This past summer, the Earthwatch community in the Boston area and around the world came to support the work of scientists and volunteers grappling with one of the most important environmental challenges of our time through the 2010 Beat the Heat Climate Change Campaign.
Beat the Heat hosts Jonathan Soroff (left) and Frances Rivera (centre) are joined by Earthwatch President and CEO Ed Wilson.
The Campaign had an official kick-off in June at The Vault restaurant, near our world headquarters in Boston, MA, US, with vital support from Presenting Sponsor State Street and Sponsors First Wind, Wainwright Bank, and HR Concepts. Earthwatch volunteers and supporters, the Steering Committee, and Earthwatch staff and Board Members joined to celebrate and support Earthwatch's climate change research programs.
From June through October 2010, hundreds of volunteers, including student, teacher, and corporate fellows, then participated on twenty climate change expeditions in ten countries. From students studying sea level rise on Virginia's Eastern Shore to families exploring whales' altered feeding patterns off the coast of British Columbia, from the permafrost of the Arctic Circle to the mangroves of South Africa, Earthwatchers were on the front lines of the climate change crisis.
Supporters followed @tweettheheat on Twitter for regular updates and links to climate-related stories and resources, and joined the Beat the Heat Cause on Facebook.
On September 16, 150 people attended the Beat the Heat Climate Change Gala on the famous Roof Deck of the Taj Hotel in downtown Boston and enjoyed a spectacular view of the city while learning more about Earthwatch's climate change efforts. Returning Hosts and Honorary Chairs Frances Rivera (WHDH-TV) and Jonathan Soroff (The Improper Bostonian) were joined by Professor Bill Moomaw, Director of the Center for International Environment and Resources Policy at Tufts University's Fletcher School. Through sponsorships, direct donations, and bids on amazing auction items, those present raised more than $51,000 for Earthwatch's climate change research programs that night. Just as importantly, attendees got a chance to learn about the broader issue of climate change and ways to address it both globally and locally.
The crowd at the Taj Roof Deck enjoys Beat the Heat
Representatives from ClimateCounts.org were on hand at the Gala, and Campaign Sponsor First Wind once again joined with the Charles River Conservancy to take local action. On October 17, First Wind staff volunteered with the CRC to improve the bike paths along the Charles River, making a popular alternative commuting route safer and more attractive. First Wind volunteers also helped remove invasive species along the river that have been taking advantage of changing climate conditions.
Since 2007, Beat the Heat has introduced more than 750 Boston-area professionals to the importance of climate research, engaged more than 150 people in hands-on local projects against climate change, and raised more than $150,000 in financial support for Earthwatch's worldwide climate change research projects.
We're grateful for the support of Presenting Sponsor State Street and all those who got involved this year, and look forward to working with you again to Beat the Heat in 2011.
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