you’re the type who likes to take your brain on vacation with you and actually use it, then spare a moment to
consider some of the following “research holidays.” Built around the dual themes of learning and
research, these vacations combine the challenge of learning with the adventure of travel.
Mark MacKenzie of The Independent does a nice job summarizing a few of the better options
that are available for those of you with Indiana Jones aspirations. For more detailed information, check out the
Shangri La River Expeditions – Jump in a kayak or
raft and help geoscientists map out river tributaries in western China. No prior geoscience experience necessary.
South Africa’s Kuruman River Reserve – Work with the Earthwatch
Institute to monitor Meerkat breeding. No prior meerkat breeding experience necessary. Earthwatch also has
141 other projects to choose from if meerkats don’t float your boat.
Hawaiian Volcanos – Aspiring vulcanologists can travel to Hawaii to
measure volcanic activity with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Don’t expect to spend much time
kicking it on the beach, however. “Volunteers must be in top physical shape.” This means lots
of trekking around with heavy research equipment. Brain and brawn required on this one.
Antarctica – The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has a variety of
volunteer positions available that ranging from cooking for the scientists to being a molecular phylogeneticist.
Go now and experience Antarctica before it melts.