top of page

  An Introduction to The Explorers Club


The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary, professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and scientific exploration, and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. Since its inception in 1904, the Club has served as a meeting point and unifying force for explorers and scientists worldwide. With its headquarters in Manhattan, the EC has over 3000 members and 26 chapters in the US and around the world. Chapters serve as local contact points for explorers, scientists and students. Chapters hold dinners, lectures/seminars, organise field trips, publish newsletters and arrange educational events.

Famous honorary members have included Theodore Roosevelt, John Glenn, Walter Cronkite, Prince Philip and Albert Prince of Monaco.


Promoting Exploration for 95 Years 'The Explorers Club encourages the scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space by sponsoring, assisting and revitalizing research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club offers a number of financial grants and awards and offers assistance to members in expedition planning. The Explorers Club actively encourages public interest in exploration and the sciences through its public lectures program, publications, travel program, and other events. The Club also maintains a library and map room to assist those interested and engaged in exploration and scientific research. 

The Explorers Club membership is renowned for a series of “famous first” accomplishments including:

  • First to the North Pole (1909) Robert Peary

  • First to the South Pole (1911) Roald Amundsen

  • First solo flight across the Atlantic (1927) Charles Lindbergh

  • First to summit Mt Everest (1953) Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay

  • First to the deepest point in the ocean (1960) Don Walsh and Jacques Picard

  • First to the moon’s surface (1969) Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins.


There are 202 numbered EC flags which are allotted to be carried on expeditions meeting certain scientific criteria. Examples include The Apollo missions, Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki and James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger. Records and notes from Flag Expeditions are collated and archived by the Club.


Anthropologists to Zoologists 

The Explorers Club is characterized by the great diversity of its members' backgrounds 

and interests. 'The seven founding members included two polar explorers, the curator of 

birds and mammals at The American Museum of Natural History, an archaeologist, a war 

correspondent and author, a professor of physics and an ethnologist, 

    Today the membership scientists and explorers from over 60 countries 

whose disciplines include: aeronautics, anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, biology, 

ecology, entomology, mountaineering, marine biology, oceanography, paleontology, 

physics, planetology, polar exploration, and zoology. 


Our San Diego Chapter

Chapter members are a mix of people who have contributed to the various fields of exploration including Oceanography, Geology, and Anthropology and reside in the San Diego and Imperial Valley Area. This geographical connection provides an opportunity to meet and socialize with others of similar scientific interest. Our chapter as of 2019 has 80 active Fellows, Members, Student members and Friends.  


We are also happy to have many local supporters who are welcome at our dinner meetings and socials.  Questions can be directed to

Prospective candidates for membership should refer to Join the Club page for details on how to apply.  Sponsors are usually very helpful in preparing applications and assisting with the process.

bottom of page