10 January 2022

Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 globally and Australian border arrangements, Earthwatch has a number of controls in place.

  • Vaccination: Our vaccination policy follows the latest Australian Government advice. All Earthwatch Participants are required to produce verified proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (double dose) unless medically exempt. 
  • Domestic Travel – border closures: We recommend that participants monitor domestic travel and entry requirements specific to their circumstance.  Due to our limited capacity, Earthwatch does not take responsibility for informing participants if they are unable to attend an expedition due to border closures. If you have booked for a program or expedition in an area which you are no longer able to travel to, please refer to our Travel Credit policy below.
  • International Travel: At this stage, we are not offering international expeditions.
  • Travel Credit: If you are unable to attend a program or expedition which you have booked due to circumstances out of your control (e.g. domestic border closures), we will automatically issue travel credit which will remain valid for a period of 12 months from date of issue. As we are a small organisation, we have a number of unrecoverable costs when it comes to arranging programs and expeditions, therefore we are unable to provide refunds.

13 July 2021

Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and Australian border controls, we are unable to offer international expeditions until 2022 (dates tbc). 

15 April 2021

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 globally, International expeditions are cancelled through to 31 August 2021.

22 March 2021

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 globally, expeditions in the USA are cancelled through to 30 April 2021 and International expeditions have been cancelled up to 30 June 2021.

13 January 2021

All international expeditions to begin on or before 31 March 2021 have been cancelled.

20 November 2020

Earthwatch has put processes in place to make our expeditions COVID Safe. Activities on each expedition will be conducted in accordance with the relevant state or country’s COVID Safe Plans and we have introduced measures for the management of activities and participants under COVID-19.

Expedition participants will be required to be spatially distant at all times where possible, to cough or sneeze into a tissue or elbow and to maintain strict hand hygiene. Sharing of personal equipment on expeditions will not be permitted. Ample hand hygiene and cleaning supplies will be provided on all expeditions. A COVID Safe plan has been devised for each expedition in the event that anyone displays signs or symptoms consistent with suspected COVID-19 illness.

All COVID-19 safety measures will be included in the team safety briefing given at the start of each expedition.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 and Earthwatch expeditions, please do not hesitate to contact us (03) 9016 7590 or [email protected]

19 November 2020

All international expeditions to begin on or before 28 February 2021 have been cancelled.

27 October 2020

All international and Australian expeditions have been cancelled for the remainder of 2020.

30 September 2020

All international and Australian expeditions to begin on or before 30 November 2020 have been cancelled.

18 August 2020

All international and Australian expeditions to begin on or before 31 October 2020 have been cancelled, except for Recovery of the Great Barrier Reef 21 - 25 October 2020 for all of you Queenslanders itching for some adventure.

15 July 2020

All of our international expeditions scheduled to begin on or before 30 September 2020 have been cancelled or postponed.

19 June 2020

All of our expeditions scheduled to begin on or before 31 August 2020 have been cancelled or postponed.

4 May 2020

At Earthwatch, connection is not just a value of ours—it’s our entire reason for being. Since 1971, we have brought people together from all walks of life—scientists and nature lovers from different countries, cultures, backgrounds, ages, and belief systems—who are committed to studying and protecting the world we live in.

We’ve cancelled all of our expeditions scheduled to begin on or before 31 July 2020. Many additional expeditions remain at risk of cancellation. This difficult decision has resulted in the loss of thousands of volunteer hours and critical research funding for our scientists.

So many of you in our global Earthwatch community have been deeply impacted by this pandemic, and our thoughts are with you. We also know that together, we can and will get through this.

16 March 2020

Our incident response team in the US continues to closely assess the risk and impacts of COVID-19 around the world at Earthwatch expedition locations. Authorities continue to elevate travel advisories and restrictions. In response, we have taken the following action:

As of today, all Earthwatch expeditions (including corporate and education programs) fielding between now and 31 May have been cancelled or postponed.

The participants and researchers who were directly impacted by this decision have been contacted. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will make a determination about our June teams in the coming weeks.

If you are currently booked on an Earthwatch expedition and have questions or concerns related to Coronavirus, we encourage you to contact our office on (03) 9016 7590 or email us at [email protected]. We are happy to share details on our policies and work with you to find solutions.

Risk & Safety Assessments and Resources

We are closely monitoring the situation and taking advice from the World Health Organisation and government and health authorities. We receive briefings from our independent security advisor, On Call International, and are in ongoing communication with our on-ground field staff in each of our project locations.

Disaster preparedness and international safety management have been the cornerstones of Earthwatch operations throughout our nearly 50-year history. We are proud that our safety record has maintained the wellbeing of our participants and kept them informed, no matter where they have travelled, and we are fully prepared to meet this same level of care and service throughout the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Key Information & Advice

The current situation can be mentally overwhelming for many of us, and nature can often provide a welcome respite. If possible, give yourself a break and step outside into the natural world. 

If you are looking for ways to spend your time while social distancing, consider becoming a citizen scientist, and help capture scientific data for researchers, something important anyone can contribute to without having to venture far! Try our free ClimateWatch app which allows users to photograph and record indicator species and behaviours to uncover the impacts of climate change on Australia's plants and animals.

World Health Organisation

Department of Health Coronavirus alert page

Beyond Blue - looking after your mental health

On a Personal Note

At this uncertain time, it’s especially important that we stay informed and connected, to take care of ourselves and our communities. We may not be able to come together in person right now, but we can still connect online for creativity, community and collaboration.

We are grateful for the support and generosity of the Earthwatch community who are helping to create a society that lives in balance with nature.