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Earthwatch at 50: Lynda Thompson's story

Lynda Thompson first became aware of Earthwatch when she was working for an outdoor activity company near Ullswater in Cumbria. She cut out the small advert and saved it, later contacting Earthwatch to ask if she could volunteer in the main office because she couldn’t afford to actually participate in a project.

Stuffing envelopes and filing on many visits, her chance to go on an expedition came along unexpectedly when someone contacted Earthwatch wanting to go on an expedition herself, but requiring a personal helper due to her disability.

“Earthwatch thought of me. It was dream come true stuff, I couldn’t really take it in.”

They headed off to Alaska in 1993, where the team had been able to organise wheelchair-friendly facilities for the disabled participant, despite the remote location, and it marked the first of Lynda’s Earthwatch experiences – on the Taiga River Life project.

On her return, Lynda began funding further Earthwatch expeditions by giving talks to community groups and corporate clients. Over the years, Lynda has been scuba diving in The Canary Islands with a project to create a marine reserve, and taken part in various UK projects including at Wytham Woods in Oxfordshire. But the project she has returned to six times was the incredibly challenging Moosewatch expedition on Isle Royale, Michigan, USA.

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