Earthwatch Live!

Through Alcoa's partnership with the Earthwatch Institute, Alcoa employees have the opportunity to work alongside Earthwatch scientists on critical environmental research projects around the world – helping to unlock solutions to some of the biggest sustainability challenges of our time.
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Hello and Good-bye from The Arctic’s Edge!

We’re two of the Canadian Earthwatch participants. It was late April when we discovered we had been selected as Earthwatch Fellows. We had mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness. For the month before the expedition we were counting the days and could not wait for the expedition to begin. At last we arrived in Friendly Manitoba!!!

Our goals were to learn more about climate change and collect data for a team of scientists to better understand the diversity and types of wetlands across The Arctic treeline. They are also assessing the impacts of melting permafrost, which holds significant implications for the environment such as releasing carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. Experts from the Churchill Northern Studies Centre told us many interesting things about the threats to permafrost. If you want to discover more about permafrost, watch this video.

Measurements and samples
We took a lot of measurements and samples - like collecting zooplankton!

Our target was to take 112 samples from 16 wetlands in five days. The good news is we did 160 samples from 20 wetlands!

Collect organisms
Working with our team to collect organisms from the ponds was absolutely fantastic!

Learning sessions
Also, we had a learning session everyday, which helped us to more deeply understand climate change and our roles in Alcoa’s sustainability efforts.

We spent one afternoon in the town of Churchill, exploring the Eskimo museum, gift shops and coastline, which helped us better understand the culture and history of those living on The Arctic’s Edge.

On our last afternoon, when we wrapped up the expedition and learning sessions, we recognized that it was time to say farewell, our Earthwatch expedition in Churchill finally came to an end. However, a new journey just unfolded in front of us. We will be leaving with more wisdom, knowledge, passion and a sense of responsibility about making a difference. Perhaps these things were gradually developed when we were working closely with each other on daily tasks, or collecting waste bins from the wetlands, or actively engaging in discussions on sustainability, and thinking about the action plans we’re developing for our Alcoa workplace.

Without a doubt we will become awesome sustainability ambassadors at work, at home and in our communities. No matter what level of sustainability awareness each of us had in the past, after this experience, we are ready to bring something positive to more people by changing minds and behaviors. So, do you want to join us and make a difference for our Earth?

- Magdalena Kolacz and Vanessa Kang -


Read the full blog!

Meet the Fellows!

Earthwatch Institute

Learn more about this international nonprofit, which supports scientific field research worldwide.