Inspiring Girls* Expeditions

Twelve-day free field science and art education programs for high school youth

Designed for 16-18 year-old high school girls*, these 12-day, FREE summer science and art education programs weave scientific investigation, artistic inquiry, and outdoor exploration on trips led by professional scientists, artists, and outdoor guides. 

*Though Inspiring Girls* Expeditions began as a program seeking to create space for girls and women to grow and thrive in historically male-dominated fields, we welcome cisgender girls and transgender, agender, Two Spirit, nonbinary, intersex, and genderqueer youth on our expeditions.  

Inspiring Girls* Expeditions aims to:

  • Increase the participation and diversity of people with marginalized genders in field sciences, art, and outdoor recreation. We encourage attitudes which foster supportive and inclusive science and outdoor communities.
  • Foster our participants’ sense of self-confidence in their physical, intellectual, and leadership abilities. 
  • Create lifelong advocates for Earth science and environmental stewardship.
  • Support a network for current early-career scientists, artists, and guides through continuing development opportunities and collaboration.

Inspiring Girls* Expeditions Alaska

Inspiring Girls* Expeditions began in 1999 with the creation of our flagship mountaineering program, Girls* on Ice, in Washington State. The program has continued to grow around the world, and Inspiring Girls* Expeditions is now a collaborative and international partnership of branches hosted by different universities and nonprofit organizations in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Central Asia, and New Zealand. 

Inspiring Girls* Expeditions Alaska began running Girls* on Ice Alaska in 2012 with support from the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center. The program has since grown to include two sea kayaking expeditions (Girls* in Icy Fjords and Girls* on Water) and a packrafting and day hiking expedition (Girls* in the Forest). Each year, expedition teams camp in, explore, and study remote landscapes across Alaska. Teams are led by groups of graduate students and early career scientists, artists, and guides, providing a unique and intensive professional development opportunity. 

Each day brings science lessons, outdoor skill development, art activities, and self-designed science research projects. After a week in the field, the teams spend their last two days at learning institutes of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where they publicly present findings from their research projects and tell stories from their expedition. 


  • Girls* on Ice Alaska – alpine ecosystems and mountaineering focus on Gulkana Glacier (since 2012)
  • Girls* in Icy Fjords – glacial and marine ecosystems and sea kayaking focus in Northwestern Fjord near Seward (since 2017; currently run by Inspiring Girls* Expeditions Oregon State University) 
  • Girls* on Water – coastal ecosystems and sea kayaking focus in Kachemak Bay near Homer (since 2019)
  • Girls* in the Forest – boreal forest ecosystems and packrafting focus in Interior Alaska near Fairbanks (since 2021)