He was involved with the United States Antarctic Service Expedition of 1939–41, which would have been the third Byrd expedition.
He served during Operation Highjump, (also known as the United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program 1946–47) and was the inaugural scientific leader at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station 1956–1957, during the International Geophysical Year. This activity is covered in his fourth book. Siple and Charles F. Passel developed the wind-chill factor. From 1963–66 he served as the first U.S. science attaché to Australia and New Zealand.
Siple was born in Montpelier, Ohio.
He became a brother of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity while attending Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pennsylvania.