Our Mission & Values



Earthwatch connects people with scientists worldwide to conduct environmental research and empowers them with the knowledge they need to conserve the planet.



Citizen Science, Community Engagement

Since its founding in 1971, Earthwatch has been taking action to address global change through a time-tested model of citizen science and community engagement. By pairing volunteers from all sectors of society with researchers around the world, Earthwatch teams have helped to safeguard critical habitats, conserve biodiversity, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.

The citizen science community is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of inclusive language and its impact on audiences and communities. By moving away from terms like "citizen" in favor of alternatives such as "collaborative science" or "participatory science," we aim to address the adverse connotations associated with citizenship, which can exclude people who are not legal citizens. This shift in language recognizes the importance of diverse perspectives and broad public participation, regardless of citizenship status. Please see the Citizen Science Association's resource "Coming to Terms" for more information.

When referring to our own work, Earthwatch prefers the terms "collaborative science" and "participatory science." As we transition to a more inclusive language, you may still encounter communications in which we refer to earlier work, the practitioner community, or the work of our peers as "citizen science."



Earthwatch does more than back vital research; it inspires us to understand our global responsibilities as citizens of the world.

Dr. E.O. Wilson — Harvard University


Our Focus Areas

Engage with People and Communities
Engage with People and Communities

Earthwatch is a global organization with offices in the U.S., U.K., Australia, India, and Japan. We bring together students, teachers, corporate employees, community members, and the public, in nearly 30 countries around the world.

support scientific research
Support Scientific Research

We currently support more than 40 research projects globally that produce rigorous, relevant, and impactful science, address global change, and actively involve community participants. 

Earthwatch promotes education
Promote Education

We’re committed to helping educators and students discover and protect our environment through transformational learning experiences that promote environmentally sustainable action. 

Partnerships for a Sustainable Planet
Partnerships for a Sustainable Planet

We work with a wide variety of partners, including corporations, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions to implement sustainable policies, processes, and practices that promote environmental responsibility both in and out of the office.



Our Values 

At Earthwatch, we believe in the value of creating meaningful connections as a solution to the environmental and social challenges we face. Every person has something to contribute towards a better future. When people feel a sense of belonging, they are equipped with the power to create change towards a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world.

Earthwatch supports scientists who produce meaningful research that informs the innovative solutions needed to solve the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. But these scientists can’t do it alone. By connecting them to students, teachers, corporate employees, community leaders, and members of the public, among many other groups, we are opening channels to communicate science far beyond academic circles. Our model provides people with the opportunity to experience scientific research first-hand and empowers them to contribute to solving problems both locally and globally.

We acknowledge that science has a history of being exclusive. Building a diverse and equitable environment takes constant work and attention. At Earthwatch, we still have a lot of work to do and are committed to tearing down the barriers that prevent all voices from being heard and present in the field of science. By creating opportunities for research to be accessible to people regardless of their scientific, educational, or social background, we believe we will have a greater impact on creating a more sustainable planet.



Fast Facts

1,430 Projects
1,200 policies informed
131 Countries
8,000 student and teacher fellows
10,000 Species Studied
100,000 hours of scientific research per year



Earthwatch depends on donations—above and beyond what we raise from volunteers who participate on our expeditions—in order to deliver our global conservation mission. In fact, volunteer contributions provide only half of the total resources Earthwatch needs to sustain over 40 field research expeditions, a wide variety of educational programs, corporate sustainability trainings, and more each year.




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.

Browse Expeditions

Ocean Illustration