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Earthwatch at 50: Fiona and Paul Cropper's story

While looking at pictures of the Amazon on Google Earth in 2019, Fiona and her husband Paul were inspired to join Earthwatch’s 'Amazon Riverboat Exploration' expedition. It not only offered them an opportunity to visit the area, but to learn new skills and contribute to scientific research. Fiona and Paul’s love of nature and the environment was how they had met via a dating website and this expedition provided the opportunity to take action together. 

Over the eight-day expedition, Fiona and Paul spent time in North-East Peru’s pristine forests where Fiona recorded sightings of wildlife including rare Jaguars and Tapirs using camera traps.

“I was really heartened to discover that Earthwatch had been collecting the same data for 20 years, and that the wildlife trends recorded were positive compared to the past” said Fiona. “It was a rare environmental good news story!”

This experience strengthened their determination to make a difference and Paul has been busy turning their barn-conversion into an off-grid environmentally-friendly home by installing solar tiles and battery storage. This has enabled them to reduce their carbon footprint and produce clean energy. Fiona and Paul also recently set up a new company to bring green energy systems to refrigerated vehicles, which are highly polluting.

The future holds exciting opportunities for Paul and Fiona and they are already looking at planning their next Earthwatch endeavour.

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