Earthwatch supports long-term scientific field research that tackles the world’s most pressing environmental problems.
Every year Earthwatch awards grants of over £3.8 million (US $6 million) in support of as many as 70 research projects around the world. These grants are partly funded by volunteers from the general public and our partner organizations who sign up for expeditions to join our scientists as research assistants. This model provides essential funding for long-term research and a workforce of committed volunteers. Our longest project has been running for 35 years and as of 2009, has hosted 596 volunteers.
A Strategic Approach to Research
Earthwatch supports research projects that address the world's most pressing environmental and cultural issues, and focuses its support on applied research where our citizen science model can most effectively make a significant difference in these central global ecological and cultural challenges:
- Ensuring the sustainability of coastal, forested, agricultural and freshwater ecosystems through optimization of multiple ecosystem services.
- Managing protected areas and species at the landscape and seascape levels to enhance biodiversity and provide local and regional ecosystem services.
- Restoring, revitalizing, and conserving our global cultural heritage through a better understanding of socio-cultural links to natural resource use, environmental management and bio-cultural diversity.
- Addressing the challenge of climate change and its threat to global sustainability.
Earthwatch supports research projects in four key areas: Ecosystem Services, Climate Change, Oceans, and Cultural Heritage. These priorities will shape our activities over the next 10 years and address critical global ecological and cultural issues that span a range of threats to environmental sustainability.