Okay, sign me up! I SO want to do this.  Check out these volunteer vacations with Biosphere Expeditions and access your inner scientist while working side by side in the field next to real scientists to do hands-on research.  

1.    Track Snow Leopards In the Altai Republic: This award-winning volunteer vacation takes travelers to the remote mountains of the Altai Republic to follow in the tracks of the elusive Snow Leopards to conduct research that aims to protect an unprotected corridor of Snow Leopard movement from Mongolia to Russia where next to nothing is known about the numbers of leopards and their movements.

2.    Monitor Flatback Turtles in Western Australia: This volunteer vacation takes people to the strikingly beautiful coastline of Western Australia to conduct a survey of iconic Australian flatback turtles. While soaking in the stunning scenery, measure and tag turtles, and record data about nesting behavior. The research on this volunteer project meets objectives outlined in Australian state and federal management and recovery plans for Australian sea turtles.

3.    Protect the Coral Reefs of the Musandam Peninsula: This diving expedition takes volunteers to the United Arab Emirates and to the remote and mountainous Musandam peninsula of Oman. Volunteers study the diverse coral reefs fringing the areas where the mountains plunge into the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. This pioneering study aims at mapping this currently unprotected underwater environment.

Volunteers are well-fed, well-cared for, and have a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with field scientists, experience a foreign culture, and work with other volunteers from around the world. For more information, visit www.biosphere-expeditions.org .

Source: ATMS

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".