Nature for All

Our Approach

Cities face many challenges in creating a healthy environment for all, with growing demands and threats from climate change. Building a resilient and livable city that successfully addresses threats such as flooding, extreme heat, drought, and air pollution is critical to our overall wellbeing. Investing in green infrastructure strategies (also referred to as “nature-based solutions”) such as parks, trees, green roofs, and rain gardens, among other initiatives, can help cities prepare for and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Through a combination of capital projects and changes to building ordinances, city officials are looking into opportunities to increase urban forest cover, green roofs, green alleyways, green streets and sidewalks, and parks. However, there are major uncertainties in just how well these nature-based solutions work. In addition, green infrastructure requires regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure these efforts continue to deliver the goods and services needed to create a healthy and resilient city.

Earthwatch has developed a number of projects to support the development of green infrastructure that engage a wide range of key stakeholders including local community members—particularly in areas that have been historically underrepresented in STEM—as well as scientists, corporate employees, and young people to provide the data needed to inform policy solutions while creating an engaged public that actively contributes to building urban resiliency.

Our work in cities is in efforts to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (11) Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.



Our Programs

City Nature Challenge 

The City Nature Challenge is an annual, global, community science competition to document urban biodiversity. Earthwatch is helping to spearhead the Boston Area campaign. Last year, our collective efforts helped mobilize over 250 participants to record nearly 4,000 observations and 750 species for the Boston area.

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Exploring Boston’s Urban Forest 

Earthwatch is collaborating with the arborist of the City of Cambridge, Chelsea Department of Public Works, the City of Somerville, and the City of Boston, to collect data to study and protect the thousands of trees that make up these city's critically important urban forests.

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Student Fellowships 

Girls in Science

This fellowship empowers female-identifying teens to expand their interest in science and technology and to build confidence through hands-on environmental research alongside female experts in the field.

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Now in its 30th year, this fellowship aims to spark curiosity and a passion for science among Los Angeles-area high school students through a two-week scientific expedition over summer break.. 

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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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Forest Illustration


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.