How Earthwatch citizen scientists can support environmental stewardship
Human activity is now the main cause of most environmental change. These changes have been so profound that scientists suggest we have entered a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene, as we can now observe the global presence of humans in the geologic record. Though you might feel like your lifestyle is insignificant compared to things like oil extraction or vehicle emissions, the choices we make in our day-to-day life—how we get around, what we eat, how we live—play a major role in slowing climate change.
In early November, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its fifth and most in-depth report on climate change. The results were grim, as climate change reports these days tend to be. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, sea levels have risen, and the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased. Our influence on the climate system is real and growing every day.
Paleontologist Dr. Larry Agenbroad is a rare gem who doesn’t just live life; he inspires passion in the lives of others. For more than 40 years, he has been the site director of the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota: the longest continuous Earthwatch project in existence. In 2014, Dr. Larry Agenbroad will retire from the Mammoth Site, but the memory of his expeditions will continue to ignite and inspire the lives of the Earthwatch volunteers he touched. The following is a mere snapshot of the reams of lives he has touched, and his scientific contributions.
We are excited to announce the first three of nine new expeditions that kick off in 2015. Join us to study and explore the coral reefs of the Cayman Islands, the desert of Joshua Tree National Park in California, or the oceans of South Africa. Get up close to sharks, tropical fish, and desert lizards, and help protect the fragile landscapes that all these species call home.
Reconstructing social networks from hundreds of years ago is much more challenging than finding the connections between people today, thanks to the Internet. In Colorado and New Mexico, Earthwatch volunteers are helping to trace the links between early residents of the American Southwest at a time long before paved roads or mail would have brought them together. A recent discovery has revealed that they’re also connecting the dots between two Earthwatch projects more than one hundred miles away from each other.