Earthwatch: Hands-on Learning in the Field

Stock photo. Unfortunately, I can’t get hubby’s pics off his phone.

Long story short: my husband recently returned from an archaeological dig in Tuscany where he discovered pottery and human remains at an Etruscan necropolis. While the thought of being married to Indiana Jones is appealing, hubby isn’t a whip-wielding academic. But through Earthwatch.org, he plays one on vacation.

Earthwatch.org pairs scientists from a number of disciplines with volunteer vacationers, who conduct science in the field. Study elephant behavior in Thailand. Protect sharks in Belize. Journey to China to help giant pandas. Oh, and here’s one of my favorites…study vineyard ecology and biodiversity in Bordeaux.

Even better, Earthwatch has special expeditions designed for families and teens. For family expeditions, children must be at least 10 years old and accompanied by adult family members. But children can work side-by-side with archaeologists to explore Roman England or with marine biologists to track marine mammals off the coast of California, for example. Yes, I am already counting how many years until we can do something like this for our family vacation.

Check out Earthwatch’s 40th anniversary video here to learn more about this fantastic organization.

Have you ever engaged travel experiences with your kids focused on hands-on learning? I’d love to hear about them!

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11 Replies to “Earthwatch: Hands-on Learning in the Field”

  1. This sounds so cool! I’m not much of a traveler, but 2 of my kids went to Costa Rica in 7th grade and part of their trip included patrolling the beach to protect the laying sea turtles from poachers, and then gathering the eggs to be incubated in safety. It was an amazing experience for them!

  2. Archaeological dig? Tuscany? Once again, you’ve created a curious adult! Actually, we did take a short trip this weekend to a local creek so the kids could explore. I’m amazed at how they seem to thrive when we present them with a new adventure.

    1. I think we’ll be able to do a trip together in a couple of years when the boys are in school. Right now, they are a lot for grandparents to handle for a week or more. 🙂

  3. OHHH! I am SO making Trevor do this with me {ahem… I mean I think Trevor would love to do a trip like this}. Thanks for sharing, Kirsten. I’d heard of Earthwatch, but haven’t followed in years. I’ll be checking it out again asap!

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