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Founded in New York City in 1904, The Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club’s members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon—all accomplished by our members.

Our mission is to advance field research, scientific exploration, resource conservation, and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. The Club’s goals in research, education, and public service include the orientation of young people toward careers in field science and engineering, and the encouragement of scientific exploration of land, sea, the air and space, with emphasis on the physical and natural sciences. We serve as a common bond and meeting point for explorers and field scientists worldwide, thus continuing the early goals laid down by our founders in 1904.

•  The Benefits of Membership

Our Members

The Club has approximately 3,500 members representing every continent and in more than 60 countries, comprising 32 chapters around the globe. The Club’s members include leaders in polar exploration, diving, aerospace exploration, archaeology, zoology, physics, oceanography, astronomy, ecology, geology, paleontology, conservation mountaineering, and speleology. The Club counts among its members the giants of twentieth-century exploration; its present and future members are poised to leave humankind a similar legacy of discovery and achievement in the twenty-first century.

Who is Considered for Membership?

The Explorers Club differentiates exploration for field science from exploratory travel for tourism. While both activities are valuable, our members and those qualified for membership are persons who carry out or assist in field science expeditions to study unknown or little known destinations or phenomena in order to gain knowledge for humankind. You need not have climbed Everest, dived to the deepest point in the ocean, or discovered a new dinosaur. But we are looking for individuals who have gotten their hands dirty and their feet wet working in the field as participants in one or more documented scientific expeditions.

Tourism, by comparison, is enjoyed primarily for pleasure or self education. Therefore, extensive travel photography, participation in educational tours, or similar pursuits in remote parts of the world do not alone qualify one to become a member.

However, we do have a category, Friend of The Explorers Club, for people who, though not qualified for membership, would like to associate with the club and support its goals. We hope that, as they meet members and experience the culture of exploration, these Friends might take the initiative to participate in expeditions, so that they may be moved into the ranks of full membership. Anyone supporting our mission can be a member at some level.

Membership Classifications

Fellows have made documented contributions to scientific knowledge through field expeditions. Such accomplishments are often evidenced by scientific publication, but may also be documented in books, popular media, or broadcast media.

Members have evidenced a sustained interest and participation in some aspect of field exploration and have contributed in broad terms to the cause of exploration and the furthering of scientific knowledge (for example by participating in expeditions).

Friends of the Club are individuals who wish to associate with The Explorers Club and support its mission. These individuals are crucial to the Club’s outreach as they create an extended network of awareness and support.

Student Members are full-time students, enrolled in accredited institutions, who are interested in pursuing exploration or field science as a future career or avocation.

Term Membership is open to full-time graduate students and teaching instructors that meet the same standards/qualifications that exist for regular Members. The maximum duration of Term Member status is five years (irrespective of age). Initiation fee is waived for Term Members applying for regular Member/Fellow status prior to expiration of the five year term.

Corporate Giving supports our mission both generally and with specific instances of sponsorship of initiatives, events, or lecture series. Corporate members are particularly valued for the service and educational programs that their sponsorship helps provide. Interested parties should review our Corporate Giving page and contact President Richard Wiese at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

How much are the dues?

Dues are dependent upon the category of membership to which you are elected and your geographic location. Members who live in New York pay a higher rate than our members in Katmandu, because of their greater access to club facilities and activities. Click Here for a full breakdown of dues prices for each Membership Category.

Completing the Application Form

Download and print out the blank form, complete, and send by postal mail to the Membership office.

PDF version of the Application

For more information, explore the website, or contact:

The Explorers Club
46 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021

Tel: 212-628-8383
Fax: 212-628-2048
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Special Invitation to Members of the
National Eagle Scout Association

Recognizing that many National Eagle Scout Association members have performed field exploration and have ideals and interests similar to those of our own members, we are inviting NESA members to consider applying for membership in The Explorers Club; click here to learn more. Please follow the special instructions for NESA applicants and use the application form entitled “Explorers Club Membership Application for National Eagle Scout Association.”

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The Explorers Club ®, World Center for Exploration ®, The Flag and the Seal are registered trademarks of The Explorers Club. Use by others is strictly prohibited. Photographs appearing on this website are used by permission and may not be copied or re-used in any manner.

Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste