Alcoa Employees Pair Up with Earthwatch for Science

Alcoa of Pittsburgh, Pa., announced on March 6 that 15 of its employees will assist in scientific field research expeditions around the world this year through a partnership with Earthwatch Institute.

Earthwatch is the global volunteer organization that works toward a sustainable environment by engaging people in research, conservation, and education programs. The Alcoa fellows will be participating in expeditions that focus on climate change, global water supply, and sustainability.

The selected employees work at Alcoa locations around the world, from Iceland to Australia. Between May and August, they will travel to research sites in Ecuador, the Czech Republic, Kenya, and elsewhere. This is the sixth year Alcoa has sponsored employees in the field.

"I learned so many things on so many different levels," said Keith Williams, a 2007 Alcoa Earthwatch fellow from Alcoa, Tenn., who helped scientists discover why China's massive Gobi Desert is growing at an alarming rate and where the water is going. "I gained a whole new appreciation for the Chinese, Mongolians, the environment, science, and history. I also learned the substance of myself and to be more appreciative of my blessings. Even though each person is like a speck of sand in the scheme of life, each can make a difference by respecting others and the resources of the Earth, one decision at a time."

During their expeditions, each fellow publishes a diary of his or her experiences, along with photographs, on

The Alcoa Earthwatch Fellows nominate themselves and are selected on merit by a team of judges from Alcoa and Earthwatch Institute. All travel and accommodation costs are covered, and the fellows use their available vacation time to participate on projects for up to two weeks under the guidance of leading environmental scientists. Alcoa provides a grant to Earthwatch to support the research projects in which employees are participating.

Alcoa is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry.

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