Inspire Expansion for 2018 Expeditions and Beyond

Society underestimates girls' abilities, strengths, and resilience. By high school, many girls feel excluded from science and other male-dominated careers and drift away. We provide mentorship in a challenging wilderness setting to build their courage, confidence, and self-efficacy. With our mentoring, guidance, and role models, within a pivotal life experience Inspiring Girls Expeditions brings them back.

The mission of Inspiring Girls Expeditions is to bring out girls’ natural curiosity; inspire their interest in science; connect the arts and sciences; and empower and encourage trust in their physical, intellectual, and leadership abilities
in an inclusive and less competitive atmosphere free of gender roles.

We have thousands of girls who have asked for our help, right now we can only accept 36 on our life-changing expeditions.


With your support, we can expand that to over 50 girls directly in 2018 and develop new ways to support and mentor more in the future.  


Join us to stimulate courage and curiosity.

We want you to join our community and help empower girls from all social and economic backgrounds, especially those who lack mentors or are from groups underrepresented in field science. We want to build new long-term partnerships to support our efforts at expanding and setting us up for a sustainable future.

Please contact Erin ( if you are interested in partnering with us and helping us sustain our expeditions into the future. In addition to financial support, we would love to discuss opportunities to volunteer, meet  the girls, share your experiences, or help with post-expedition mentoring of these girls. You can help change these girls' lives.


About US

Founded in 1999 by National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erin Pettit, Inspiring Girls Expeditions are twelve-day unique, challenging, life-changing, tuition-free, wilderness expeditions. We  empower teenage girls using the real processes of scientific discovery and artistic expression to explore the world:
Observe, Ask, Discover, and Share.”

Inspiring Girls Expeditions empower girls from all backgrounds, especially those from all social and economic backgrounds with courage, creativity, and tenacity through intensive wilderness exploration, including glacier mountaineering and expedition kayaking.

Being selected is not a reward for past achievement, it is Inspiration for Future Leadership, Curiosity, Confidence, and Success.

I can do what I want to do, if I believe in myself I can do it. We climbed a glacier [thousands of] feet in the sky, that was pretty amazing and I don’t think I would have ever believed I could have done that without this program. It was funny and memorable, and difficult and hard but I loved every moment of it.”

K’sana, British Columbia

2018 Goals

In 2017, thousands of girls asked to be involved through our multi-essay application. We want to expand to offer opportunities to many more of these girls.

The girls will benefit from gifts of any size to support our core efforts and allow us to expand. From $100 to purchase new climbing ropes to $1000 to rent a van to $10,000 to stimulate post-expedition mentoring. 

Our 2018 core needs:

 $90,000 will support a much needed new Assistant Director position.

 $5,000 will provide five instructors with a 2-day intensive instructor training workshop.

 $10,000 will provide a post-expedition mentoring program. We want to provide continued mentoring for each girl years into the future. We help with college decision making, identifying internships, and other ways to set these girls up for future success. 

 $15,000 supports the core expedition costs for Girls on Ice Cascades, Girls on Ice Alaska, Girls on Rock, or Girls in Icy Fjords.

Inspiring Girls Expeditions is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which is a 501c3 organization.

Inspiring Girls Expeditions
has a proven track record over nearly 20 years of inspiring girls to become leaders.
Inspiring Girls Expeditions graduates become scientists, teachers, artists, journalists, businesswomen, and more: they are advocates for science in our society.

The eXpeditions

We provide tuition-free transformative science, art, life, and leadership expeditions for teenage girls (aged 16 and 17) from ALL social and economic groups, especially those who lack sufficient mentors to guide them through life’s challenges.   

Our twelve-day life-changing expeditions inspire girls through glacier mountaineering, sea kayaking, and rock climbing integrated with science and art deep in the wilderness of Alaska, Washington, and Colorado.

  • Girls explore mountain and ocean landscapes packed full of dynamic glaciers, steaming volcanic craters, hardy ecosystems, and complex weather patterns.
  • Girls step outside their comfort zone, into their growth zone, guided, mentored, and inspired by professional scientists, artists, and wilderness guides.
  • Girls go beyond their personal preconceived boundaries and expectations while designing their own scientific experiments which they present to the public at the end.