[Coral-List] Earthwatch proposal invitation - Caribbean coral reefs

Sam Burgess sburgess at earthwatch.org.uk
Sun May 23 19:33:12 EDT 2010

Dear Listers,

Earthwatch is seeking proposals from scientists for a field-based project located in the Caribbean focussing on coral reef ecosystems.

Interested scientists should go to our website and download the concept note form and return it to Earthwatch by Tuesday, June 15, 2010. 


For further grant details please see the request for proposals below. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions.

Kind Regards,


Request for Proposals: Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems

Earthwatch Institute is an international non-profit organization with the mission to “engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.”

Earthwatch is currently seeking proposals from scientists to develop new field-based research projects for citizen scientists, focusing on coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean. Annual research grants will carry a minimum value of $20,000 USD, tenable for three years. Concept notes for projects starting in spring/summer 2011 will be accepted through Tuesday 15th June, 2010. Invitations for full research proposals will be communicated by early July 2010. Applications are to be submitted in English.

Earthwatch will consider proposals for hypothesis-driven field research that requires the involvement and engagement of non-specialists (Earthwatch volunteers) in data collection, scientific observation, and a variety of research tasks. Earthwatch volunteers are highly motivated citizens from around the world who are dedicated to improving scientific and environmental understanding. Preference will be given to research projects that foster partnerships in the local community and directly contribute to local environmental or social change. A suitable project would employ 6-20 volunteers on each of 4-8 teams per year. Research teams typically spend 5-14 days in the field, however, both shorter and longer teams are encouraged where appropriate. Research projects which can involve individual teenagers and school groups to participate are desirable, but not essential. All volunteers speak English, and projects must be conducted in English.

Research Focus
Earthwatch welcomes research proposals which focus on marine ecosystem connectivity and understanding the impacts of environmental change on ecosystem functions provided by coral reefs. Projects developing our understanding of the intra/inter connectivity between coral reefs, and other coastal ecosystems or involving species of conservation significance to acquire the knowledge necessary to maintain functional ecosystems through adaptive management are encouraged. In particular, a better understanding of the specific threats that overfishing, habitat degradation, climate change, sea level rise, and pollution pose to coral reef ecosystems is a priority, especially those with biodiversity value, high species endemism, and those that are important as a human resource.
Research topics that may be considered for funding include, but are not limited to:
• Impacts of climate change on coral reef ecosystems, and how this is affecting the local community
• The role of coral reefs in coastal ecosystem function, examining interactions with other key habitats such as mangroves and seagrass beds, and how integrated ecosystem management can mitigate against the impacts of human activities and climate change
• The effects of fisheries (including fish and shellfish; and aquaculture practices) on coral reefs and how they can be managed effectively to ensure sustainable fish stocks and healthy coral reef ecosystem

Value of grant
A minimum annual grant of $20,000 USD is available to cover research related costs, which can include the following if appropriate: equipment (under $1000 USD), tools, supplies, research permits, scientist transport to the field, support staff, staff and scientist food and accommodation while running volunteer teams. The grant cannot be used for scientist salaries, overheads, capital equipment, and other expenses not directly related to the project. Volunteer costs in the field will be funded by Earthwatch separately from the research grant. These costs include volunteer accommodation, food and transport in the field. The field research grants are tenable for three years, and potentially renewable in the fourth year.

Additional information
• Research field tasks should be conducted by snorkeling over SCUBA diving where possible.
• Comfortable accommodation for the proposed project should be located as close to the research site(s) as possible to minimize daily travel.
• Time for scheduled recreational activities enabling volunteers to explore the surrounding area and experience cultural aspects are encouraged.

All questions and concept note submissions should be directed to:
Dr. Samantha Burgess, Senior Oceans Research Manager • Earthwatch Institute
• e-mail: sburgess at earthwatch.org.uk • Telephone: +44 (0) 1865 318808 • www.earthwatch.org/europe

More information about the Coral-List mailing list