Volunteer travel involves traveling for a cause. The most notable would be that of missionaries who travel to third world countries or political organizations working in Africa, for example. For the more adventurous ones, there's always scientific research.
Volunteer travel to research has become popular these times with the existence of different companies who can offer these opportunities. To volunteer for research may not be as simple as it might seem though. It involves research, time, physical risk and money. However, it not only gives you the opportunity to contribute something to the environment or to general knowledge, it would also open a whole new life experience for you.
Currently, there are several projects that are run by different companies and organizations, that are open to those who would like to join professional research teams and be part of the wonderful discoveries that would contribute to world knowledge.
Better in the Bahamas: Making Marine Reserves Work – Teens
This project is by Earthwatch Institute and is open for teens who want to venture into knowing how important tropical coral reefs are. Interested teens will join researchers on this 10-day expedition. They will learn the interaction of patch reefs and mangrove creeks. In the process they will also learn how such interaction can affect the fish population as well as the overall situation of the coastal ecosystem in The Bahamas. There will be a facilitator for every group of 6 teens. The accommodation will be at Cape Eleuthera Institute. The overview, the travel cost and the details of the expedition are available on the Earthwatch Institute website.
Nature Travel Specialist
Bird Banding Course in the Central Amazon
This project is organized by The Population Ecology Lab at INPA or the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas de Amazonia. The expedition will take place on October 14-20, 2012. The project is open to INPA students, as well as to anyone else who qualifies. The goal of the expedition is to promote the best possible command of bird banding skills. It is a course, thus there will be certified banding instructors. There is a deadline for the application and has a limited slot of 15 students. This expedition is specifically good for those who has this field of study or are just really fascinated with birds. Being able to go to Brazil, especially in Central Amazon is already a plus.
Caretta Research Project
The Caretta Research Project was started by the Savannah Science Museum. The focus of the project is for loggerhead sea turtles. The goal is to enhance the survival of the eggs and hatchlings, and to involve and educate the public in conservation and research efforts. There are prerequisites, however, when it comes to age, health and attitude. There are 2 projects per year. There's the Egg Laying Season and the Egg Hatching Season. The location is in Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge, off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. There is also a cost that you need to shell out to be able to join the project.