10 August 2015
In the Eastern Pacific, leatherback sea turtles that have survived for 100 million years now hover on the brink of extinction. For more than 20 years, Earthwatch volunteers have been collecting data as part of the Costa Rican Sea Turtles expedition to protect this species – the largest of all living turtles on Earth. Last year, one of the very first leatherback turtles to be tagged returned to the nesting site in Costa Rica for the first time, to the surprise and delight of the research team. This special moment highlights the importance of the kind of long-term conservation research that Earthwatch supports.
The data collected as part of this Earthwatch study, which provides some of the only comprehensive information about this species in the region, have been used to shape global policies to protect the leatherback turtle.
15 May 2015
The audience in the Royal Geographical Society was transported to muddy mangrove forests in Kenya and vibrant coral reefs of the Seychelles as leading marine scientists spoke at the second Earthwatch Event of 2015.
13 May 2015
The Manta ray has long been a creature of myth and legend, historically feared for their size and power. They were worshipped by the Peruvian Moche people and sailors believed they could sink boats by pulling on the anchors. Despite being named the “Australian devilray”, “great devilfish” and the “sea devil”, the manta is a placid creature. Unlike other ray species, the manta doesn’t even have a stinger!
27 November 2014
The Great Barrier Reef, a world-heritage area, shared its beauty with over 400 citizen scientists for two days in October this year, as part of Reef Blitz. In one of Australia’s most bio diverse rich regions, the community gathered to identify and collect data on the unique plants and animals living in and around the Reef.
25 November 2014
In early November, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its fifth and most in-depth report on climate change. The results were grim, as climate change reports these days tend to be. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, sea levels have risen, and the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased. Our influence on the climate system is real and growing every day.
22 September 2014
Marine ecosystems worldwide are affected by ‘marine debris’, human-produced rubbish mostly made up of plastics. Marine debris includes consumer items such as glass or plastic bottles, cans, bags, balloons, rubber, metal fibreglass, and other manufactured materials that end up in our ocean.
CSIRO recently released a new report after three years of research that sheds light on the source of Australian coastal debris, and the impact it is having on our marine friends. The research found the major source of rubbish on Australian beaches came from Australia.
As the largest and most comprehensive research project of its kind, this survey forms an integral part of TeachWild, a marine debris research and education program developed by Earthwatch in partnership with CSIRO and Shell Australia’s National Social Investment Program.
14 July 2014
Earthwatch scientist Demian Chapman has researched sharks off the coast of Belize for two decades. He has seen these animals, which fascinated him since his childhood in New Zealand, get destroyed by the lucrative trade in shark fins, a delicacy in some Asian countries. But soon these share populations could rebound, thanks in part to his work. Armed with creativity and expertise, Dr. Chapman fought a hard battle get five shark species protected under CITES—the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species—which has more than 160 member countries.
08 July 2014
Many citizen science programs exist across the world, but often they do not interact with each other. This lack of communication has inspired two marine monitoring programs – Newcastle University’s Big Sea Survey in the U.K. and Earthwatch’s ClimateWatch program in Australia – to join forces and create Oceans Connected.
08 July 2014
Six enthusiastic citizen scientists returned from a trip to Lady Elliot Island in the Great Barrier Reef in June. The Earthwatch research team was involved in diving and snorkelling to photograph individual manta rays for identification as part of Project Manta. This trip identified 28 mantas, along with 3 possible new individuals, which will now be documented as part of the Manta Identification Database.
13 June 2014
We are excited to announce the first three of nine new expeditions that kick off in 2015. Join us to study and explore the coral reefs of the Cayman Islands, the desert of Joshua Tree National Park in California, or the oceans of South Africa. Get up close to sharks, tropical fish, and desert lizards, and help protect the fragile landscapes that all these species call home.