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Earthwatch Field Research

We support scientists doing impactful work



Earthwatch supports multidisciplinary field-research projects around the world through funding and by engaging members of the public in research as citizen-scientist participants. Through our participatory science model, we support research that responds to global challenges—from climate change to human-wildlife coexistence to environmental sustainability—in a manner that engages local communities.

To help understand and address global change, Earthwatch supports hypothesis-driven scientific field research in ocean, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems. We are especially interested in funding research on sustainable agriculture and forestry, urban ecology, and ecological restoration.

Data collected by principal investigators (PIs) working with citizen-scientist participants increases scientific knowledge by producing peer-reviewed publications and informing management plans and policies that conserve and restore ecosystem services and biodiversity.



FOCAL RESEARCH AREAS


Marine Conservation Action

This program supports research that takes direct action to conserve biodiversity in marine ecosystems, focusing on keystone species. We define marine ecology as relationships among aquatic organisms and their interactions with the abiotic environment. We define keystone species as primarily apex predators that in small number have correspondingly enormous positive impacts on whole food webs. We define marine ecosystems as oceans, seas, and coastal areas, including estuaries. Marine ecology includes climate-change impacts on ocean acidification, marine carbon sequestration, sea-level rise, and effects of human use of natural resources on marine food webs.

Biodiversity Conservation Action

This research initiative supports projects in seven primary ecosystems: tundra, taiga, temperate deciduous forest, tropical rain forest, grassland, marine, and desert, with a research focus in doing science that takes direct, measurable action to conserve ecosystems and protect the life they contain from extinction.









EcoHealth Action

This research initiative supports research that restores degraded ecosystems and improves human health and wellbeing. EcoHealth is a field of research created to address this global challenge that focuses on how changes in ecosystems affect human health. This interdisciplinary field examines how changes in ecological, physical, social, and economic environments impact human health and wellbeing.






Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry Action

This research initiative supports research on agricultural and forestry practices that take action to improve ecosystem services in a changing world, increase carbon sequestration, and create ecosystems more resilient to climate change through an adaptive management approach rooted in best science.







Ecological Restoration Action

This research initiative supports research that takes action to create resilient ecosystems in a changing world by assisting the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. This includes projects that entail active human intervention and action, and within an adaptive management context. In Indigenous communities, it must incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), defined as knowledge and practices passed orally from generation to generation informed by strong cultural memories, sensitivity to change, and values that include reciprocity.

Urban Resiliency Action

This research initiative supports research that takes action to create more resilient urban ecosystems in a changing world. We seek projects that focus on the relationships among organisms, humans, and their surroundings in an urban environment, and that take action to address climate change, anthropogenic impacts on land-use and land-cover change in urban systems. This initiative will support development of tools to monitor interactions between humans and urban ecosystems, including innovative data collection (e.g., apps), and integration of local K-12 STEM education, citizen science, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge Action

This research initiative supports research by Indigenous scientists on projects that will take measurable action to address global change in agricultural and forest ecosystems by incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), defined as knowledge and practices passed orally from generation to generation informed by strong cultural memories, sensitivity to change, and values that include reciprocity. De-colonizing science by incorporating TEK into science-based action to restore lands and the flora and fauna they contain is essential to heal the damage done ecologically and socially by colonialism.




Earthwatch Accepts Proposals Annually

Requests for proposals for projects to begin in 2020
will be published in April 2018.

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