Jonathan M. Karpoff, a Professor of Finance at the University of Washington, analyzed 35 government and 57 privately funded Arctic expeditions from 1818 to 1909.  He found that most major Arctic discoveries were made by private expeditions and that private expeditions generally accomplished more with less funding and experienced less hardships.

He concluded that publicly-financed expeditions fared less well because they were poorly organized and executed relative to private expeditions.  His paper, “Public versus Private Initiative in Arctic Exploration: The Effects of Incentives and Organizational Structure,” appears in the Journal of Political Economy (Volume 109, Number 1, February 2001, pages 38 – 78).

Wilderness Research Foundation has set a bold course with a new vision based on a model that has been proven to be historically successful.

The scientists participating in our projects may make a discovery that could change the course of our understanding of the mechanisms of climate change.  We don’t know what they will find.  We don’t know how far their studies will advance the frontiers of scientific understanding.

Perhaps one can only say that out on a cold and desolate mesa on our itinerary, where the wind howls under the midnight sun, something of tremendous significance for science and humanity may be awaiting discovery.