Fire, ice and tramping through the forest: go to extremes to save the planet

International environmental charity Earthwatch is keeping up it's eco-credentials in 2008, with the launch of 13 new research expeditions in extreme, remote and threatened locations around the globe.

Earthwatch projects are aimed to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Whether you'd like to study the effects of acid rain in Nicaragua, monitor jaguars in the Ecuadorian Andes, or even if you'd like to hike volcanoes in Costa Rica to survey the flora and fauna in crater lakes, there is an expedition to satisfy every intrepid traveller's whim.

New trips include visiting a secluded winter wonderland 800 miles from Alaska to observe fur seals, saving the Tarangire Migration in Tanzania, getting some traditional knowledge of African Villages, and spending some time with either the Reef Fish of the Virgin Islands, Minke Whales of Canada, Songbirds of Wyoming or wild horses of North Carolina. Each expedition promises a unique experience far beyond the tourist trail.

If you can donate anything from two days to three weeks of your time (and from £175 to £2550), you'll be funding some important research and the fee also covers accommodation in local hotels and guest houses with comfortable but basic facilities, locally produced food, training, medical evacuation, the offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions and - opf course - a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Earthwatch currently supports over 120 environmental research projects in 55 countries. Since 1971, they have recruited over 85,000 volunteers in support of 2,800 field research projects in 118 countries. For more information visit the Earthwatch website or call 01865 31852

Images by: Caroline Campbell and Paul Harris