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Earthwatch is a non-profit institution that provides paying volunteers to help scientists around the world conduct field research on environmental and cultural projects. It is one of the world's largest private sponsors of field research expeditions. Its mission is "to improve human understanding of the planet, the diversity of its inhabitants, and the processes which affect the quality of life on earth" by working "to sustain the world's environment , monitor global change, conserve endangered habitats and species , explore the vast heritage of our peoples, and foster world health and international cooperation."

The group carries out its work by recruiting volunteers to serve in an environmental EarthCorps and to work with research scientists on important environmental issues. The volunteers, who pay from $800 to over $2,500 to join twoor three-week expeditions to the far corners of the globe, gain valuable experience and knowledge on situations that affect the earth and human welfare.

By 2002, Earthwatch has sponsored over 1,180 projects in 50 countries around the world. By the end of the year it expects to have mobilized 4,300 volunteers, ranging in ages from 16 to 85, on 780 research teams. They will address such topics as tropical rain forest ecology and conservation ; marine studies (ocean ecology); geosciences (climatology, geology, oceanography, glaciology, volcanology, paleontology); life sciences (wildlife management , biology, botany, ichthyology, herpetology, mammalogy, ornithology, primatology, zoology); social sciences (agriculture, economic anthropology, development studies, nutrition, public health); and art and archaeology (architecture, archaeoastronomy, ethnomusicology, folklore).

Since it was founded in 1971, Earthwatch has organized over 60,000 EarthCorps volunteers, who have contributed over $22 million and more than four million hours on some 1,500 projects in 150 countries and 36 states. No special skills are needed to be part of an expedition, and anyone 16 years or older can apply. Scholarships for students and teachers are also available. Earthwatch's affiliate, The Center for Field Research, receives several hundred grant applications and proposals every year from scientists and scholars who need volunteers to assist them on study expeditions.

Earthwatch publishes Earthwatch magazine six times a year, describing its research work in progress and the findings of previous expeditions. The group has offices in Los Angeles, Oxford, Melbourne, Moscow, and Tokyo and is represented in all 50 American states as well as in Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland by volunteer field representatives.

[Lewis G. Regenstein ]



Earthwatch, 3 Clock Tower Place, Suite 100 Box 75, Maynard, MA USA 01754 (978) 461-0081, Fax: (978) 461-2332, Toll Free: (800) 776-0188, Email: [email protected], <>