If you haven’t finalized your holiday vacation plans, why not visit an exotic locale where you can support an eco-conscious cause?

The nonprofit Earthwatch Institute sponsors international research programs, allowing you to work with teams from around the world on projects that help promote environmental sustainability.

You can choose from 130 expeditions in 47 countries. Costs range from $495 to $3,500 and run for 1 to 3 weeks. (Fees include food and lodging.)

Upcoming expeditions include:

  • Rehabilitating salmon habitats in Washington State
  • Measuring climate change and greenhouse gasses near the Arctic, where you’ll get a firsthand look at the effects of global warming
  • Visiting the rainforests of Ecuador to track endangered bird populations
  • Working with teams in Namibia to protect endangered African cheetahs
  • Monitoring, measuring and tagging sea turtles in Costa Rica to protect them against poachers

The minimum age for volunteering is 16, and participants range from college students to retired professionals. Trips are scheduled year-round, so you can find a program that meets your specific needs.

The Earthwatch Institute also hosts regular lectures and conferences throughout the United States. Click here for the current calendar.

For more information, call (800) 776-0188 or click here.