How You Can Save the Planet by Going on an Adventure

Wanted: Adventurers with a willingness to save the world. Sounds like the best job posting ever, right? Against all odds, it’s also completely real as a non-profit seeks to give those who share a love for mother nature a chance to save it.

“As someone who loves the outdoors, I also have this feeling that I wish I could contribute,” explains Mike Quist Kautz, program director for Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. “We give people who are outdoors recreating a way to give back.”

The way the organization works is by partnering with other organizations that need to collect data from wildlife or remote areas and sending out devoted people to gather that information. What would be a painstaking job to some, to eager outdoors lovers is a great adventure.

“Outdoor recreation is a huge part of people’s lives in the United States and there’s usually a niche of people for almost every project,” says Kautz. “If we say we need someone who can ski 14 miles to check the temperature on this sensor at 15,000 feet, there’s someone who can do it.”

But that’s just one of the possible tasks involved. Other projects include collecting water samples from any body of water in order to create a comprehensive dataset of microplastics found in water around the world, hiking several miles a day in the Montana wilderness looking for wolverines to determine how their habitat has changed, and biking around the world while recording every single roadkill spotted so in the future better roadways can be made that harm less wildlife.

The tasks vary but they all have one thing in common: Because they’re not high-priority for budget-restricted organizations, they get pushed aside. ASC then does the job for free so better plans can be made in the future based on the results.

“We’re trying to fill in voids where data doesn’t exist so management decisions can be made on data,” says Kautz.

According to the non-profit, each project gets a handful of candidates per available spot and it’s not necessarily boy scout skills that land someone at the top of the contender’s list.

“We choose folks based on outdoor skill and their abilities in storytelling. We try to get folks who have photography skills or who have a blog and like to write about their adventures,” he says.

The organization’s website shares the adventurers’ field notes and gives an idea of what their life is like.

“The morning sun dances off the glassy ripples lapping against my kayak. I dip a sampling bottle under the crystalline surface one, two, three times, the displaced bubbles rising as I rinse it with seawater. I gaze at the vibrant reef meters below through the turquoise waters of Thailand’s Andaman Sea,” tells Dylan Jones who’s collecting water samples for the ASC Global Microplastics Project in Thailand.

Jones, like many other adventurers, didn’t plan his trip around the project. He planned on going on a nine-week rock climbing trip in Southeast Asia with friends and decided to add a touch of activism to it by working with ASC. To those with a tighter work schedule, ASC assigns projects that require data collection once a month or weekly—perfect for weekend warriors.

The catch is that the work is done purely on a volunteer basis but for longer projects like collecting data from one of the wildest and most remote areas of the American Great Plains for a three-month stint, crew members get group housing and a monthly stipend to cover food and travel costs. Ready for the adventure? Aspiring volunteers can sign up at www.adventurescience.org.

Photo Credit: ThinkStock Photos

67 comments

Sharon S.
Sharon S1 years ago

Interesting article

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Manuel F.
Manuel F1 years ago

J'aime bien l'idée , bravo !

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Christine Stewart

thanks for the article

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer1 years ago

Monetary payment should NOT be the first consideration. If one can help, in any way, we /I should do it.
“Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.” From the Baha’i Faith Writings. www.bahai.org

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Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine A1 years ago

Great idea. Thanks for sharing..

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry K1 years ago

Many thanks to you !

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Peggy B.
Peggy B1 years ago

Interesting.

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Laura B.
Laura M1 years ago

Let's save the world!!

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Peter K.
P K1 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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