c d Dubill, Andy (2008). "Paul Siple". International Scouting Collector's Association Journal. International Scouting Collector's Association. 8 (4): 45–46. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

External links