Earthwatch today launched a major new awards scheme which will see eight students scoop the opportunity to tackle a life-changing experience at a range of destinations around the globe.
The Oxford-based charity is once again staging the Student Awards which give young people the chance to join scientists on conservation projects in some of the world's most exciting habitats.
Winners of the award will be able to choose which expedition they get involved in and can select projects ranging from monitoring crocodiles in the swamps of the Okavango Delta, tracking elephants in Sri Lanka's national parks, or researching the impacts if climate change in Iceland or Alaska.
The lucky first prize winner will receive £1,000 to put towards an Earthwatch research expedition of their choice, with prizes of £750 and £500 available to the runners up.
"Earthwatch projects offer a life-changing fortnight that fit nicely into the academic year." says Earthwatch Chief Scientists Dr Roger Mitchell. "We hope the students will learn a host of new skills that will help them with their studies and their chosen career path."
Last year's winner, Simon Laing, 21, says: "Winning the award allowed me to fund my place on the Earthwatch Orca project in Washington. It was an amazing experience, I leant to observe orca behaviour, photograph each orca's fin and saddle and record its vocalisations with hydrophones. I felt I was doing something really positive towards saving the species from extinction and it helped me with my studies at university. It was so good; I signed up for Spanish Dolphins after I graduated."
|Another award winner, 19-year-old Gemma Dale who joined the Lions of Tsavo research expedition, says: "The trip was the best experience of my life to date. I learnt more than I could have imagined and I got real hands-on experience of tracking lions and recording their behaviour. I also had a new lion cub named after me. Earthwatch projects are fantastic and I'd recommend them to anyone."
The awards are open to all full time students with a passion for the environment and conservation. Grants are awarded according to each applicant's ability to demonstrate their enthusiasm for the subject by filling in an application form, detailing what they hope to learn from the project and ideas for how to share their experiences with others.
There are 140 Earthwatch research expeditions on offer from Costa Rica's Howlers and Capuchins to Icelandic and Alaskan Glaciers. Included in the price of each expedition is all food, accommodation and training but flights are excluded.
The deadline for applications is March 31, 2006. For an application form call Earthwatch on +44 (0) 1865 318831 or email email@example.com. To find out more about Earthwatch and the scientific field research projects that we offer, go to our expedition search.