The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is providing an opportunity for two to study one of two forests for signs of climate change. The winner of the Climate Hot Map Scavenger Hunt can win a trip for two to one of two places – Brazil’s Atlantic Rain Forest or Chesapeake Bay’s Forest in Maryland, USA. Five runners-up will receive Solio Mono Hybrid Solar Chargers.
The Hot Map Scavenger Hunt consists of your information and seven questions that can be answered using the Union of Concerned Scientists Climate Hot Map. Along the way, you’ll learn how climate change is affecting different parts of the world.
The Climate Hot Map gives you information on how climate change is affecting five major areas: People, Fresh Water, Oceans, Ecosystems, and Temperature. You can choose to look at all or one of the major designations and even limit the information in each area to specific topics like Health under People, Land Ice under Fresh Water, Sea Level under Oceans and Ground under Temperature.
You will learn how the drastic reduction in the size of glaciers at Glacier National Park in Montana, USA and Ürumqi, Xinjiang, China threaten water supplies; the food shortages in Western Highveld, South Africa, the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam, and Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Bangladesh could leave millions without food; and extreme storms in places like Calcutta, West Bengal, India and Jefferson City, Missouri, USA threaten the destruction of homes and businesses costing billions of dollars.
The winner of the Hot Map Scavenger Hunt will get to choose between two destinations: Rio Cachoeira Natural Reserve, Brazil or Chesapeake Bay Forest in Maryland, USA. The winner is allowed to bring a friend. Both will be engaging in actual research projects like measuring trees and other field work. In Brazil, accommodations will be at the “Latin America Regional Climate Center’s Bom Jesus lodge, in the very heart of the incredible Rio Cachoeira Natural Reserve, Antonina, Brazil”. You will have a 30 to 90 minute walk to the research sites, sleep in bunks in dorms delineated by gender, make your own breakfast and lunch, dinner is supplied by cooks at the lodge, and Internet access may or may not exist.
Chesapeake Bay Forest trip provides accommodations at Camp Letts, a YMCA facility in Edgewater. Again there are gender specific dorms with bunk beds and volunteers will be expected to make their own lunch. Dinner and breakfast will be provided by the camp dinning facilities. Research will be conducted a ten minute drive away at the “the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Maryland.”
Sightseeing trips will need to be taken before or after your UCS sponsored trip. Both trips will require a “moderate” level of activity defined as:
Moderate: Walking, possibly in sand or uphill with a light pack, up to 5 miles/day (8 km); stooping, bending or kneeling. Dexterity, agility and good balance required. If participating on a water-based project, depending on the size of the boat and/or water conditions, volunteers may be required to be able to swim.
The runners up will receive a Solio Mono Hybrid Solar Charger. The Solio Mono will charge smartphones, slider/bar phones and MP3 players, cameras and eBook readers. A full charge of the Solio requires 20 hours of sunlight or you can charge it with a USB cord from your computer or a wall socket. The stored charge can be used to top off or charge up your device while out and about.
Whether you decide to enter the scavenger hunt or not, the Climate Hot Map will give you a better understanding of how climate change is affecting not just our country but countries across the globe. Winning a trip or a Solio charger gives you a chance to study the effects of climate change or reduce your footprint a bit. Even if you don’t win either trip or charger, you will have a greater appreciation for what is happening to our planet.
Picture ©Union of Concerned Scientists