FRANCE: Mountains and Marmots — Climate Change in the Alps

The Alps are home to a fragile ecosystem, host to a variety of plant and animal life.  When the climate undergoes significant changes, it can upset the balance of life, especially for the species who are highly specialized to their environment.  One of the animals, the marmot, will help researchers discover a species’ ability to cope, or not cope, with climate change.  Volunteers will be staying in a chalet overlooking the Tignes Lake, in Tignes-Le-Lac, near one of the more famous Alps’ ski resorts. Volunteers will set traps, collect bait, and capture marmots to help record the animal’s biometric measures.  Volunteers will also be observing behavior, identifying composition of the family groups, and characterizing the relationships between members of different family groups.  This project will provide important information for the prediction of wildlife response to climate change, and support conservation efforts.  When volunteers are not in the field, they can hike the surrounding trails, learn to cook or brush up on their French, and even ski the Alps.  The min length for this trip is 7 days for $2,400, with a max stay of 14 days for $3,600. Departures in May, Jun, and Jul.

EARTHWATCH