EarthwatchStudent Expeditions [Name of High School] [Teacher Name] presents: Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe
What is earthwatch? Since 1971, Earthwatch has made it possible for people from all walks of life to join leading scientists around the world to help with crucial environmental research.
The Mission of Student Expeditions To engage students worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.
Earthwatch Around the Globe Earthwatch has 20 Student Expeditions in 16 countries.
Earthwatch Research Pillars Earthwatch offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to conserve and explore our planet while delving into one of four research areas.
Earthwatch By The Numbers Last year, Earthwatch: • Sent 3,150 participants aged 10 to 80 on research expeditions. • Supported 141,520 hours of research done by volunteers across our whole portfolio of expeditions. Research teams are typically composed of three to five staff members, plus one or more teacher chaperones—so your teen is in excellent hands!
Benefits of an Earthwatch expedition • Learn experientially through scientific field research. • Work directly with environmental science experts. • Get a boost for university applications and résumés. • Explore career paths in the sciences. • Support local communities and local educational initiatives. • Grow personally and gain confidence.
Benefits of International Travel Students who travel internationally before the age of 18 do better. • In high school: more than 80% had a GPA of 3.0 or higher. • In college: more than 88% received a college degree. • At work: half of travelers surveyed reported a household income of more than $75,000 as adults. Source: The Student Youth & Travel Association, The Impact of Early Travel Experiences (2010 survey).
A Typical Earthwatch Project • Teams for run 7 to 15 days. • Teams accommodate 7 to 20 volunteers. • Students will take on 2 to 5 research tasks per team. • Students stay in simple but comfortable accommodations in the field.
Overview: Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe Journey to a remote wildlife reserve in Mongolia that needs your help. Experience this wild region of desert grasslands and rocky outcrops while protecting the rare mountain sheep, eagles, and other animals that call it home.
The research: Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe • Help capture animals in nets so they may be measured and tracked. • Collect tracking data animals with radio collars, including argali sheep and ibex. • Look for and measure lizards, snakes, hedgehogs, and birds. • Collect vegetation samples from the study site and estimate how much vegetation is in the area.
The Destination: Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe More than 800 years ago, the Mongolian Steppe was the heartland of the Mongol Emperor, Ghengis Khan. Today, it’s one of the best hopes for the animals calling it home in central Asia—in the wildlife reserve of IkhNart. The team will rendezvous in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Daily Life In The Field: Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe Day 1—Rendezvous at Zaya’s Backpacker’s Guesthouse in Ulaanbaatar and settle in. Day 2—Train ride from Ulaanbaatar to Shivee-Gobi with drive to field site. Day 3—Orientation and training, followed by data collection (radio-telemetry, setting up trapping grids of line surveys, raptor nest monitoring, etc.). Days 4–6—Data collection (radio-telemetry on foot or from fixed stations, small mammal trapping, raptor nest identification and monitoring, lizard surveys, vegetation sampling, etc.). Day 7—Data collection in the morning, followed by traditional Mongolian barbeque in the afternoon and evening. Note: Actual activities performed may vary depending on weather and other variables.
Lead Scientist: Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe GanchimegWingardWildlife BiologistDenver Zoological Foundation Ganchimeg (Gana) Wingard is the Mongolia program director at the Denver Zoological Foundation. She holds two master’s degrees, one from Prague University in environmental science and one in wildlife ecology from the University of Montana, where she studied argali and domestic livestock feeding relationships at IkhNart. A Mongolian national, Gana is a resident of Denver, Colorado and speaks fluent English. She has experience leading ecotours in Mongolia.
Safety & Welfare: Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe • Each Earthwatch project has a comprehensive emergency response plan, with medical and evacuation insurance included. • Project staff members are certified in safety training, such as CPR and first aid. • All volunteers will have up-to-date immunizations.
Other considerations • Passports & Visas: Citizens of the U.S. and Europe DO need a passport, but DO NOT need tourist visas. Minors must also have a notarized letter from all parents or legal guardians stipulating that they may travel in the presence of an adult other than their parent or guardian. • Insurance: Your contribution to Earthwatch includes insurance and medical evacuation coverage. • Flights: The teacher leading the expedition will coordinate travel. • Language: All Earthwatch expeditions are led in English. • Packing Requirements: Earthwatch will provide an expedition briefing 90 days before the expedition with details of what to bring (and lots of other information).
Next Steps • Provide a $300 deposit and complete the Group Volunteer Registration Form by [Month, XX, 20XX]. • Call me with any questions or to enroll your teen: Contact info: [Ms./Mr. Teacher][Name of High School][firstname.lastname@example.org][(XXX) XXX-XXXX]