Country for PR: United States
Contributor: PR Newswire New York
Wednesday, September 25 2019 - 01:47
Wanted: Five Volunteers to Join Scientific Research Mission to Antarctica
SYDNEY, Sept. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

- The Antarctic Sabbatical – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to journey to the 
frozen frontier and help us better understand humans' environmental impact 

- No formal qualifications required, other than an adventurous spirit, passion 
for the environment and willingness to apply

- Part of larger Airbnb Sabbatical program designed to inspire people to take 
time out of their careers to give back

Today, Airbnb and Ocean Conservancy announced the Antarctic Sabbatical, an 
unprecedented opportunity for five passionate individuals to travel to Earth's 
most remote continent and join Antarctic Scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams on a 
first-of-its-kind scientific research mission in December. 

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The five volunteer citizen scientists will collect snow samples and study the 
extent to which microplastics have made their way to the interior of 
Antarctica. The goal of the Antarctic Sabbatical is to bring greater awareness 
to humans' impact on the climate in one of the world's least understood and 
most isolated ecosystems. By understanding the impact of plastic pollution 
generated elsewhere in the world, the citizen scientists will deliver insights 
on how the global community can help protect both Antarctica and the planet.

"Most people think of Antarctica as a pristine and isolated continent, but 
recent evidence shows that even the most remote locations are affected by 
plastic pollution. This expedition will help us understand the pathways of 
microplastics to remote regions such as Antarctica and comes at a critical time 
to highlight our responsibility to protect our natural world." said 
Jones-Williams. "This expedition will be hard work, with scientific rigour 
required during unforgiving wintery conditions. We are looking for passionate 
individuals, with a sense of global citizenship, who are excited to be a part 
of the team and to return home and share our findings with the world."

On the month-long expedition, the citizen scientists will:

    -- Attend an immersion training in Punta Arenas, Chile, where they will
       prepare themselves with courses on glaciology and field sampling as well
       as lab work and equipment practice. 
    -- Fly to Antarctica to begin their scientific mission, landing on a
       naturally formed blue-ice runway deep within the continent where the
       research will be conducted. 
    -- Collect snow samples from the interior of Antarctica and study them for
       foreign microfibers to determine how far waste and pollution has 
       travelled across the world. 
    -- Visit the South Pole, where they can walk around the globe in just a few
    -- Get the chance to explore the beauty of Antarctic sites like the Drake
       Icefall, Charles Peak Windscoop, and Elephant's Head to learn about the
       continent's geography. 
    -- Return to Chile where they will continue to study their findings and work
       with Ocean Conservancy to become ambassadors for protecting the oceans.
       In this advocacy role, they will deliver insights on how the Airbnb
       community and others can help minimise their collective plastic footprint
       to support Ocean Conservancy's mission.

Airbnb is committed to providing the option for sustainable travel to its 
community at every point of the trip. To further this commitment, Airbnb is 
working with Ocean Conservancy to use the research findings from the Antarctic 
Sabbatical to inform educational and advocacy efforts. Airbnb is also 
conducting an environmental impact assessment to measure and understand our 
impact and to identify what we can do to reduce our footprint over time. These 
are foundational steps that will inform future commitments and our vision to be 
a leader in sustainable travel.

"Partnering with Airbnb on the Antarctic Sabbatical is an incredible 
opportunity to continue our fight against ocean plastic and raise awareness of 
this issue," said Janis Searles Jones, CEO of Ocean Conservancy. "Through our 
annual International Coastal Cleanup, where volunteers not only collect trash 
from beaches and waterways around the world but also log every item in our 
global database, Ocean Conservancy has a long history of working with citizen 
scientists, and we look forward to applying the results of this expedition to 
global solutions." 

The Airbnb community values healthy travel, including the 64 percent of guests 
who chose Airbnb in 2018 because they value that it is an environmentally 
sustainable travel option* that makes the most of spare space in people's 

    -- Since August 2018, Airbnb has seen more than 5 million guests check in at
       eco-friendly listings on the platform**. 
    -- 88 percent of Airbnb hosts around the world incorporate green practices
       into hosting, such as using green cleaning products, providing recycling,
       encouraging guests to use public transportation, and installing solar 
    -- Guests on Airbnb are also exploring the variety of Experiences that both
       benefit the planet and introduce them to local experts and advocates in
       environmental sustainability, as the company has seen bookings for eco-
       friendly and sustainable Experiences increase by 196 percent over the 
       past year**. 

"Together with Ocean Conservancy, we are highlighting the problem of 
microplastics to encourage a global audience to give great thought to the 
consequences of how we live and take collective action," said Chris Lehane, 
Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Communications of Airbnb. "While 
Airbnb is inherently more eco-friendly than other forms of travel given that 
people are using spaces already built, we need to continue to find ways for the 
platform to contribute to reducing the impact of humans on the environment. 
There is far more we need to do and will be looking to do as we go forward."

The Antarctic Sabbatical follows the Italian Sabbatical, which was an urban 
regeneration project by Airbnb and Wonder Grottole that offered the opportunity 
for five volunteers to spend three months living in the historic town of 
Grottole in southern Italy to help revitalise a community that was facing 
extinction. The Sabbatical program is designed to inspire people to take 
advantage of earned time off to give back to the people and places around them 
for a life-changing experience.

To apply for the Antarctic Sabbatical, visit and complete 
the application form, terms apply.***

*Guest sentiment is based on nearly 12,000 responses to a voluntary survey sent 
to a sample of Airbnb guest accounts that had taken a trip to select countries 
in 2018. No payment or other incentive was provided in exchange for completing 
the survey.

**Based on Airbnb internal data of year-over-year growth globally in guest 
arrivals to eco-friendly active listings (Eco-friendly listings are defined as 
the following spacetypes: 'Earthhouse', 'Yurt', 'Treehouse', 'Tent', 'Nature 
Lodge', 'Cabin') and Experiences bookings, comparing August 1, 2018 to August 
1, 2019.

***Before applying, carefully read the selection terms available on the 
website. Candidates must be over 18, available to travel to Chile and 
Antarctica for a month from November to December 2019 to conduct volunteer work 
as citizen scientists and be able to speak conversational English. The final 
selection of five citizen scientists will be announced on October 30. The 
sabbatical is open to residents in the following countries and regions: 
Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, 
Dubai, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, 
Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, 
Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and 

About Airbnb 
Founded in 2008, Airbnb exists to create a world where anyone can belong 
anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive 
and sustainable. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower 
millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, 
passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Airbnb's 
accommodation marketplace provides access to 6+ million unique places to stay 
in 100,000+ cities and 191 countries and regions. With Experiences, Airbnb 
offers unprecedented access to local communities and interests through 40,000+ 
unique, handcrafted activities run by hosts across 1,000+ markets around the 
world. Airbnb's people-to-people platform benefits all its stakeholders, 
including hosts, guests, employees and the communities in which it operates.

About Ocean Conservancy 
Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today's greatest global 
challenges. Together with their partners, they create science-based solutions 
for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

About Antarctic Scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams 
Antarctic Scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams specializes in investigating the 
impact of microplastics on polar marine zooplankton. She is earning her PhD in 
Biological Sciences at the University of Exeter in the UK, funded by the NERC 
GW4+ DTP training program. 

SOURCE  Airbnb