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We believe that travel is always the best educator. On all of our voyages, we offer unique opportunities for expeditioners to immerse themselves in the natural world, fostering curiosity and expanding expeditioners’ knowledge of the places we travel to.

One of the key ways we do this is through our robust Citizen Science Program, which allows expeditioners the opportunity to actively contribute to scientific research projects while exploring some of the most remote corners of our planet.

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our newest Citizen Science project in partnership with EyeSea. Building on the success of our existing initiatives, this ground-breaking program aims to tackle marine pollution in some of the world’s most remote locations.

Read on to learn more about this exciting new project and how it fits into our established Citizen Science Program, our commitment to environmental stewardship, and how you can make a difference while exploring the world’s most remote destinations.

Aurora's Citizen Science Program

Our Citizen Science Program is designed to be an interactive forum for like-minded travellers to share discoveries and connect with the natural world. Whether onboard our ships, during shore expeditions, or in our Zodiacs, expeditioners can engage in a variety of scientific projects led by our passionate and knowledgeable Expedition Team.

We’ve carefully selected a collection of dynamic Citizen Science Projects, each renowned for ground-breaking work and significant global achievements. These projects cover a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from monitoring marine life to studying weather patterns, and they all play a vital role in providing valuable data to the scientific community. Learn more about our current projects below.

Happy Whale

We contribute globally to Happywhale by photographing whales for identification. The software compares distinct markings to track individual marine life, aiding research on migration, home-range patterns, population dynamics, and survival rates.

eBird

We complete seabird surveys at sea or landing sites to provide data for long-term monitoring of seabirds in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic Peninsula.
Guided by our expert ornithologists and naturalists all collected data is recorded through eBird.

Microplastics

Microplastics are one of the biggest issues our oceans, marine animals and ecosystems face. During onshore excursions, we will collect a small sample for sorting, recording and packaging to be sent for further scientific analysis by The Big Microplastic Survey.

Weather Patterns

This international science and education program from The Globe Program is an opportunity to participate in cloud data collection and contribute meaningfully to our global understanding of the Earth’s weather systems and environments.

Polar Fjordlands

The fjords along the west Antarctic Peninsula are hotspots of biological activity and biodiversity. Through the FjordPhyto project, we help to monitor phytoplankton changes via Zodiac expeditions, aiding scientists in tracking biodiversity shifts over time.

Phytoplankton

The Secchi Disk study maps global ocean phytoplankton, vital for over half of Earth’s photosynthesis and marine food chains. Data collection involves lowering the disk from a Zodiac or stationary ship to measure phytoplankton depth.

Marine Biodiversity

iNaturalist’s global community allows us to share observations about the animals and plants we see on our expedition voyages and to discuss, identify and create research-quality data for conservation purposes.

Approximately one third of surveyed passengers currently participate in Citizen Science projects during their expeditions, with eBird emerging as the most popular choice among budding Citizen Scientists. As we expand our program with more and more inspiring projects, we look forward to seeing participation skyrocket!

So, what exactly is EyeSea, and how can you get involved?

EyeSea is a platform that empowers individuals from around the globe to contribute valuable data and observations about the ocean’s health and biodiversity. Because of the remote destinations we visit, our expeditioners are well-placed to contribute valuable data that will help scientists better understand and safeguard these precious ecosystems for future generations.

The EyeSea app provides a simple yet powerful tool for monitoring marine pollution. Expeditioners can use the app to capture images of plastic debris in the water or on beaches, along with geolocation data indicating the location of the sighting. Additionally, users have the option to note whether the plastic was collected, providing valuable insights into clean-up efforts.

Following trials conducted during our 2023 Arctic and 2023-24 Antarctic seasons, we have collaborated with EyeSea to refine and optimise the app for expedition tourism and passenger vessels. Developed originally for commercial vessels, expeditioners will be able to contribute to pollution monitoring efforts from the start of our 2024 Arctic season.

Sailing Towards Sustainability

As a Certified B Corporation™, sustainability lies at the heart of everything we do. Our collaboration with EyeSea represents a continuation of our commitment to preserving our planet’s precious resources and protecting the environments we visit.

This collaborative initiative marks a significant milestone for AE Expeditions, as our fleet become the first passenger vessels to assist with pollution monitoring. The partnership has already yielded promising results, with expeditioners actively participating in pollution monitoring efforts during recent voyages. The data collected not only enhances our understanding of environmental challenges but also serves as a catalyst for conservation initiatives and policy decisions.

Through operational tests conducted onboard our vessels, we have been able to refine the app’s functionality and optimise data collection processes. The success of these trials underscores our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable practices, further solidifying AE Expeditions’ reputation as a leader in responsible tourism.

By empowering our expeditioners to actively engage in conservation efforts, we hope to inspire a global community of ambassadors for the planet. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the fight against marine pollution and ensure a brighter future for our oceans and wildlife.

Want to learn more about our Sustainability Commitment?

The launch of EyeSea marks an exciting new chapter in our Citizen Science Program. By harnessing the collective efforts of our expeditioners, we aim to contribute meaningful data to global conservation efforts and drive positive change in the fight against marine pollution.

Protecting the World's Wild Places

AE Expeditions has been dedicated to sustainability since its inception and is now honoured to be a Certified B Corporation™ or ‘B Corp’.

We embrace a responsibility to inspire, educate and advocate for the protection, preservation and regeneration of wild places across the globe, to inspire a global community of ambassadors for the planet. Not only do we care about reducing our footprint environmentally, we are taking real actions for the care of the planet and are doing more to help make a positive impact on the planet.

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