Volunteers of all backgrounds help scientists working on wildlife conservation projects lasting 2-8 weeks (e.g. in the Peruvian Amazon, the Altai Republic of Central Asia, Oman, Slovakia, Namibia, Sri Lanka, and the Azores).
Contact: Sprat’s Water, Nr. Carlton Colville, The Broads National Park, Suffolk NR33 8BP, U.K.; 011-44-1502-583085, fax. 011-44-1502-587414; info@biosphere- expeditions.org, www.biosphere-expeditions.org.
Since 1971, this international nonprofit organization has placed more than 65,000 volunteers with field researchers engaged in a dazzling menu of scientific and social science research around the world. With a strong emphasis on sustainability, it presently supports about 140 projects in 50 countries. Forty percent of participants are older adults, and a great many volunteers are repeat clients with 20+ projects off their checklist (review by Alison Gardner).
Contact: 3 Clocktower Pl., Suite 100, P.O. Box 75, Maynard, MA 01754; 800-776-0188 or 978-461-0081, fax 978-461-2332; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.earthwatch.org.
Explorations in Travel
Conservation, teaching, wildlife rehabilitation, animal rescue, and environmental work placements and internships for students and adults in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Nepal, Australia, and New Zealand. Placement fees $775-$975.
Contact: 2458 River Rd, Guilford, VT 05301; 802-257-0152; email@example.com, www.volunteertravel.com
Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) Europe e.V.
GEN functions as the umbrella organization for a wide range of intentional communities and eco-villages all over the world, many of which welcome guests and volunteers. Volunteering for GEN works in a similar way to the WWOOF exchange).
Contact: c/o ZEGG Community, Rosa-Luxemburg Str. 89, D-14806 Belzig, Germany; 011-49-33841-44766; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, gen.ecovillage.org.
Places volunteers over 17 years of age with families in rural communities in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Thailand, Kenya, Ghana, and St. Lucia to teach in local schools. Training, support, and adventure travel are integral parts of the program. Information on scholarships, fundraising, and academic credit is available.Program fee is $4,250 for 7-week summer semester and $4,950 for 12-week fall, winter and spring semesters. Experienced leaders over the age of 24 needed for travel programs.
Contact: 1 Short St., Northampton, MA 01060; 413-585-8895, www.globalroutes.org.
Recruits volunteers for conservation and other projects worldwide, including marine conservation in Bahamas and Fiji for up to 6 months; combined community service and adventure programs in India, Nepal, Ecuador, Brazil and internships in Spain].
Contact: 30 Public Sq., Nelsonville, OH 45764; 800-710-6065; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.greenforce.org. U.S. contact office for British organization Greenforce.
Oceanic Society Expeditions
The Oceanic Society is a nonprofit organization working to protect marine wildlife and the marine environment through conservation-based research and environmental education. Half its itineraries are volunteer holidays, the rest are educational. Participants become research assistants, working side by side with academics and field researchers, logging, recording, and collecting data, including bird banding and measuring nesting sea turtles. Sixty percent of clients are older adults (review by Alison Gardner).
Contact: Research Expeditions, Fort Mason Center, Building E, San Francisco, CA 94123; 800-326-7491 or 415-441-1106, fax 415-474-3395; email@example.com, www.Oceanic-society.org
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
The oldest and largest ecotourism association in the world, focusing on environmental and corporate social responsibility in travel. With companies in nearly 100 countries and affiliations with over 40 national and regional ecotourism associations, TIES serves as a global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting conservation, communities and sustainable travel.
Contact: TIES, The International Ecotourism Society, 1333 h St., NW, Ste 300 E, Washington,DC 20005; Phone 202-347-9203; Fax 202-789-7279. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ecotourism.org.
WWOOF International (Willing Workers on Organic Farms)
Many countries participate in this unique worldwide exchange organization. In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. WWOOF organizations link people who want to volunteer on organic farms with people who are seeking volunteer help. Each country works slightly differently, but generally a very small membership fee is charged in exchange for a listing of available opportunities.