Inspiration That Goes Beyond the Experience
Tim Rivett shares his story about his time on Wildlife of Australia’s Cloud Forest with Earthwatch and how it changed his life.
Wildlife of Australia’s Cloud Forest.
When 27-year-old Tim Rivett first heard about Earthwatch, he was just looking to get a break from work while also joining something that served more of a purpose than wandering around and taking photos. Combined with an ongoing interest in the environment and conservation, it seemed that an Earthwatch expedition was the ideal break from the everyday routine. Here is his story:
When I first looked through the expeditions on offer, I saw an incredible range and almost didn’t know where to begin. For the first expedition, I decided to try an area in Australia, and while I had traveled a fair bit, I had never been up north into the Daintree rainforest. So Wildlife of Australia’s Cloud Forest was perfect.
A few days into the expedition, I realized that not only was I pretty good at the work involved but I also readily understood the reasoning behind it all. One of the great things about Wildlife of Australia’s Cloud Forest is that it has such a variety of work, and I loved every part of it. Whether it was spotlighting at night, looking for lizards and other animals during the day, or listening to bird calls at dawn, it was all a new and exciting learning experience.
I couldn’t imagine life getting better than this and started to see myself being in the field, spending weeks immersed in the rainforest and learning about the animals. Every day you learn something new and I was constantly amazed at the bird calls Dr. Stephen Williams could recall from a single bird whistle.
As soon as I got back from the 15-day expedition, I set about checking all the environmental science degrees offered. Even though I’ve always been interested in the environment and in science, I had never seriously considered it as a career until joining the Earthwatch expedition. I am now in my third year at Deakin University studying environmental science and majoring in conservation science.
Tim Rivett at the Cheetah Conservation in Namibia.
Any doubts I had about changing careers were quickly rectified after my second expedition, Cheetah Conservation in Namibia the following year, which was truly amazing.
For anyone considering joining an expedition, I suggest being ready to work, learn, think, and try to absorb as much as you can from the experience.
If you were to put a two-week Earthwatch expedition and a two-week package side by side, the costs would probably be similar. And although you might get to see a lot of places, take a lot of photos, sleep in a lot of hotels, and drink far too much alcohol on a package holiday, on an Earthwatch expedition you’ll get a much deeper and more meaningful understanding of the place you are in, talk to some of the most fascinating and interesting people in the world, and come away feeling very satisfied that you’ve contributed directly to protecting and understanding the environment.