Earthwatch Institute Inc

Empowering people to save the natural world.

aka Earthwatch Institute   |   Boston, MA   |  http://www.earthwatch.org

Mission

Earthwatch's mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education in order to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.

Ruling year info

1972

CEO

Mr. Scott Kania

Main address

1380 Soldiers Field Road 2nd Floor, Suite 2700

Boston, MA 02135 USA

Show more addresses

EIN

23-7168440

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Conservation Research Program Overview

Earthwatch supports scientific field research related to sustainable development conducted by leading scientists in a broad range of disciplines, from cultural heritage to climate change. Earthwatch promotes the establishment of strategic international and community partnerships in conjunction with multi-disciplinary research projects in some of the world's outstanding areas of ecological and cultural value. By engaging communities in setting priorities and securing their investment throughout the process, Earthwatch implements an effective community-based conservation model. In 2018-2019, Earthwatch will conduct conservation research and outreach in nearly 50 threatened habitats and communities around the world. Please visit earthwatch.org/expeditions to read more about each of these critical efforts.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents

Churchill, Manitoba, known as the "polar bear capital" of the world, is located at the Arctic treeline and is extremely sensitive to small environmental changes that can have a huge impact on ecosystems overall. Warming temperatures have led to shrinking areas of polar sea ice, freshwater wetlands that are drying up, and less extensive winter snowpack that melts earlier, throwing the species that depend on these features out of sync. Earthwatch volunteers are working with researchers to gather evidence of climate change to better understand what the future may have in store for the rest of the world. [Please note: Earthwatch leads twelve different conservation programs throughout North America. This is just one example. To learn more about our complete research portfolio, please visit earthwatch.org/expeditions.]

Population(s) Served
Adults

One quarter of shark and ray species around the world are at risk of extinction. While scientists know that established shark populations fare better in marine reserves, little is known about how long it takes for an overfished population to recover in a brand new reserve. Earthwatch volunteers are helping researchers to tag and track sharks to better understand how marine reserves function to protect vulnerable species. [Please note: Earthwatch leads eight different conservation programs throughout Central America. This is just one example. To learn more about our complete research portfolio, please visit earthwatch.org/expeditions.]

Population(s) Served
Adults

A kaleidoscope of wildlife lives deep in the heart of Peru's flooded Amazon region, including rare pink river dolphins, macaws, and caimans. As climate change alters the timing and intensity of the region's wet and dry seasons, wildlife and human communities are struggling to adapt. Earthwatch volunteers are helping researchers to survey these species and collect data that directly shapes local conservation and management policies. [Please note: Earthwatch leads three different conservation programs throughout South America. This is just one example. To learn more about our complete research portfolio, please visit earthwatch.org/expeditions.]

Population(s) Served
Adults

The coral reef off of Little Cayman Island is a story of survival: it's one of the few reefs in the world to recover after the 1998 El Nino, which caused record-high sea temperatures. Earthwatch volunteers are working with researchers to better understand what makes this reef so unique and resilient. Their findings will be shared with reef managers around the world. [Please note: Earthwatch leads three different conservation programs throughout the Caribbean. This is just one example. To learn more about our complete research portfolio, please visit earthwatch.org/expeditions.]

Population(s) Served
Adults

Around 8,000 years ago, Central Portugal underwent a dramatic shift in lifestyle- from hunting and gathering of the Mesolithic cultures to the farming and herding associated with the emerging Neolithic people. It was previously believed that one culture replaced the other, but recent discoveries suggest that these cultures coexisted. Earthwatch volunteers are helping researchers excavate sites in the Tagus Valley where they hope to better understand this important time for societal development. [Please note: Earthwatch leads five different conservation programs throughout Europe. This is just one example. To learn more about our complete research portfolio, please visit earthwatch.org/expeditions.]

Population(s) Served
Adults

Poaching has decimated rhino populations around the world due to the high black market value of rhino horn. The situation is most dire in South Africa - home to three-quarters of the world's remaining rhinos. Earthwatch volunteers are assisting researchers as they collect important observational data on the effects of de-horning as an anti-poaching measure on the rhinos' behavior and social interactions. [Please note: Earthwatch leads seven different conservation programs throughout Africa. This is just one example. To learn more about our complete research portfolio, please visit earthwatch.org/expeditions.]

Population(s) Served
Adults

Dholes, also known as whistling wild dogs, are thought to be the least studied and most endangered canids on earth. Their habitats have shrunk and now can only be found in a handful of locations. Earthwatch volunteers are working with researchers to better understand this elusive and often misunderstood predator. The data they collect will be used to help provide wildlife managers with the information needed to create conservation and restoration policies for dholes and their prey. [Please note: Earthwatch leads three different conservation programs throughout Asia. This is just one example. To learn more about our complete research portfolio, please visit earthwatch.org/expeditions.]

Population(s) Served
Adults

St. Bee's Island, off the coast of Queensland, is a tropical paradise rich in biodiversity. However, some species of plants and animals on the island are in rapid decline. Earthwatch volunteers are hiking across the island with researchers to document these changes in the plant and animal communities, including koala, wallaby and a variety of bird species. The data gathered will help scientists and land managers adapt traditional management strategies that account for changing climatic conditions. [Please note: Earthwatch leads three different conservation programs across Australia. This is just one example. To learn more about our complete research portfolio, please visit earthwatch.org/expeditions.]

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Conservation Research Program Overview

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Conservation Research Program Overview

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of peer-reviewed scientific publications

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Conservation Research Program Overview

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of threatened species protected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Conservation Research Program Overview

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of research studies conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Conservation Research Program Overview

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of scientists and research staff supported

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Conservation Research Program Overview

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Earthwatch’s mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education through citizen science in order to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Through our expeditions, we aim to empower individuals and groups to take action to protect the planet, particularly educators, students, corporate professionals and conservationists who are in a position to achieve real impact.

We organize and assist research expeditions that are designed to inform decision makers and conserve wildlife and ecosystems. At the same time, we actively try involving local communities in the process when we can, not only because they will feel the impacts to a greater extent than any other stakeholder group, but because their input is crucial to successful policymaking.
Earthwatch has developed six High Level Goals (HLGs):

HLG 1: Increasing scientific knowledge
HLG 2: Developing environmental leaders
HLG 3: Enabling organizations to become more sustainable
HLG 4: Informing environmental policies, agendas and management plans
HLG 5: Enhancing natural and socio-cultural capital
HLG 6: Creating a financially sustainable organization

We have three main strategies for working towards a sustainable environment:

1. Research: We support scientific field research related to sustainable development both financially and logistically. Our Research Program tends to support and fund scientific endeavors that are typically difficult to fund, such as scientists in developing countries, women in science, and long-term monitoring projects. We send out our volunteers to assist scientists on these projects, providing organization and funding for these expeditions.
Earthwatch focuses on four key research areas: Ecosystem Services, Climate Change, Oceans, and Cultural Heritage. Together, these areas strive toward sustainability in their own capacities.

2. Education: Earthwatch’s Fellowship Programs allow hundreds of students, teachers, conservationists and corporate professionals to join expeditions at little or no out-of-pocket expense. These fellows act as emissaries of the Earthwatch mission, and share their experiences and knowledge with other students, teachers, and colleagues.
Earthwatch has made a concerted effort to train scientists in developing countries. Since 1995, we have trained over 1,000 scientists in over 40 different countries by giving them to partake in Earthwatch expeditions.
We also utilize our Corporate Partnerships to engage employees in fieldwork designed to increase their understanding of environmental and sustainability issues within the context of their organization in order to drive meaningful change.

3. Conservation: Earthwatch establishes strategic international and community partnerships to support multi-disciplinary research projects in some of the world’s outstanding areas of ecological and cultural value. We prioritize community-based conservation management not only because communities are most substantially impacted by management decisions and that their cooperation is crucial for environmental efforts to succeed, but because their knowledge and experience is essential for successful policymaking. Our Corporate Partnerships help us fund research projects relevant to our partners.

Volunteers
In 2011 alone, 3,153 volunteers joined Earthwatch expeditions. Since 1971, we have had nearly 100,000 volunteers contribute about 10 million hours of data collection, which immensely helps our scientists. This enormous amount of time and manpower has allowed us to conduct almost 1,400 research projects. Our reputation, track record, and marketing abilities allow us to improve our volunteer recruitment each year.

Funding
Earthwatch is incredibly efficient at utilizing our revenue and donations, with 84% of our budget going directly towards supporting research and engagement programs. We have a large revenue base that stems mostly from Volunteer Contributions, Grants, Corporate Partnerships and other donations. Our volunteers and corporate partnerships especially guarantee a secure stream of revenue. In 2011, our incoming resources totaled $9,612,909. As of the end of FY 2011, Earthwatch retained $5,127,072 in net assets.

Corporate Partnerships
Earthwatch maintains almost 40 corporate partnerships. These include many prominent corporate giants, most notably HSBC, our largest corporate partner. Our partnerships with HSBC have included the recent HSBC Water Program, Investing in Nature, and the HSBC Climate Partnership, which together have engaged thousands of HSBC employees and garnered over $100 million to be invested in these programs.

Global Reach
Earthwatch has operated in over 120 countries, with 8 offices in 7 different countries. In 2013 we have 52 expeditions planned or carried out in 29 different countries. We have relationships with international companies and scientific organizations that allow us a nearly limitless geographic range.

So far, Earthwatch has managed to create tremendous global impact in research, education, and conservation. Our progress is shown below based on our High Level Goals (HLGs):

HLG 1—Increasing scientific knowledge: We have recruited nearly 100,000 volunteers since 1971 to join our scientists in the field, who have collectively contributed about 10,000,000 hours of data collection. We are constantly producing peer-reviewed publications, popular publications and outreach events, such as articles published by our Meerkats of the Kalahari team and presentations made by our Whales and Dolphins of the Hebrides team.

HLG 2—Developing Environmental Leaders: Our fellowships program has sent out approximately 4,000 students and 5,000 educators on expeditions. Additionally, our corporate partnerships

HLG 3—Enabling organizations to become more sustainable: As of 2011, we maintain 276 partnerships, of which about 40 are corporate partnerships. We are constantly pushing new initiatives with our partners, and are optimistic of our ability to impact other organizations.

HLG 4—Informing environmental policies, agendas and management plans: In 2011 alone, we informed 47 environmental policies through our expeditions. This is an 11 policy increase from 2010. A fantastic example of this is when our Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe team has used its research data to produce a management plan which was published, accepted, and implemented in 2007.

HLG 5—Enhancing natural and socio-cultural capital: In 2011 alone, our expeditions significantly enhanced or maintained 27 natural habitats and enhanced 24 taxa. The Coastal Ecology in the Bahamas team alone has focused on 6 different habitats and carried out restoration activities. In one habitat, they managed to conserve 93 acres of coastal sand beach by removing invasive species and restoring dunes.

Since Earthwatch’s founding we have sent out nearly 1,400 conservation research expeditions in over 120 countries. We have been able to provide experiences that not only help our scientists in the field, but inspire our volunteers, fellows, and corporate partners to go back home and create real change there.

With all this amazing research and results under our belt, we have not reached our potential as an organization. Although we have a substantial number of research projects being carried out annually, we would like to expand the number of projects we carry out and the number of countries we create an impact in. We need to become more aggressive at fundraising and increase operational efficiency. We'd also like to do a better job at informing the public of our successes through international media. We achieve incredible outcomes but we keep them a secret!

Financials

Earthwatch Institute Inc
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Earthwatch Institute Inc

Board of directors
as of 3/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms Leisha John

G. Funston

No Affiliation

Donald Kendall

Kenmont Capital Partners

William Moomaw

Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University

Leisha John

EY

Vittorio Severino

HSBC

Judith Santana

Kevin Bryant

Dave Lang

Eileen Arbues

Erin Billman

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data