Earthwatch is aware of the need to better understand and quantify the numerous research and conservation outcomes that result from the support we provide. In 2009, in response to this need, six High Level Goals (HLGs) were developed, five of which are supported by Measures of Success (MoS) against which we can assess our achievements towards long term legacy (Table 1).
Table 1. Earthwatch Measures of Success, as they fit under each High Level Goal.
|HLG 1 Increasing scientific knowledge
||People and person hours dedicated to collecting scientific data
||Peer reviewed publications
||Popular publications and outreach events
|HLG 2 Developing environmental leaders
||Education: individuals engaged and developing increased capacity
|HLG 3 Enabling organizations to become more sustainable
||Partnerships: organizations actively engaged
|HLG 4 Informing environmental policies, agendas and mangement plans
||Contributions to conventions, agendas, policies and management plans
||Pro-environment actions taken
|HLG 5 Enhancing natural and socio-cultural capital
||Taxa of conservation significance enhanced
||Natural habitats enhanced
||Ecosystem services enhanced
||Cultural heritage enhanced
||Livelihood assets enhanced
Achievements against each MoS demonstrate success towards that particular HLG. The substantial scope of these reflects the Earthwatch mission: to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.
Earthwatch gathers information about the achievements of research projects we support though annual Field Reports and other communications with our scientists. The MoS cover a diverse array of outcomes and it is not expected that all projects will contribute highly to each MoS. The time necessary to demonstrate achievement is not equivalent for each MoS: partnerships with local organizations may start forming on day one, publishing a peer reviewed journal article may require a couple of years of data collection, and conserving a species takes many years.
The overall purpose of the MoS is to quantify and demonstrate the cumulative impact of the Earthwatch research programme and to help us to identify strengths and opportunities for us to build on.
Results so far
The case examples below, of projects that reflect our Measures of Success, illustrate how Earthwatch is meeting our goals.
The Meerkats of the Kalahari team have published numerous
articles in high impact journals, such as Nature, Animal Behavior
and Proceedings of the Royal Society, London. They publish 2-8
peer-reviewed articles a year in a wide variety of journals.
The bibliography at the end of this report lists all peer-reviewed
papers, as well as books and key reports that have come out of all
Earthwatch supported research from 2009 to date.
Popular publications and outreach events
The team for Whales and Dolphins of the Hebrides have
communicated their results through a plethora of media. These
include seven presentations to the scientific community, 15
newspaper and six magazine articles, a radio and a television
appearance, a blog, and a series of community events. They also
represented the project at Open Boat events, beach workshops,
marine mammal training courses, cetacean watching events,
community shows, and the Scottish Highland Games.
Natural habitats enhanced
The Coastal Ecology in the Bahamas team have focused on
six different habitats and accomplished a variety of restoration
activities. On Long Island they have mitigated the effects of tropical
storms and historical damage, and in Baker's Bay transplanted
coral colonies to reef modules to restore a coral reef. At Guana Cay
on Abaco Island they conserved 93 acres of coastal sand beach by
invasive species removal and dune restoration.
Contributions to conventions, agendas, policies
and management plans
The Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe team have used data from
the project to produce a management plan, which was published,
accepted, and implemented in 2007. Park Managers are now
looking to expand the Park based on new research and the
federal government is considering upgrading the Ikh Nart from a
Nature Reserve to a National Park. IUCN have labelled Ikh Nart a
Taxa of conservation significance enhanced
Three species of mangrove are being studied on the research
project, Tidal Forests of Kenya, and the population size of all three
is being increased. The scientists are reintroducing mangrove trees
into the coastal environment and studying the effects of this on the
habitat and ecosystem. They are also finding that the presence of
certain species of mangrove positively impacts the growth of other
species of mangrove.