October 10, 2014

Alcoa Employees Contribute to Science on Global Environmental Science Expeditions


NEW YORK - Alcoa Foundation announced today that the third and final team ofAlcoa (NYSE:AA) employees has returned home from a unique professional development opportunity with Earthwatch Institute, whose mission is to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.
 
For one week, 25  Alcoa Earthwatch Fellows contributed to critical scientific research projects at one of three sites:  Serra do Itajaí National Park in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil; Churchill Northern Studies Center in the Canadian province of Manitoba; and the Haute Garonne region of the French Pyrenees Mountains. The Fellows worked alongside scientists to contribute to world-class research on climate change, carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services.
 
“Earthwatch expeditions are unique; they allow our employees to build their knowledge in the STEM arena and, when they return to their home countries, they do so as environmental science ambassadors for the Company and in their communities,” said Esra Ozer, President, Alcoa Foundation.
 
In Brazil, the Alcoa Fellows identified, measured, observed, and banded 64 birds in the Atlantic forest. These results will contribute to a landscape database that will help Earthwatch scientist, Dr. Ana Paula Giorgi, identify how human pressures, such as development and deforestation, are altering plant and animal biodiversity in the rainforest.
 
In Canada, the Alcoa Fellows helped set up 14 experimental mesocosm tanks that will help scientists analyze survival of lacustrine species during the Arctic winters. In addition, they sampled 15 wetland ponds for a variety of biotic and abiotic factors. Earthwatch scientist, Dr. Lee Ann Fishback, will use the data to analyze how climate change is impacting the fragile tundra of the Arctic, such as melting permafrost and shifting tree lines.
 
In France, the Alcoa Fellows spent long days on the steep slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains gathering data on small mammals, pollinators, and forest biodiversity. They monitored 72 small animal traps, sampled 556 plants and 298 trees, and collected 83 pieces of indirect evidence (footprints, burrows, scat, etc.) of 18 different species. Dr. Bernat Claramunt Lopez and his team will use the data to observe ecosystem-level impacts of climate change in alpine environments.
 
“Not only does this program increase awareness of climate change and environmental sustainability among Alcoa employees and their communities, it also contributes valuable data to research scientists who are working to solve some of our world’s most pressing environmental challenges,”  said Larry Mason, CEO of Earthwatch Institute.

Upon returning home from the expeditions, the Fellows will lead sustainability action plans at work and in their communities.  To date, 220 Alcoa employees representing 21 countries have contributed more than 12,300 hours of science-based research to help find solutions to a range of sustainability challenges.
 
Learn more from the Alcoa Earthwatch Fellows at www.alcoa.com/earthwatch.
 
Contact:
Alyssa Corbett
978-450-1248
acorbett@earthwatch.org
 
Alice Pak Truscott
212-836-2835
alice.truscott@alcoa.com
 
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.
 
About Alcoa
A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our 60,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.
 
About Earthwatch Institute
Founded in 1971, Earthwatch is an international environmental organization whose mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Our vision is a world in which we live within our means and in balance with nature. Earthwatch currently supports 60 environmental research projects in 30 countries by providing funds and paying volunteers who work alongside leading field scientists and researchers. In the past 40 years, Earthwatch volunteers have contributed over 10 million hours to essential fieldwork. For more information about Earthwatch, visit www.earthwatch.org.