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Biosphere Expeditions

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: With our planet under attack like never before, it is our mission to make, through our citizen science conservation and voluntourism work, an active contribution towards a sustainable biosphere. At Biosphere Expeditions we believe in empowering ordinary people by placing them at the centre of scientific study and by actively involving them out in the field, where there is conservation work to be done. Although these days the terms "volunteering" and "voluntourism" are much used and abused, we at Biosphere Expeditions are committed to running real citizen science wildlife conservation research expeditions to all corners of the Earth. Our projects are not tours, photographic safaris or excursions, but genuine research expeditions and citizen science wildlife conservation projects. We promote sustainable conservation and preservation of the planet's wildlife by forging alliances between scientists and the public. We always work in close conjunction with local people and scientists, and ensure that the fruits of our expedition work benefit our local helpers, their society and the environment they live in. Adventure, remote locations, different cultures and people are part and parcel of our expeditions, but also the knowledge that you will have played an active role in conserving part of our planet's biosphere. Since 1999 we exist for those who, through their hands-on work, want to make a difference to the survival of the particular species or habitat under investigation, and to the world at large. We invite everyone to come and join us out in the field, at the forefront of conservation and the fight for a more sustainable planet, to work, learn, experience and take responsible guardianship of our biosphere. To achieve this, Biosphere Expeditions will wherever possible • collaborate with reputable scientists, research institutions and educational establishments (wherever possible from the host nation) who are experts in their field • collaborate with organisations and businesses which operate in an ethical and/or sustainable way • operate in an ethical and sustainable way, minimising negative impacts on local cultures, environments and economies • publish results and recommendations based on collaborative work together with those who helped gather data and draw conclusions.

Results: Southern Africa Data collected by our expeditions in Namibia have helped our local and international partners make arguments that have led to the declaration of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, or KAZA TFCA. The KAZA TFCA is the world's largest conservation area, spanning five southern African countries; Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, centered around the Caprivi-Chobe-Victoria Falls area. Also in Namibia, fewer lions, leopards and cheetahs have been killed in farmer-predator conflict due to our data collection, awareness-building and educational work. Oman Data collected by our expeditions as well as our intensive work to influence decision-makers have led to the creation of two MPAs (marine protected areas) in the Musandam Peninsula of Oman, where all fishing except local handline fishing has been banned by a new ministerial decree. Ukraine Data collected by our expeditions in the Ukraine have helped our local partners make arguments that have led to the declaration of a national park in the Ukraine. This park now protects a unique steppe area jutting into the Black Sea and a stop-off point for many migratory birds, as well as a haven for fauna (e.g. birds & wolves) and flora (it boasts amongst other things Europe's biggest orchid field). Altai Republic Data collected by our expeditions in the Altai have helped our local and international partners make arguments that have led to the declaration of a protected area in the Altai Republic, Central Asia. This area now provides a protected habitat for a number of endangered species, including the snow leopard. Also in the Altai, we have converted local poachers into conservationists by paying them for verifiable camera trap pictures of snow leopards surviving year-on-year. This is obviously not a long-term strategy, but with so few snow leopards remaining, some stopgap solutions are needed until the long-term ones can be reached. Australia When Australia created the world's largest network of marine reserves in 2012, the Roebuck Commonwealth Marine Reserve, site of our flatback turtle study, was part of the network. Along with our local partners, we were working towards getting flatback turtles listed within the ‘major conservation values’ of the reserve and this is what happened, with the citation being ‘Foraging area adjacent to important nesting sites for flatback turtles’. SOME STATISTICS Over 150,000 hours worked in voluntourism wildlife conservation & research. Over 1.5 million pounds put directly into conservation project worldwide. Over half a million pounds put into local projects and communities as in-kind donations.

Target demographics: Wildlife conservation

Geographic areas served: Worldwide

Programs: Citizen science wildlife conservation expeditions

Community Stories

53 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Christiane F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a great experience in Kenya... This is the first thing I want to say. The whole project is fantastic and should be a symbol for other areas in Africa. A piece of Land - overfarmed and almost dead - turned into a green paradise for Farm animals and wild animals together. In Africa, where Population grows rapidly, space for wild animals gets smaller and smaller. So this project in Enonkishu Conservancy is a good example, how to create new or lost habitat for wild animals. It is a Win-Win-Project, because not only the wild animals have a new place to live in, also the Kenyans benefit. Involving the villages and especially the school children, the understanding and acceptance is growing. For me - as Part of the group counting the animals, it was an amazing experience. To see, how Elephants, Cheetahs, Zebras and Giraffes, come back into this piece of land and choose it to live in, is a big success for this region and for the wildlife of Africa. Malika, Alan and our Ranger Albert (and of course all the others involved in this project), did an excellent job. Being part of a fantastic team of motivated people from all over the world, who live and work for the same goals in life, made the time in Kenya perfect.

2 Paul S.9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We had an amazing expedition to Enonkishu Conservancy in Kenya, February 2020. Would we see lions? Would we see elephants, rhino's? We were not sure beforehand. Well, ranger Albert took us on a game drive on our first afternoon in Enonkishu and he found all of them. But the expedition got even better. Because you will learn to find these animals yourself. Whether on a car transect in the back of a 4x4, on a foot patrol or watching the animals drink from a hideout at the water hole, we loved every minute of our Biosphere expedition. And on the last morning, we simply took ourselves on a game drive to watch the cheetahs and look out for the leopards. This is not a safari, this is an adventure.

2 Eleanor G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took part in the Reef Check Biosphere Expedition in the Maldives and hands down it was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experience of my 20 year diving career.
If you want to make one week of your life really count - then get involved in a Biosphere Expeditions and take part in some leading citizen science in far flung places.
Not only will you be doing something positive with your skills, but you'll learn, laugh, have deep conversations and above all work hard, but with a great sense of reward.
The team leaders and scientists were engaging and interesting, the expedition was well run and we had delicious veggie food. I would highly encourage anyone with an interest in science, conservation and travel, to join a Biosphere Expedition - it's time and money well spent!

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Biosphere Expeditions 10/01/2019

Thank you very much Elfie. Much appreciated.

5 Aidan G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was on the Maldives expedition this September, an incredible adventure of exploration and learning and would highly recommend Biosphere Expeditions on how it was managed. Two long dives a day in tropical waters, observing such rich biodiversity around the coral reefs and with a scientific purpose, it was a dream come true. It was work too though, as a team we studied hard over lectures and exams to qualify to a standard when conducting our reef check. While we were trained by the expedition leader and scientist to be knowledgeable about types of coral, fish, invertebrates, be able to spot coral damage, and handle science apparatuses, we also had to learn how to communicate all this to each other underwater – every day was great fun! The itinerary was excellent, as was the liveaboard boat and staff, and meals. It was wonderful to be part of this expedition, and also to compare how the state of the coral reefs of the Maldives atolls are from past expeditions.

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Biosphere Expeditions 09/25/2019

Thank you Aidan for your kind words. We're glad it's had such an impact and we look forward to continuing to work with you.

3 Aniek R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Tien Shan expedition in Kyrgyzstan. What an incredible two weeks! My time in Tien Shan base camp researching the snow leopard is something I will never forget in my life. I gained some unique experiences, from gathering the camera traps in the amazing Kyrgyz mountain landscape to joining a game of Ulak tartysh. And who would have thought that my time in the Kyrgyz mountains would turn me into a bird spotter, looking for buzzards, golden eagles, lammergeiers and lots of LBB’s (little brown birds). Looking back I'm proud of the legacy I have left behind on this expedition. The moment I received a photo of a snow leopard in my e-mail inbox, made by one of the camera traps, is unforgettable. The trip was exhausting at moments, hiking in rain, snowstorms, at altitude, but so rewarding. The team made sure we had a great time. I am thankful for the opportunity to join Biosphere Expeditions and I hope to join you again on another expedition some day!

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Biosphere Expeditions 09/25/2019

Thank you Aniek for your thoughtful review. We appreciate this very much and are glad you have had such a memorable experience.

4 christaylor1972

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was on the 2019 Kenya Biosphere Expeditions trip. It was a life-changing experience and one I would recommend to anyone. Fantastically well-organised, great accommodation and food, educational, exciting and incredibly worthwhile.
We spent our days monitoring the wildlife using scientific methods to record the species, numbers and locations.

This was definitely not a 'safari holiday' but so much more - we had experiences that you simply cannot get on a package safari holiday and being able to contribute something positive to help this crucial ecosystem was very satisfying.

Highly recommended - don't waste your holiday time lying by a pool - get out there and do something amazing with Biosphere Expeditions!

My blog post of the trip (with lots of photos) is here: http://www.christaylorphoto.co.uk/a-world-away-kenya-biosp…/

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Biosphere Expeditions 03/15/2019

hank you very much for this fantastic review Chris Taylor of our Kenya expedition www.biosphere-expeditions.org/kenya. We could not have worded it better ourselves and appreciate you taking the time to write it.

4 Anne V.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Went on Arabia 2019 expedition. Great combination of learning how science works, getting out there contributing to it, meeting diverse likeminded people and good fun. All well organized and arranged be the office team upto the expedition and by professional scientist and Biosphere expedition leader on-site.

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Biosphere Expeditions 09/25/2019

Thank you Anne! We appreciate your comments.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Biosphere Expeditions in Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2015 when I was 17.
I always knew I wanted to work in conservation but was struggling to find a
place to get experience under the age of 18 other than zoos. Whilst that is
great experience I had done it before and knew it wasn't exactly where I
wanted to be - I wanted to see the work being done on the 'frontlines' of
conservation! Biosphere Expeditions were the only place I could find that
had no age limit on volunteers, and I liked their serious, scientific
approach to the projects, as I was keen to take my first steps into the
field.

As I write this, I am 20 and on an internship with a conservation NGO in
Thailand during a sandwich year on my university course - BSc Wildlife
Conservation. Without Biosphere Expeditions offering me that first step into
independent travel and grassroots conservation, I would still have studied
Wildlife Conservation at university, but I doubt I would have had the
confidence to travel alone as extensively as I have, and I would certainly
not have had enough conservation experience on my CV to gain an internship
that usually goes to Masters or PhD students!

Sumatra is a beautiful place, and the Indonesian people so welcoming and
friendly - the experiences I had there at 17 have largely shaped my world
outlook as an adult. I made friends there that I am still in contact with to
this day, and memories that I will never forget: swimming in the river with
a monitor lizard (entirely by accident, on both our parts!), delicious food,
friendly locals and pushing myself to achieve things I never thought I was
capable of.

I owe a huge part of my current success and drive to Biosphere Expeditions
and I hope one day to return to the people who gave me my first taste of
real, in-the-field conservation. I would definitely recommend them to anyone
who is looking to see what conservation work is really like, who wants to
contribute to saving our beautiful planet, or to anyone who doesn't believe
in themselves - once you have completed this, there is nothing you can't do.
Thank you Biosphere!

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Biosphere Expeditions 09/25/2019

Thank you for your kind comments and detailed review. We're glad the expedition has had such an impact. Good luck with your career plans. May your wishes come true!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on the first Expedition in Malawi.
There have been so many imaginations and questions about this in advanced.
As i arrived and worked there, all of them are just better then i thought before.

The Expedition was very well organized. And i enjoyed every day out in the field.
My highlights has been the walking transects, where i could be as close as possible with this incredible nature and wildlife that i still got Goose bumps.

i am so thankful for making this adventure and especially for helping our beautiful world, even it is just a tiny bit right now.
Thank you for open up my horizon and to learn so much more about life in this world

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Biosphere Expeditions 10/26/2018

Thank you for sharing this inspiring story and all the best for your career!

4 laurabalazs

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was 2006 when I signed up for my Biosphere Expeditions trip – to the Peruvian Amazon. A six-hour-boatride away from the closest little town, separated from the noisy inhabitants of the jungle only by a mosquito-net, I felt – amazingly – just as at home as in a crowded big city. Or rather: even more. I was fascinated by the rainforest and I felt as if all my senses suddenly came to life. I felt ALIVE. Mosquitoes, poisonous snakes and spiders, scorpions, jaguars hiding in the dark heat – yes, please! Can I get some more?

My first jungle-encounter was followed by more trips to rainforests all around the world – to Peru again, then Ecuador, Madagascar, Costa Rica, Borneo, Australia, Bolivia. Sometimes I did volunteer work, other times I took photos of the amazing inhabitants of the forests. Exploring remote, primary rainforests became a sort of passion, and it led me to deeper questions too. How does time spent in nature, in wilderness, affect us psychologically? How can these experiences be transferred to our everyday lives? I turned to books on eco-psychology, attended workshops in deep ecology and wrote my master degree thesis with this question in mind (the title was: Facilitating Wilderness Solo Experiences for Greater Self-Awareness, Self-Actualization, Creativity and a Sense of Life-Direction)

My deepening interest led me to a one-year course in Experiential Education and Outdoor Training with a specialisation in Adventure- and Wilderness Therapy, and last year, with my trainer collegues we organised a two-week summer camp for kids in state care. It was one of the most challenging – and most rewarding – experiences of my life. It was amazing to see the changes in these boys during the time we spent in the forest – how they became more self-confident as they faced the challenges provided by nature, and how they became more open as we sat around the evening fire and told stories under the stars-filled sky. I hope I can take many more people – young and adult – to wild places and let them experience their life-changing effects. Just as my first Biosphere Expeditions journey changed my life too.

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Biosphere Expeditions 10/26/2018

Thank you for sharing your story Laura! We are so glad to have played a part in it.

4 Sj K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Back home after my Biosphere Expedition in South Africa.
Very impressed with the scientists, expedition leader, cooks and Blue Hill Nature Reserve owners. A wonderful experience!

The huge knowledge base - whether that be via scientists or the extensive library
that was freely available to us - was amazing.

Such a variety of activities - leopard monitoring, small mammal trapping/release (finding
new species to the area!), bird surveys, establishing botanical plots for scientific research and recording/identifying bats.

I'm not only looking forward to reading the Expedition report and seeing articles or other outcomes from this well organised field work - but hoping to volunteer again soon.

I encourage you to look at the photos/reports on the Biosphere Expeditions website.
Sandi

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Biosphere Expeditions 10/26/2018

Thank you for your kind words Sandi. And thank you for your help in the field.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before Biosphere Expeditions, little attention was paid by my government to the reefs of Musandam. This has all changed and there are now protected areas, based on scientific advice, and a local NGO, coming out of capacity-building efforts. Thank you so much for all this.

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Alan Hoffberg 10/17/2017

Thank you, Jenan, for both your participation and comment above. Alan M. Hoffberg Biosphere Expeditions - North America

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went on the Sumatra expedition with Biosphere Expeditions and the experience really delivered. It was all it said it would be and more. Great people, great project, great impact. And ethical too. I'll be back!

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Biosphere Expeditions 10/26/2018

:) Thank you for your kind review.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a writer specializing in science and travel and I can honestly say that Biosphere Expeditions is the best citizen science organization that I have come across in the 20 years of my professional career. Just read the other reviews on here. They say it all. Great care of volunteers, effective citizen science and conservation, adventurous travel and superb staff. If you are thinking of going on a citizen science project, I can highly recommend Biosphere Expeditions.

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Biosphere Expeditions 10/26/2018

Thank you. This means a lot coming from a professional in the science and travel fields.

4 Almaz

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hi

I am Almaz

I should say Biosphere Expeditions has done a great job in order to bring public attention on Snow Leopards of Kyrgyzstan. Which we have only few left.

Since Biosphere Expeditions started their project in 2015 situations with Snow Leopards has significantly changed. We have a lot attention.

We have a lot attention from the government and local communities to the problem of disappearing Snow Leopards. It is really brought Snow Leopards to the center of Kyrgyz society. This is really helping to save thouse animals which we are lucky to have.

Thanks to Biosphere Expeditions helping save Snow Leopard. Big privilege be part of this very important work for my country

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you Almaz. It's a pleasure working with you too. You have helped us so much and in so many ways; we appreciate this very much. And of course the discussions about politics whenever we meet ;)

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you Almaz. It's a pleasure working with you too. You have helped us so much and in so many ways; we appreciate this very much. And of course the discussions about politics whenever we meet ;)

6 JohnHighet

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on three Biosphere expeditions: Slovakia (tracking wolves), The Azores (monitoring whales, mostly sperm whales) and Namibia (tracking elephants and capturing leopards for collaring). All the trips have been well organised, great fun and fascinating. They also involve a lot of work! It is great to work close up with the scientists doing this vital research, knowing that the data will eventually put to great use, for example by assisting in the creation of protected areas. Will probably do a scuba diving trip next.

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you for this review John and we look forward to seeing you soon (underwater).

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The moment I read about BE's Wolf expedition I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. A chance to pick up skills and contribute to wolf conservation (without getting a PhD first). My week turned out exactly as Biosphere Expedition promised it would. Their staff are professional, helpful, genuine and serious about conservation first. That I liked!

The expedition definitely broadened my views on conservation work. I hope to apply all that I learnt in Germany to wolf conservation in the Indian landscape. If you are passionate about wildlife and wants to do something about it, what ever your age, I think you don't have an excuse anymore. :)

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you Lalitha. And thank you too for offering to do so much more in the aftermath of the expedition.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated this year in the Maldive expedition (after doing the Malaysian last year)
Great experience! Catherine and the crew made this week really exceptional. Sharks, turtles, rays, octopi and all the other animals were not shy to show off their beauty. The team was so nice, and we worked smoothly like a machine. After one week I am an expert in laying the tape to gather data for reef check!
I appreciate that the data collected during this week is briefly analyzed at the end of the expedition and compared with past years data, to get a general idea regarding the development of the reefs. It is very rewarding to see so clearly your contribution.

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you so much for this review C and your comments.

5 NeilG

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was 2:30 in the morning. I was walking 5kms in soft sand, guided only by the moonlight. I was carrying a bag weighing about 6kgs, sharing the load with two wonderful colleagues. I was exhausted, drenched in sweat, covered in sand ........ and had an enormous smile on my face. The reason for the smile lay in the bag we were carrying - 75 precious leatherback turtle eggs. We had rescued the eggs from a nest, ensuring they weren't taken by poachers, and were carrying them to the safety of the hatchery at our camp. This was the highlight of my latest expedition with Biosphere Expeditions in which they partner with LAST (Latin American Sea Turtles) to protect nesting leatherbacks, hawksbills and greens - all on the IUCN Redlist - at Playa Pacuare on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.
This was my seventh trip with BE and, yet again, it provided many special memories, all wrapped up within Biosphere's highly professional approach to citizen science projects. The Biosphere leaders were exceptional and kept the team informed at all times; as a result the international team of volunteers bonded superbly and everybody contributed fully to the expedition. I can't recommend Biosphere Expeditions highly enough, if you are interested in making a meaningful contribution to wildlife conservation, no matter which expedition you choose to join.

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you Neil for this moving review.

Previous Stories
7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently returned home after another fantastic expedition with Biosphere Expeditions (BE) to Tien Shan in Kyrgyzstan. This was my sixth expedition to five different locations across four continents since 2011. Each expedition (to Namibia, Azores, Amazonia [twice], Dubai, Tien Shan) was a unique and memorable experience but there are common threads that run through all of them.
The Locations
All of the places I have visited, from the Khomas Hochland to Faial to the banks of the Tahuayo River to the Dubai Desert to the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range, have been spectacular and breath-taking. Well away from tourist hotspots, they offer a privileged glimpse of locations that many have not even heard of.
Undertaking fieldwork in these places generally demands a reasonable level of physical fitness and I can think of no better reason to improve my personal fitness (and lose a few kilograms along the way) than by preparing for each expedition.
The Scientists
Science is the key driver behind each expedition. In my experience, the scientists with whom BE works so closely are invariably experienced and dedicated individuals. Many have spent much of their working life researching the wildlife and the environment around which each expedition revolves. Whether it’s Kristina showing us how to camouflage a box trap in a particularly thorny acacia bush, or Steve rationalising the decision to introduce a pack of Arabian wolves into the DDCR, or Volodya pointing out the best places on the ridges and peaks of the Ala-Too to scan for ibex and snow leopard (well, maybe, one day an elusive snow leopard will be spotted!), or Lisa explaining what research is still needed to better understand how sperm whales cope the immense pressure when hunting at depth for squid, or Alfredo waxing lyrical about, quite frankly, any of the fauna of the Amazon Rainforest, it is a rare privilege to work alongside them.
The Wildlife
Each expedition that I have been on has enabled me to see plants and animals that I have never seen before. Not always the headline megafauna – indeed they invariably take a short break away from the study site when I arrive! Nevertheless, I have many wonderful pictures of, amongst others, greater kudu, steenbok, Risso’s dolphin, Macqueen’s bustard, bullet ant, ranitomeya flavovittata (poison dart frog), hoatzin, moustached tamarin, long-tailed marmot and parnassius tianschanicus (Apollo butterfly), that are more than adequate compensation for missing out on the jaguar, snow leopard and sperm whale.
The Team Members
At the end of every expedition, my abiding memory is invariably of the wonderful people that I have had the pleasure of teaming up with. Team working, shared objectives, regular feedback – these are concepts that are discussed regularly at my place of work but I believe the only occasions when such ideals have been properly achieved are on my expeditions with BE. My recent expedition in Tien Shan was a great example of this when I had the privilege of being part of an exceptional team.
Thirteen people drawn from seven countries, from Austria to Australia, ranging in age from teenager to the recently retired. A diverse group, we were united in our objective to contribute positively to snow leopard research in Kyrgyzstan. It was a physically demanding expedition and the teamwork was evident every day with everybody keeping an eye open for the safety of each other as we ascended glacial river valleys or scrambled up boulder fields and scree slopes. Each evening, after dinner, we enjoyed telling the rest of the group of our successes and failures in the day - and we were all immensely proud of ‘die harte Kern’ when they became the first BE group to discover snow leopard scat on Kashka Tor. We also had great fun during our two weeks, whether it was socialising in the warmth of the yurt each evening or admiring the bravery of our ‘four horsemen of the Apocalypse’ as they showed the local herders how to play kök böru.
What Next?
There are at least six expeditions that I would like to go on in 2017. Well, I won’t accomplish that but I hope to go on one or two. And I know that, whichever expeditions I sign up for, I’ll experience more fascinating locations, work with dedicated scientists, discover new flora and fauna, have the great pleasure of meeting like-minded people from around the world and I’ll come away with many unique and happy memories.

NeilG
October 2016

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Me and my partner took part in the Biosphere Costa Rica Sea Turtle expedition in May 2017. It is clear that the project is making a difference to turtle conservation – and it is motivating to know that your individual contribution is making a difference too. The volunteers, guides, leaders, station staff and others were all great people to be with and this makes the trip enjoyable even though there is hard work involved. I actually collected eggs ‘up close and personal’ to a Leatherback as she was laying. That kind of intimate contact with the animals was what we were hoping for and we were certainly rewarded. I would say that to get the most out of this experience, you really do need to be willing to walk 10km (or more) on soft sand at night. We are in our mid-60’s and managed it. The youngsters in the group had no problems it seems. In any case, It is certainly worth the effort!

Frank, UK.

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you Frank. We really appreciate you taking the time to write this review.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Biosphere's Dubai desert expedition in January 2017. I particularly liked the type of people this expedition attracted. All very
interesting, from different backgrounds, with a range of expertise. I also really enjoyed the landscape, people and driving through the dunes in 4x4s, as well as the level of autonomy Biosphere gives you. Would recommend this to anyone and already considering doing one of their other expeditions, possibly Amazonia.

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you!

8 Zhi L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got involved with the Malaysia expedition on August 2016. From my experience, Biosphere Expeditions has brought the public to be more involved in the conservation projects, teaming up with the right people or organisation, and giving normal people the opportunity to contribute to what a field scientist would do.

For me as a local in the expedition for Malaysia, Biosphere Expedition together with its partner has opened my eyes to the ongoing status and situations of the marine life, as well as the environment, on the Island of Tioman off Peninsular Malaysia. It has definitely achieved its goal towards me in advocating for wildlife and nature.

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you very much Zhi. We're glad you benefitted from your experience. Please recommend our placement program for local people to your friends.

9 Glenn13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great work being done by Biosphere Expeditions! Out of all the organisations I've volunteered with, they are my favourite. Providing real world scientific results and benefits with their programmes. I like the fact that they have stringent requirements for what a project needs to provide in order to be considered something that they will offer... As well as the amount of effort, the planning and the procedures that go into making sure the they run effectively and efficiently... with all the precision of a German Military exercise. Yet they are fun at the same time.

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you Glenn for this glowing review. We appreciate this!

10 Cathadventure

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Biosphere Expeditions as an expedition leader for three years now and am often asked why I choose to work with them and what makes them different. Primarily, I feel the work they do is very important – these are not tours, they are expeditions that take you to the heart of an environmental issue, whether that be underwater investigating coral reef health, patrolling turtle beaches to intercept poachers, or setting camera traps in jungles to get a better idea of tiger populations. I completely endorse their integral involvement of the scientist: this brings the expedition to life, adds an educational sphere that many expeditions lack, and gives the work, which is often physically very demanding, a real purpose. I enjoy the diversity of the team members Biosphere attracts, and the fact that people come back year after year to participate in different expeditions is testament to the quality of the experience they provide, it’s also great to meet up with those returnees in different corners of the globe - makes it feel like a real team effort! I’ve dedicated the best part of my life to conservation, and feel privileged to be part of an organisation with such a great ethos.

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Biosphere Expeditions 08/12/2017

Thank you Cath. We are very glad to have you on our team.

9 Ida V.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am just back from my first trip with Biosphere Expeditions as an Expedition Leader in training on the Costa Rica Leatherback Sea Turtle expedition. I was impressed with the quality of the science carried out, this is not some data gathering exercise, but real science that is guiding real conservation efforts. The caliber of the partner organisation and scientist was extremely professional and the quality of the volunteers on this expedition was exceptional. It was a great experience to carry out important conservation work with a group of like minded, hard working, and excited volunteers. Biosphere Expeditions does an excellent job in marrying important conservation projects with enthusiastic citizen scientists.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/27/2016

Thank you for this review Ida. We're glad to have you on the team.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a freelance travel writer specialized in volunteer vacations. I have spent countless hours researching opportunities for volunteering that are responsible and effective for my guidebook Volunteer Vacations in Latin America (http://www.amazon.com/Volunteer-Vacations-Latin-America-Handbooks/dp/1612386415), and for other articles I have written. I have heard nothing but good things about Biosphere Expeditions. You can read many of my articles about responsible volunteering at my website, www.amyiswriting.com/clips.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/27/2016

Thank you for this. It's really good to hear that the word out there is as positive as you describe and we are glad that the hard work of our volunteers, staff and partners on the ground is perceived as such by the wider world and professionals in the field. Thanks for letting us know.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having been on another trip as a travel writer with Biosphere I've come back even more convinced that not only do they absolutely deliver on what they say they will in terms of the science, but they also provide experiences for volunteers which have an authenticity you won't find anywhere else.

Their organisation inspires great loyalty despite the fact they can ask quite a lot of their volunteers. Their briefings are comprehensive and well prepared but they are also very helpful for those with questions before you all set out so you feel you are in very safe hands, even though you are heading for the middle of nowhere!

A lot of what they ask is very hard work when you are there, but absolutely everyone I've been away with has found it a good deal more rewarding, and relaxing, than a typical holiday. I think this is why people return so often - it's the best possible feedback that those who find out about these expedititions like to return, and do more because they feel they can actually help in some small way to make a difference.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/27/2016

Thank you Holly! Coming from a travel journalist this is great to hear. Where to next?

9 timpolaszek

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated in the Oman excursion, spending a week on a dhow (beautiful Omani boat) around the northern peninsula near Musandam. We were briefed on data collection and species recognition of fish, invertebrates and corals with the purpose of longer-term measurement and evaluation of the health of the biodiversity in the region.
One of the most beautiful parts of the world that I have ever visited, with a people that a very welcoming, kind and generous. Matthias (founder), Catherine (expedition leader) and Jean-Luc (scientist) were all absolutely incredible. Each with a deep passion for their work and particularly personable, helpful and astoundingly knowledgeable. I vastly increased my knowledge of taxonomy and governance of protected areas and it was clear that our work was making a difference.
I cannot recommend this experience enough, you will be certain to make many new friends with the team, volunteers, fish, invertebrates, corals, Omanis and skippers of the boat!
Just a quick extra point, there were sleeping quarters on the boat but in fact every night was spent on the deck, under a magnificent starry sky, what is not to like...

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/25/2016

Thank you so much for your kind comments about our staff and the expedition Tim.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I got the chance to join the Biopshere Expeditions as a placement from the host country. Day in day out, the expedition encouraged my curiosity to learn and find out more about the environment I spent most of my time in.

I got a lot more than I was expecting out of this trip and it felt great to know that I was diving with a cause, and better yet, being able to use the skills that i gained later on is a reward in itself. Getting to enjoy the company of like minded people, it's fair to say that I've made life long friends on this trip.

What was really impressive to me was the extent to which the trip was organised well, it was very professional. From the start to the finish. We were treated as responsible adults but always felt safe and in place under the guidance of the team leader.

A rewarding and memorable experience!

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/25/2016

We are very glad you found your placement rewarding and the expedition well organised and professional. In turn we hope that your placement helped you in your professional development too.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've now done 14 (fourteen) Biosphere expeditions - to the Altai Republic in Russia, the Tien Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan, the jungle in Sumatra, and the waters off western Scotland. I've also signed up for the Slovakian expedition in 2017. By itself those repetitions show I get a lot out of the trips - they do what they say on the tin (they have the most honest briefings I've ever seen). They can be hard (but very rewarding) work - certainly not a vacation in the sun (or snow)! Volunteers (who have a lot, a little, or no relevant experience) get serious training on specific topics and produce serious scientifically-valid results which go on to help protect a range of habitats and organisms. Biosphere is an excellent example of citizen science in action. By comparison with other organisations doing similar stuff - no comparison in my view.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/15/2016

Thank you for the review P (by your list of expeditions we know who you are are ;). It's very good to hear that you think us a showcase citizen science organisation, which produces valid results. That's exactly what we want to be.

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved in three Biosphere expeditions and as a professional ecologist, I have found the organisation to be highly committed, ethical and a genuine contributor to conservation. The projects are hands-on and meaningful and offer a unique opportunity to experience the natural environment in a much more intimate and connected way than you can achieve through traveling as a tourist. This is a great way to meet passionate and dedicated people, contribute to conservation at a global scale and contribute to the local area when you are traveling. I highly recommend Biosphere as a volunteer organisation and as a conservation partner.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/15/2016

Thank you so much for this endorsement, draconis. We are especially delighted to receive this kind of praise from a professional ecologists.

14 iohn

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered on a Biosphere Expeditions study in 2007. I had previously been on traditional photographic safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa but wanted to be more involved and not just live in a bubble having images of Africa served up on a plate.

So I volunteered for a study of cheetah numbers and distributions on Namibian farmland. It was a life-changing experience. We never once saw a cheetah or leopard in the whole two weeks but we learned from the trackers, San bushmen, how to tell apart the tracks of cheetah, leopard and hyena, find their scat and collect some for DNA anaysis. We would follow tracks in the soft sand of dried up river beds and could easily imagine the animal walking beside us, stopping to sniff at marking trees and leave their own scent. Tasks were assigned by an expedition leader and volunteers rotated around to have the chance at each activity, taking measurements and recording data for later analysis by the scientist. I found it remarkable how, with just two days of training, we were able to make a serious contribution to the science.

I was hooked and returned a further 7 times to Namibia until my declining health made it impossible. On each return my skills walking in the African bush depened and it felt like a second home. The study has changed over the years covering more species such as elephants so has always offered new experiences

I found BE by searching the internet but there are many websites offering volunteer programmes of varying lengths and costs so you have to go behind the glamorous descriptions and seek out the truth. The deciding factor for me was a BBC radio account of a journalist visiting the Namibian project which warned that this was not a big cat petting site but a genuine scientific study to which enthusiastic lay persons like me could actually contribute.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/10/2016

Than you for your review, iohn, and your kind words. It's good to hear that our science convinced you to step out of the safari bubble and that Namibia started to feel like a second home. We're sorry to hear about your health issues and hope you will recover.

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wow, what amazing reviews on here! But I whole-heartedly agree. I have been on several wildlife volunteering expeditions (with Biosphere and others, such as Earthwatch) and Biosphere has been by far the best. As people before me have observed on here, their focus is on conservation (not money), on integrating you into the work, making you feel part of something bigger, and challenging yourself in the best way possible. You are also looked after very well, treated as an adult and given plenty of responsibility and surrounded by very knowledgeable and helpful staff and interesting people. I have made many friendships on expedition and learnt a lot of new things and skills. Each time I felt I have developed as a person too.

Also, once the expedition is over, you are not just forgotten about. Instead you receive expedition reports and news (which you can opt out of at any time), invitations to events, etc., which is great. For me the expedition reports in particular showed me that Biosphere Expeditions is a highly ethical organisation that delivers on its promises. It showed me that they are serious about their conservation work, and my contribution to it in terms of the work I put in, and being transparent about where the money goes (the report covers both in great detail). No other organisation I have volunteered for even comes close to this level of transparency and serious science.

Volunteering has come in for some criticism in the media lately for being exploitative and for bogus science and projects. In my opinion Biosphere is a shining example of how it should be done.

Anyway, before I ramble on too much, let me finish by saying - along with many others here - that if you are thinking about wildlife volunteering, then stop thinking and start doing!

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/10/2016

Thank you for this awesome review! We are so glad to hear that the things we really strive for (transparency, serious conservation science, looking after people and treating them as responsible adults, generating an environment of learning and personal growth, ethical volunteering, no focus on profits or unsustainable growth, etc.) are noticed and appreciated. Do keep rambling on, please ;)

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been collaborating with Biosphere Expeditions since 2004. I think they are the best organisation at putting volunteers together with researchers in the field. Having extra hands to collect the data as well as extra eyes to spot the animals is a great benefit. They provide all the extra equipment required to host the volunteers in the field, such as binocculars and computers. Biosphere also send a team leader to look after the volunteers at the base, so that I can focus on collecting the data. Biosphere are committed to spreading the word about conservation and lowering our own "footprint". Their primary concern is safety first, followed by the science being done and then the satisfaction of the clients. I hope to continue working with Biosphere for many more years to come.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/10/2016

Thank you for the thumbs-up and praise! We too hope our collaboration will last for many more years.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i participated in the Amazonia expedition in Peru. This was without doubt one of the most exhilarating and enriching experiences i could ever have hoped for.
Great organisation by the Biosphere Expeditions team and on-the-ground scientists made you feel safe while still pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone to allow for some incredible wildlife experiences. Don't think about doing this; just do it!

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/10/2016

Thank you Libby! And thank you too for all the other things you have helped us with in your home country. This is very much appreciated and has helped us develop a lot.

8 AndyGahan

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I came across Biosphere whilst looking for expeditions that I could volunteer for. I was so impressed by their work across the globe and the variety of projects that they run I volunteered my company to help them to spread the word. I help out with some Social Media work for Biosphere and I look forward in joining in on some of the dive expeditions as I'm an experienced diver.

Andy Gahan
www.ThePixelBullies.com

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/10/2016

Thank you for your kind words Andy, and for volunteering your services. This has helped us to understand more about social media. We look forward to seeing you on one of our coral reef conservation (and dive) expeditions in the future. Just let us know when you are ready.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The two weeks i spent in the desert of Oman, in a wadi several hours inland of Sallalah with Biosphere Expeditions' team of scientists and local rangers was an amazing experience. We worked with camera traps, gps units, and drove fabulous new land rovers to gather evidence of the presence of Arabian Leopards and their prey species. I enjoyed feeling useful, challenging myself (a little) physically and and getting to know the interesting bunch of team members from all over the world. Go if you are young, old, single or a couple - you will have a holiday that is so much more than a holiday.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/10/2016

Thank you for recounting your experience here. We are very glad it has been so positive. Do join us again sometime, if you can.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have done several expeditions with Biosphere Expeditions now...it must be good, since I keep coming back!!

I am a keen scuba diver and I have been twice on both the Oman and Maldives trips, where the volunteers train in and then use the Reef Check methodology to gather data on marine health. When I first signed up, I knew very little about the organisation, but I really wanted to go diving with a purpose, and this was a great opportunity to do something meaningful in a relatively short space of time.

The expedition far exceeded my expectations - really professional organisation, a lovely group of people with a common aim (safety, science and satisfaction - as we were reminded several times - in that order!), some beautiful scenery and diving, good accommodation, and a trip that was both purposeful and relaxing. As with any dive trip, it's pretty active, and you should be prepared for a bit of study to learn the marine life you need to recognise/count, but everyone in all my groups passed the tests and were able to collect data, and it's all set out very clearly in the trip notes.

On one of my Maldives trips we were lucky enough to find two whale sharks (which we were trying to spot in order to take identification photos and other data), and swimming with them was fantastic - they really are amazing animals. On my second Maldives trip we didn't see any - but it is testament to how much fun the rest of the trip was that this really didn't detract from another great experience.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/08/2016

Thank you very much for your kind words Suse. Thank you also for sharing your great underwater photography with us and your commitment to coral reef conservation over the years. We look forward to seeing you again.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated thanks to a placement programme on an expedition, which proved to be a very valuable experience in terms of getting to know the environment in my own country and gaining an insight into work of a wildlife biologistand. Led by friendly people with lots of experience.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/08/2016

Thank you for posting. We're glad you enjoyed your placement and found our staff friendly and experienced. We hope the experience was useful and that you can use this to further conservation causes at home.

5 Amran A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am happy to participate such project which can add more practical research methods to my experience. As well as adding people to my friendship worldwide.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/06/2016

It was good to have you, Amran, join us as a placement from the Oman Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs on our Musandam coral reef expedition, and we are glad we could help you in your professional development. Thank you for your help at the ministry too. We were delighted when the protected areas were declared based on our survey work there! We look forward to staying in touch and on developing marine protection further with you and the ministry.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My participation in Biosphere Expeditions begun in 2005, first by setting up an expedition in Brazil and latter in a role as scientist in Peru and Oman. Since then I have been involved in the scientific supervision of other expedition projects with large mammals, including study design, data analysis, report reviews and publication in scientific journals.

During this period, I was able to witness the progress that was gained to deliver good science, result of a constant pursue for improvement in several fronts - be it in the involvement of partners and local communities, number and quality of activities to be developed during expeditions, presentation of results in a daily basis to follow the expedition progress, constant improvement in training to shorten the learning curve and increase understanding so that reliable information is retrieved from field surveys and rigorous report reviews.

I'm happy to have made part of this story, and recommend the expeditions to anyone that is found of wild places, adventure, good company and wants to be involved in research and conservation of wildlife.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Thank you for your invaluable input Marcelo, and your kind words in your review. It is and has been a pleasure to work with you and you have indeed helped this organisation to develop significantly over the years.

15 Patrick Jean-Martel

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As other volunteers here, I was looking for a true opportunity to assist scientists in their fieldwork while spending my holydays abroad. I am a wildlife lover but also very curious on a scientific level. Unfortunately, my career choices have led me away from these interests and I have always tried to find a way to make up for that.

I was very sceptic at first, having seen many places where volunteers were just sent on car safaris or in petting farms. One day thankfully, I stumbled upon the Biosphere expedition website and after reading many expedition reports and seeing the awards/sponsors, I decided to give it a try. Since that first expedition I have committed to do one expedition each year. Every time i come back to my "normal" life feeling very privileged.

A Biosphere Expedition is not simply another opportunity to give some of your time and money to help a wildlife conservative project and feel good about yourself. It is a unique and amazing experience both on a social and personal level. You get to meet truly interesting volunteers from all around the world, passionate scientists and locals. You find yourself discussing about life (wild or not) late at night around a fire, overseen by thousands of stars in the purest of the night skies. But you will also be exploring remote and truly unique locations, with beautiful landscapes, or sometimes have the privilege of accessing otherwise restricted areas of wonderful natural preserves.

Not only that, but you will also be helping a scientist or a group of scientist in their studies in a very practical and direct manner, somùehow helping to protect the wildlife you respect and admire. Along the way you will learn a little more about the complex ecosystems you will be exploring, learning to decipher the behavior of some truly amazing fauna and sometimes have the chance to get up close with wonderful creatures. Maybe the most important aspect in these studies is the level of trust that is given to the volunteers. You will be lent high quality gear (telemeters, lenses, jeep…) trained on the first day or two, and then after a good breakfast, sent on your own by teams in order to complete the targeted surveys, set up or recovering traps... Of course the participant’s safety is the main concern for the Biosphere’s team and everyone is thoroughly briefed. At the end of the day the data is generally collected and immediately processed by the scientists. Any interesting result will then be debriefed the next days during the dinners. The cooks hired on the expeditions are also always incredible, managing some truly delicious dishes with little kitchenware and sometimes a capricious environment.

Biosphere Expeditions is really well organized with very serious and helpful staff members who love what they do. Each expedition is well prepared and thoroughly described in a specific documentation available on the website or sent to you by email. Regular reports are also sent to everyone you whish to include.

In these expeditions you are really doing something useful and learning a lot while operating in amazing environments.

I am happy and proud to be part of this specific biosphere

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Thank you for your very kind words Patrick, and your detailed review. It's much appreciated and it's always a pleasure to have you on an expedition. We look forward to seeing you.

13 Tariq S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Going on an expedition with Biosphere Expeditions was, hands-down, the best outdoor experience I have ever had in my life. Besides the fun I had while working with the team and the loads of information I gained from this work, the way the expedition's supervisors and guides treated us was outstanding. I mean in terms of hospitality and assistance they were great and made us feel home. They provided us with everything we needed to spend our time in the wild; great food everyday, advanced equipment, amazing guidance and assistance. We learned a lot about wildlife research and conservation, as well as how to use the scientific equipment in the field. If I have a piece of advice to you guys, get on a Biosphere expedition as soon as you can; you will have an unforgettable experience.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

We are very glad to have been provided such a life experience for you Tariq. We hope it will help you in developing your career towards conservation.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was lucky to get a placement and take part in the Tien Shan expedition for snow leopards in July 2015. I'm so grateful for the ongoing research. Great job and priceless contribution to study and preserve this gorgeous but rapidly declining in number big cat. As and developing country we have no enough resources to conduct a research in areas as Biosphere Expeditions can do with help of volunteers from all around the glob.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

We are very happy to have helped in your professional development and look forward to seeing you on another placement soon. Thank you very much for your continued commitment to Kyrgyzstan's wildlife.

12 Kit-kat

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've joined 6 different conservation holidays with Biosphere Expeditions to some amazing parts of the world, including Namibia, Oman, Altai mountains and the rainforest in Peru. On each expedition I've felt I'm playing a small, but vital role in helping to understand more about the protection needed of the different environments and the species that live there.

The one thing that has always impressed me is the organisation of each expedition. On arrival, time is spent learning how to use any equipment or drive off-road, invaluable and important skills once you are out in the field carrying out the research, and also useful back at home (not the off-road driving so much!).

I've met some great people, both locals and other volunteers, and each expedition has created long lasting memories.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Thank you very much for your thumbs-up on our organisation and its organisation ;) We're glad you met great people and created good memories, and we look forward to having you on expedition again. You are always welcome, Kit-kat.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since 2010 I've joined 4 expeditions with Biospheres Expeditions in 3 different areas and I have already booked one for this year and planned one for 2017.
I have volunteered with another organisation before and was quite disappointed. Spending my time and money on volunteering I expected to be part of it and to be informed about what has been achieved. With
Biospheres I have the feeling to make a difference, no matter which project I participated in. After the expedition you get an expedition report and can follow up on the work done.
Being (and wanting to stay) a small organisation, Biosphere manages to care for you as a volunteer and as a 'friend of Biosphere'. I personally have the impression that for Biosphere Expeditions money is not everything - and I appreciate it!

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Thank you very much for your positive review and kind words. We are glad some disappointing experience before you found us did not turn you off! Money is indeed not everything, which is why we do not want to be part of the dangerously destructive and mathematically impossible obsession with growth. We need enough money to do what we do and thank you for your support through your expedition contribution and the labour you invest. But other than that, we are happy to stay small and do a dozen or so projects, but do them well!

13 Fire_Monkey

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since 2002 I have been on 13 expeditions with Biosphere Expeditions most recently in Sumatra in 2015. I totally agree with everything said by Safari Girl and Alan Hoffberg. Each and every expedition has been a wonderful experience.

If you are looking for a totally authentic conservation experience, which fully involves non-scientists in all aspects of the work after training in country, look no further than Biosphere Expeditions.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Always good to have you on expedition Fire_Monkey, and thank you very much for singing our praises on here. Much appreciated, as always!

14 Safari_Girl

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with Biosphere Expeditions three times between 2002 and 2012. Each of the three expeditions was based in Namibia, but each had its own study species and was led by a different scientist. I remember searching online back in 2002 for a volunteer opportunity that would offer the chance to learn about and get close to African wildlife. I figured it was hopeless without a science background...but then lo and behold, there was Biosphere Expeditions.

It was important to me to volunteer with a non-profit that operated ethically and did not exploit the wildlife in any way. As you can see from the awards and commendations on their website, Biosphere puts ethics and responsible volunteering right up there at the top of the list. The expedition contribution that each volunteer pays goes directly to funding the project. Without it, the research wouldn't be possible.

Biosphere's organization and leadership are also top-notch. In addition to the scientist(s) overseeing the study, with whom you'll be closely involved, there is always a team leader who makes sure that everything runs smoothly. Thanks to the detailed materials you'll receive ahead of time, you will have a very good idea of what to expect before you head out. However be ready as well to "expect the unexpected" and embrace those spontaneous adventures!

In addition to great leadership, you will find yourself among volunteers of all ages from across the globe, who share your passion for wildlife and conservation. If your family & friends are tired of hearing you talk endlessly about wallabies, snow leopards, or 3-toed sloths, this might be the place for you.

Rest assured that you will be well looked after. Delicious food and comfortable accommodations are the norm (even in the African bush). You will get to be involved in all aspects of the research as you rotate through a variety of activities. On my most recent expedition, I got to swab the inside of a hyena's mouth [see photo] and take its temperature. That picture made for a pretty unique Facebook post back at home. And yes, the hyena was under sedation.

You will most likely discover that you've stretched way out of your comfort zone and loved every minute of it. Keep an open mind and embrace every moment. Be prepared to work hard, get dirty, learn and laugh. I highly recommend volunteering with Biosphere Expeditions. You will be contributing to wildlife conservation and will have an incredible experience in the process.

California, USA

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed review Safari_Girl. Stretching your comfort zone a little is part of the fun, we would argue, and some of the best experiences are to be had when stretched a little. Thank you for rating us so highly and we look forward to seeing you on expedition again whenever your time allows.

14 Alan Hoffberg

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I participated with Biosphere Expeditions since 2003. During these 13 years, we participated in numerous expeditions, taking us to South America, Central America, and Africa.

Each expedition includes one to two days of on-site training, depending upon the project complexity and body of knowledge. The volunteers conduct meaningful tasks which contribute to the research findings. And several months later, Biosphere Expeditions and the lead scientist publish and distribute a comprehensive report describing the project, including methodology, conclusions, and project participants.

An expedition leader accompanies each Biosphere Expedition project. This fact sets this organization over and above most of the other research organizations utilizing volunteers. The removal of the expedition leader does cuts operating costs; however, the lead scientist has to handle administrative and organizational tasks - which are usually areas in which he/she has little or no experience.

The scientists are graduate/doctoral students or research professionals. For the past 15+ years, we have volunteered at a local zoo in the Education Department, preaenting programs to adults and children. We discovered we can share new information with the scientists and project participants.

This weekend we depart for Biosphere Expeditions' current Costa Rica project, dealing primarily with sea turtles.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Good to see you again in Costa Rica, Alan. Thank you for all the good things you are doing for us in the States too. It's much appreciated by everyone in the office, as is your very detailed and positive review. Where to next?

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer somewhere for somebody all my life. I've worked with various volunteer organisations, but have a special fondness for Biosphere Expeditions. I used Biosphere Expeditions and Earthwatch Institute to fund and collect data for my PhD on parrots of the Peruvian Amazon. Clearly, Biosphere Expeditions targets a specific niche of the volunteer market spectrum, but they are very good (the best?) in what they do. As a scientist, I am particularly fond of the citizen science model which bridges the gap between science and 'regular' folk. I highly recommend the Biosphere Expeditions experience: its good for everyone and the wildlife that gets the attention.

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Thank you for your review and also helping us to improve our research and conservation work with your expert guidance and advice. It's great to have very committed and capable biologists like you on board!

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hosting Biosphere expeditions at our research project has been a 5 star experience.
They are completely professional in their approach, and have the best interests of not only their participants, but also the wildlife and researchers they are assisting. There are no other organizations that are so thorough and dedicated. It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside like minded people that are hear for the right reasons. Long may our working relationship last!

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Thank you LAST for your kind words! Coming from another committed conservation NGO, they are especially appreciated. Long may our working relationship last indeed!

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been on Biosphere Expeditions projects as a journalist and I can confidently say that they are amongst the best out there. They take good care of you, the work you do is worthwhile and their achievements in wildlife conservation all over the world speak for themselves - just look at www.biosphere-expeditions.org/achievements. They are also active in educating people about the problems in voluntourism these days (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/voluntourism) and have published useful Top Ten Tips for people considering volunteering (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/tips). If you are thinking about volunteering in wildlife conservation, I would definitely consider them.

S Mittmerham, travel journalist

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Biosphere Expeditions 05/05/2016

Thank you! Coming from an experienced travel journalist, your words are especially encouraging. Thank you also for taking note of our various campaigns. We're very glad to see they are indeed being noticed.