Tuition-free girls' science, art expeditions seeking applicants

Sarah Clement

Dec. 20, 2022

three girls wearing climbing gear sitting on a museum
Photo courtesy of Inspiring Girls* Expeditions
Girls* on Ice Alaska teammates share a summit hug on the Cantwell Glacier overlook.

Inspiring Girls* Expeditions is inviting applications for their summer 2023 tuition-free, backcountry science and art education programs.

The expeditions are open to 16- to 18-year-old high school girls. Alaskans are highly encouraged to apply, and expeditions are especially targeted towards marginalized youth who may have experienced barriers accessing science- and outdoor-focused programs. Participants are selected through a competitive application process that focuses on passion for science, art and the outdoors, rather than academic grades or past achievements. 

The program is run through the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center, with additional funding from the Alaska Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

Alaska’s 2023 expeditions will include mountaineering on Gulkana Glacier, sea kayaking in Kachemak Bay and packrafting on the Chena River. Teams of nine girls spend 12 days exploring glacier terrain, intertidal zones or boreal forests, while gaining a greater understanding of ecosystem connections in each environment. 

Young women engage in this remote setting under the leadership of an instructor team composed of professional scientists, backcountry guides and artists.

“Our expeditions provide a fantastic opportunity to build self-confidence, learn new skills, make lifelong new friends and explore the amazing ecosystem connections in each of these environments,” said program director Joanna Young. 

One program alumna from the 2022 expedition believed that participating in Inspiring Girls* Expeditions opened up new possibilities for her, saying: “I am more seriously considering majoring in environmental studies in college … I felt like I got good advice and support for a future in this field, and that there was space for people like me in science.” 

The asterisk in the Inspiring Girls* Expeditions name indicates that the program welcomes cisgender girls and transgender, agender, two-spirit, nonbinary, intersex and genderqueer youths.

Applications are due Jan. 30, 2023. For more information or to learn more about the application process, please visit the program website.