Why did you decide to volunteer with Earthwatch in Scotland?
Laurel: I was looking for a volunteer opportunity that involved animals and going to a place that I would be interested in visiting after the volunteer vacation was this fit the bill perfectly.
Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.
Laurel: We were paired up with a different partner each (another volunteer) and were rotated through duties that included: sightings watch (standing on the front of the boat watching for whales and dolphins), bird watch - recording whale and dolphin sightings, recording the different types and numbers of birds, and listening to the underwater microphone and watching the computer screen for whale sounds. Each person would get a 30 minute break through each cycle, then it would start all over again.
Our day would start between 8 and 9 in the morning, we would stop for lunch, then work through until dinner, which we took turns making. Often we would go island hopping in the evenings, which meant exploring uninhabited islands that would have been very difficult to reach for the average person.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Laurel: I volunteered for personal reasons and since volunteering I've tried to incorporate more volunteer travel in my vacations as well as more wildlife encounters.