What is Earthwatch

Earthwatch is an international nonprofit organization that connects citizens with scientists to improve the health and sustainability of the planet. For the last 45 years, Earthwatch has empowered nearly 100,000 volunteers 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.

What is included in the cost of the expedition?

Your contribution covers important research costs, such as equipment, permits and supplies; food, accommodations, and local transport; safety and welfare management; travel medical and emergency evacuation insurance; and preparatory materials. Our scientists rely on your contributions in order to produce top-quality research while hosting teams of citizen scientists. Your contribution and most travel costs are tax-deductible in the U.S

Who can join an expedition?

Anyone can join an expedition—no experience necessary!  All training will be provided upon your arrival.  We offer both adult expeditions and teen expeditions for 15- to 17-year-olds. Teens are also welcome on most of our adult expeditions if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Volunteers join us from all over the world

How do I sign up for an expedition?

We highly recommend that you visit our website, find an expedition you are interested in and read the expedition details and briefing (you’ll find a link to the briefing at the top of the expedition page). When you are ready to book, you can either book online or give us a call at 1-800-776-0188.

How far in advance do I need to book an expedition?

Each expedition has a different degree of demand.  Some expeditions fill up a year or more in advance, so we suggest that you sign up as soon as you see an expedition you are interested in.  Once you sign up, you will have until 90 days before the start of your expedition to complete payments and submit your participation and travel forms

Do I need to have any prior scientific knowledge to participate?

No! You will learn all that you need to know when you get out to the field.

How is Earthwatch committed to my safety? 

At Earthwatch, we are committed to caring for the safety and welfare of all individuals involved in our activities anywhere in the world. Although risk is an inherent part of the environments in which we work, we believe that through careful risk management and diligent planning all participants can have a rewarding, educational and inspirational Earthwatch experience. 

Are promotions or payment plans available?

We do offer promotions throughout the year, so be sure to join our newsletter to stay informed.  You can also access promotions as a reward for being part of the Ambassador program.  Join today to earn rewards for spreading the word about Earthwatch. We also make it easy for volunteers to pay all at once or in as many pieces as they would like: just pay a $300 deposit to reserve your space, then continue paying off your balance as often as you’d like up to 90 days before fielding.

Finally, many of our volunteers take advantage of our Expedition Fund. Starting an Expedition Fund is an excellent way to help fundraise for an expedition’s contribution cost.  You can ask your friends, family, colleagues, and anyone else in your network to help support you going on an expedition.  It is a great alternative to holiday and birthday gifts! Plus all contributions are tax-deductible!

How long are the expeditions?

Our expeditions vary by duration, with most running between 1 and 2 weeks. We also occasionally offer short-duration expedition of less than 1 week, so keep an eye out if you’re looking for a weekend getaway!

What are some other ways to get involved with Earthwatch?

Even if you can’t join us on an expedition right now, there are many ways to get involved with Earthwatch. You can join our Ambassador Program and help to spread the word about Earthwatch while receiving special discounts and rewards. Start an Expedition Fund with as little as $25 and begin saving for Earthwatch expedition today. Or donate to help sustain critical field research that protects endangered species, responds to the effects of climate change, and safeguards our sea and landscapes.


Be more than a tourist

Experience hands-on science in some of the most astounding locations in the world.
Meet a community of like-minded travelers and return home with stories filled with adventure.

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