New Earthwatch Expeditions in 2013
Earthwatch is delighted to announce ten New Expeditions for 2013. If you’ve ever wanted to travel the globe, now is the time. As an Earthwatch volunteer, you’ll help world-renowned scientists conduct important field research on hands-on projects that will change your life, and our planet, forever!
Volunteer with Earthwatch and plan your next adventure today! Download the 2013 Guide, search our expedition pages, or contact us for more details.
Between 500-725 A.D., the Basketmaker peoples lived in today's Mesa Verde, Colorado, laying the groundwork for future Pueblo society. The Basketmaker peoples are poorly understood; researchers are now beginning a dig which will provide insight into the transformation of Southwestern hunter-gatherer societies into agricultural economies. Earthwatch volunteers will assist in the excavation of a Basketmaker site and wash, sort, catalog and label artifacts to assist Crow Canyon's research in Southwestern archaeology.
India's Kullu Valley, nestled among the Himalayan Mountains, is famous for its apple orchards and farms. As climate change affects the region, however, flowering plants once plentiful in the region are becoming scarce due to biodiversity loss. Your observations of plants, bees, and butterflies may help protect the region's sustainable agriculture.
On his first visit to the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin discovered several species of finches that varied from island to island, which helped him to develop his theory of natural selection. Today, Darwin's finches are endangered, and your participation in critical research will help protect these iconic birds and their unique habitat.
Poaching, logging, and burning destroyed the fragile ecosystem of today's Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi. In 2003, rehabilitation began, and the area rebounded. As a volunteer, you'll help answer critical questions about the process and outcomes of animal reintroduction and land restoration and management. Your work will include animal tracking and counting, the assessment of predator-prey relationships, diet preference and other physiological studies, plant identification and vegetation monitoring and mapping, camera trapping, and even game capture.
Malawi, Southeast Africa
The lush Budongo Forest in Uganda is home to a large population of chimpanzees and other primates who rely on fruiting trees for their survival. Now, the trees are bearing less fruit, and chimps are raiding nearby farms, where they are at risk of injury. Your assignment: help researchers determine what has impacted the trees, and how dwindling availability of fruit impacts the primate populations in the forest. You will help scientists answer these questions by tracking Budongo's chimps and other primates through the forests, collecting information about their foraging habits and diet, as well as monitor the fruiting pattern of trees, collect and identify pollinator insects, and investigating crop raiding behavior of wildlife in local villages.
Uganda, East Africa
The wet tropics of Northern Queensland represent the last remaining part of Australia’s primeval forest. There, a unique ecosystem is home to cassowaries, parrots, pythons, possums, tree kangaroos, and
primitive looking reptiles. You’ll work with world renowned ecologist Prof. Steve Williams, to help shape our understanding of how changes in our climate are altering the landscape and what this means for unique species in the area. Your work will include bird, lizard and frog surveys; nocturnal wildlife spotting, and insect collecting.
The Daintree River runs through ancient rainforests to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Exploring the river by boat and on foot, you’ll help assess the condition of the fringing mangrove habitats by conducting surveys, filming the shoreline, measuring habitats and conducting biomass assessments. You’ll also meet with local Kuku Yalanji people, to learn about their culture, history, and relationship with the land. Your findings will help develop a strategy for effective management of tidal wetlands faced with climate change and local human pressures.
Orpheus Island, a part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, lies off the coast of Townsville, Australia. Even in this pristine area, coral diseases threaten reef ecosystems. As a member of this Expedition, you’ll conduct underwater surveys, tagging and photographing diseased areas, which will then be monitored over time to assess the condition of the coral. In the aquarium, you will set up and conduct experiments to determine the impact that changes in light, temperature, pH, and nutrients have on diseased corals.
Golfo Dulce in Costa Rica is home to a large and vulnerable community of whales and dolphins. To protect these marine mammals, researchers must first collect information about the habitat, the animals, and human/animal interactions. You'll observe and record whale and dolphin behavior and environmental conditions aboard a motor boat, taking photos which will provide the basis for a photo ID catalog. You'll also hike along rivers to collect information about mangrove forests and palm oil plantations in the vicinity.
Costa Rica, Central America
In the arctic waters of Norway, migratory sperm, killer, and beaked whales are abound. As a result, whale watching has become increasingly popular off the Norwegian coast. Earthwatch researchers are eager to learn more about arctic whales and help protect marine mammals. Volunteers collect data from boats and the Andenes lighthouse observation station. You'll identify whale species and individual animals, count groups, and collaborate with the crew to collect data on wind, temperature and sea state. You'll also learn to interpret cetacean behavior and social calls, and assess human impacts on whales and dolphins.
We hope these exciting new expeditions have inspired you! Please visit our expedition pages to discover more volunteer opportunities!
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