Earthwatch Institute and Durfee Foundation Empower Teens to Take Part in Science
Earthwatch Institute and Durfee Foundation Empower Teens to Take Part in Science

Earthwatch Institute and Durfee Foundation Empower Teens to Take Part in Science

A student fellowship program sends 60 Los Angeles County students on field research expeditions across the country this summer.


Media contacts:

Kristen Kusek, Earthwatch Institute,, 978-450-1229

Kevin Duong, Durfee Foundation,, 310-899-5120



LOS ANGELES/BOSTON, June 8, 2017—Sixty high school sophomores and juniors from Los Angeles County embark this week on field research expeditions where they will help scientists tackle critical conservation challenges around the United States. They join the ranks of more than 1,400 students who have been awarded Ignite fellowships since the inception of a partnership in 1990 between Earthwatch Institute and the LA-based Durfee Foundation.

This year’s students will spend two weeks working as research assistants for leading scientists studying intertidal communities in Maine, climate change and caterpillars in Arizona, Whooping Cranes and their habitats on the Gulf Coast of Texas, nesting behaviors of owls in Utah and Arizona, ancient ancestral Pueblo communities in Colorado, and salt marsh reconstruction in Rhode Island.

Each year, Earthwatch reviews hundreds of applications from students who are interested in immersing themselves in scientific field research, whittling down to 60 fellows. The Ignite program aims to stimulate students’ curiosity and interest in science by empowering them to tackle environmental challenges alongside leading scientists through a fully-funded, two-week scientific research expedition.

In addition to the cohort of 60 students, the Ignite program will also send ten high school science teachers from schools in LA County on an expedition to help scientists understand and predict the impact of climate change on huckleberries in Montana.  This program allows teachers to gain first-hand experience in the field and learn about best practices in science education directly from researchers – lessons they bring home with them and implement in the classroom.

The schools represented by this year’s student and teacher fellows include (in alphabetical order):

Alliance Leichtman-Levine Family Foundation Environmental Science High School, Animo Jackie Robinson Charter High School, Animo Watts College Preparatory Academy, Arcadia High School, Bell Senior High School, Benjamin Franklin Senior High School, Burbank High School, California Academy of Mathematics and Science, Central City Value High School, Charter Oak High School, College Bridge Academy- Compton, Culver City High School, Da Vinci Design High School, Downtown Magnets High School, Esteban Torres High School, Fairfax High School, Franklin High School, Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, Hawthorne Unified School District, Heart of Los Angeles, Humanitas Academy of Art and Technology, John Marshall High School, La Canada High School, Lakewood High School, Lennox Mathematics, Science & Technology Academy, Loyola High School, Maywood Academy High School, Nathaniel Narbonne High School, Nava College Preparatory Academy, New Open World Academy, North Hollywood High School, Opportunities For Learning Public Charter Schools, Palisades Charter High School, Palos Verdes High School, Quartz Hill High School, Reseda High School, Richard Gahr High School, Robert Fulton College Prep, Santa Monica High School, South Gate Senior High School, Synergy Quantum Academy, The Archer School for Girls, The Webb Schools of California, University High School, Valencia High School, Valley Academy Of Arts And Sciences, Van Nuys Senior High School, West Adams Preparatory High School, West Ranch High School, Westchester Enriched Science Magnet, Westridge School


Earthwatch Institute ( is an international nonprofit organization that connects citizens with scientists to improve the health and sustainability of the planet. Since its founding in 1971, Earthwatch has empowered nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to join leading scientists on field research expeditions that tackle critical environmental challenges around the globe – from climate change to ocean health, human-wildlife conflict, and more. Earthwatch works with all sectors of society, from corporations to teachers, students, community leaders, zoos and aquaria, and more.

The Durfee Foundation ( is a family foundation supporting individuals and organizations in Los Angeles County.  The Foundation is named in honor of the late Dorothy Durfee Avery who, with her husband, the late R. Stanton Avery, established it in 1960. Since that time, the Foundation has awarded more than $35 million in grants.

Previous Article Earthwatch Scientist Receives International Award
Next Article Earthwatch Program Sheds Light on Trees in Cambridge


Press Information

For press information, interviews and image requests, contact us today.