In the lead-up to the 100th anniversary of the Institute of Geography RAS, we summarized the salient features and chronology of its field investigations into the country’s nature and resources during the 20th–21st centuries. It is shown that the institute’s history has embodied all stages of evolution of national geography: the traditions of the late 19th century with their departure from the perception of geography as a «descriptive» science and the development of genetic (V. V. Dokuchaev’s) and chorological (A. Hettner’s) approaches, the development of the sectoral specialization of science, the introduction of modern methods: remote sensing, navigation and geoinformation technologies, and the formation of the geography of the 21st century as a philosophical phenomenon and a synthetic discipline with profound prospects for a better understanding a rapidly changing world. This was all facilitated by the institute’s continual expedition activity that began in the first years of its functioning and has continued to date. For the first time in the historiography of the national academic geography, we determined the vectors of field investigations at the time of change of the paradigm of its interaction with practice and the relatively poorly studied territory of the country. A brief history of the permanent stations operated by the institute is given as well as identifying the periods of its functioning according to the character of expedition work: the 1920s, 1930s, the period of the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945, 1946–1965, 1966–1990, and from 1991 till the present.Keywords: history, expeditions, Arctic, Ural, Siberia, Far East.