| Oct 5, 2022
An Expedition Update From Earthwatch
Thanks to the generosity of friends like you, Earthwatch continues to recover from the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty expeditions returned in 2022, and our dedicated scientists welcomed back 640 volunteers throughout the year. This is marked progress over last year, when just 260 volunteers participated on a handful of teams, but still far short of our pre-pandemic levels of 39 expeditions and over 2,100 volunteers. The road ahead to a full recovery is long, but with ongoing support from our global community of donors, volunteers, corporate partners, foundations, scientists, teachers, students, and concerned individuals, we are confident that Earthwatch will get there in the next few years.
Earthwatch takes great care to bring only beneficial, wanted impacts to the regions that host our conservation efforts. Out of great respect and concern for local indigenous communities, Dr. Cristina Eisenberg chose to postpone her research this year due to ongoing worries over potentially exposing high-risk Blackfoot First Nations members to the coronavirus as new groups of volunteers arrived every few weeks. We will work with Dr. Eisenberg to reevaluate the status of this project next spring. In the meantime, Earthwatch will continue to protect threatened North American wildlife and habitats as part of Earthwatch's seven other reopened research expeditions in the United States and Canada:
- Climate Change at the Arctic's Edge
- Climate Change in the Mackenzie Mountains
- The Mysteries of Native Bees in Utah
- Following Forest Owls in the Western U.S.
- Protecting Whooping Cranes and Coastal Habitats in Texas
- Climate Change: Sea to Trees in Acadia National Park
- Tracking Sharks and Rays in Florida
As the health of these precious ecosystems remains under threat from unsustainable resource management, development, pollution, and climate change, every year’s worth of data collected is vital to our complete understanding of the challenges at hand, and our ability to identify the most effective protection and remediation strategies. Although Earthwatch volunteers do contribute financially to the expeditions they participate on, the cost of scientific equipment, permits and licenses, group accommodations, and 24/7 support staff quickly exceeds what we can reasonably ask volunteers to contribute beyond their significant donations of time and labor. Earthwatch must raise over $500,000 annually in order to fully fund our year-round conservation efforts. This is why donors like YOU are so critical to Earthwatch’s success. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to protecting endangered wildlife and ecosystems around the world.
Your Friends at Earthwatch