The project home base is a field education and research station called the Olympic Natural Resources Center operated by the University of Washington. It is located in the town of Forks, WA on Washington’s scenic Olympic Peninsula. The facility, surrounded by an abundant and lush temperate forest, offers modern meeting and lodging facilities in a rustic, peaceful setting.
* Please note that not every expedition has couples’ or single's accommodations available. Please call or email Earthwatch to check for availability prior to reserving your space(s) on the team.
All bedding is provided and beds are either full or bunk beds. Towels are also provided. Each room for 2 to 4 people includes desk, chair, and dresser. Bathrooms with flush toilets and showers are conveniently located next to the dorms. Single gender rooms are assigned with 2 to 4 volunteers per room. Depending on the available space at the research station, single or couple room requests can be accommodated at an additional cost. Please make note on your participation form if you would like to have single room accommodations and every effort will be made to accommodate this but it is not guaranteed.
* Earthwatch will honor each person’s assertion of gender identity, respectfully and without judgement. For both teen and adult teams, where logistics dictate single-sex accommodations or other facilities, participant placements will be made in accordance with the gender identity the participant specified on their Earthwatch Participant form and/or preferences indicated in discussions with Earthwatch.
There are 2 shared bathrooms, male and female, for the 4 shared bedrooms. Each bathroom is equipped with 3 toilets, sinks, and 3 shower cabins. Showers and hot water are available. These bathrooms are shared with 9 other dormitory rooms in the research station, which may be occupied by university students, field technicians, and scientists. The bathrooms are located in a separate building to the dorm rooms which are linked by covered pathways but you will have to go outside to use them. However in the field we will not have access to a bathroom for several hours. Participants must be comfortable using the woods as their bathroom.
You are welcome to bring electrical equipment. There is electricity 24/7. All lodging facilities have standard US electrical outlets.
Wireless Internet access is available in common rooms. You may bring your own laptop or tablet for free-time use. Most of the field sites have no cell phone coverage.
PIs and staff can be reached via telephone, cell phone, and email for both emergencies and casual communication.
Please note that personal communication with outsiders is not always possible while participating in an expedition. Earthwatch encourages volunteers to minimize outgoing calls and immerse themselves in the experience; likewise, family and friends should restrict calls to urgent messages only.
FACILITIES AND AMENITIES
There is a communal kitchen with adjacent large lunch room, laundry room with coin operated washers and dryers (detergent will be provided), labs, classroom and meeting space, and dormitory-style living accommodations to support researchers and students. These may also be in use by other groups when your Earthwatch team is present.
The nearby town of Forks, Washington has some stores and restaurants which we may visit on occasion but if there is something that you like to have every day, we recommend that you bring it with you. The grocery and convenience store is within 15-20 minutes walking distance from the field station. The closest restaurant is within 15 minutes walking distance from the field station.
Smoking is not allowed inside any ONRC building including apartments and dormitories. Pets are not allowed inside any building.
DISTANCE TO THE FIELD SITE
The field sites are located within 1 hour driving from the field station. Most of the driving is on unpaved forest roads. The typical daily hike from the vehicles to the monitoring forest plots will be about 20 minutes but can range from 5 minutes to 1 hour. The hikes are off trails, may include very steep and brushy terrain with slippery logs and stream crossings. The field equipment carried by the participants will be of low weight: log calipers, diameter tapes, measuring tapes, and sound recording units.
FOOD AND WATER
The participants will prepare their own breakfasts or can take turns preparing breakfast for the team when possible. The participants will also prepare their own bag lunches to take to the field. Cooked dinners will be ordered from the one of the town cafes or restaurants. The field station will hire temporary staff for 2-3 hours per day to deliver dinner to the field station, set up and clean after dinner and to buy products for breakfast and bag lunches. Tap water is readily available at the field station.
The following are examples of foods you may find in the field. Variety depends on availability. We appreciate your flexibility.
- Breakfast: Eggs, toast, cereal, pancakes, fresh fruit, coffee, juice
- Lunch: Sandwich bagged lunch with peanut butter & jelly, or lunch meat and cheese options plus snacks
- Dinner: Pasta, pizza, chicken, salad
- Dessert: Cakes, and other pastries, fruit, cookies
- Beverages: Juice, water, coffee, tea, sodas
SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please alert Earthwatch to any special dietary requirements (e.g., diabetes, lactose intolerance, nut or other food allergies, vegetarian or vegan diets) as soon as possible, and note them in the space provided on your volunteer forms.
Vegetarians can be accommodated on this project, but vegans might be more difficult. If they are prepared to be flexible, meat and dairy can just be avoided, and beans can be good protein substitutes, but processed vegetarian meat substitutes are not readily available. People with specific diets can be taken to the local grocery store to prepare their own meals if necessary. Lactose intolerance, gluten-free and nut free diets should be easily accommodated.