Support Scientific Research

Earthwatch is about more than seeing—it’s about doing. It’s about taking action at a time when the natural world urgently needs our support. When you join an Earthwatch expedition, you are helping to advance critical environmental research in several ways.


First your physical presence

Your physical presence as you work side-by-side with leading scientists to perform research tasks, and your gifts of time, energy, and labor, make it possible to collect far more data than the scientists could do on their own or with hired staff. The more data that is collected, the faster scientists can gain a strong enough understanding of the issues at hand to make sound policy recommendations and propose management plans that conserve ecosystems and restore biodiversity.

Second, your volunteer contribution 

Your required volunteer contribution covers a portion of the annual research grant that is sent to the scientists to pay for permits, equipment, vehicles, accommodations, laboratory or office space, field staff, and anything else that is needed to make their scientific study possible.

Finally, you will step outside your comfort zone

You will step outside your comfort zone, meet a community of like-minded travelers, and return home with stories filled with adventure and a deep sense of accomplishment that most volunteers carry with them for a lifetime. Your time in the field will challenge you to think about your daily life through a sustainability lens and will likely motivate you to make changes. Your newfound commitment—or recommitment—to taking action on behalf of the planet will serve as inspiration to those around you to take steps of their own, possibly even join an expedition themselves! And so your support of the research, and of Earthwatch, continues on long after your time in the field comes to an end


Find Your Expedition


Two people securing a camera trap on a tree trunk
Three people reviewing recorded data
Two people digging a hole in the sand for research purposes.


Make a Gift to the Research Fund

Although Earthwatch welcomes volunteers of all ages, capabilities, and backgrounds, we understand that not everyone can join an expedition. No worries. You can still play a powerful role in driving forward the conservation efforts you care about most by making a contribution to Earthwatch’s Research Fund.

Conservation research is complicated, and the costs exceed what we can reasonably ask volunteer participants to donate on top of their time and labor. Instead, Earthwatch looks to generous, eco-minded donors like you to help keep more than 40 year-round studies going around the world, year after year. Your gift to the Research Fund will be used to underwrite the many expenses that go into every expedition, from permits to equipment to field staff costs.


Make a Gift to the Research Fund



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.