– Karen, Sun Valley, ID
A. Fancy a couple weeks’ worth of meerkat research in the Kalahari, under the tutelage of Cambridge Professor Timothy Clutton-Brock? Or nine days of documenting traditional environmental management in small, rural South African villages in the Limpopo Province with historian Clapperton Mavhunga, geneticist Dr. Simon Kang, and their research staff? How about a 16-day walking safari on South Africa’s eastern seaboard, spent recording data on wildlife spotted by you and your expert-led volunteer team?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you need look no further than Earthwatch Institute Expeditions. The non-profit organization teams eager-beaver voluntourists like yourself up with top scientists, so that you get to play “research staffer” in dream vacation spots all over the world. Some expeditions require a decent amount of physical activity, but none require any field research experience.
To get you excited, here’s an excerpt from the Institute’s description of the walking safari expedition:
Part of the deal with Earthwatch expeditions is that you lend a hand when it comes time to clean up after meals or do other camp chores, but that’s part of the experience — and part of the reward. Hedonism is so last year.
Story by Tobin Hack. This article originally appeared in Plenty in May 2008. The story was added to MNN.com in August 2009.
Copyright Environ Press 2008