Earthwatch

  www.earthwatch.org
  www.earthwatch.org
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Earthwatch Reviews

Updated September 10, 2014
Updated September 10, 2014
14 Reviews
2.4
14 Reviews
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Larry Mason
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Admirable and passionate mission, laid-back and fun work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Earthwatch as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    I worked as an intern for a few months. Great work environment and nice people who are really passionate about ecology, the environment, and getting citizens involved.

    Cons

    Other than it being an unpaid internship, my only drawback about Earthwatch is that as an employee, it seems that you are not really directly involved in anything scientific, it is more just coordination.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Dig for Dinosaurs, Don't Work For Them

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Earthwatch full-time

    Pros

    The Earthwatch mission is novel, and their expeditions are truly life-changing by volunteers who join them in support of ocean health, wildlife and ecosystems, and climate change.

    Cons

    The Board and Executive team is unclear of direction. Strategies are changed daily. In the last few months, the Director of Programs, Director of Marketing, and Director of Development were all laid off, while the Director of HR was reduced to part-time. Even the recently hired Chief Scientist only works one day a week. The COO is also a retiree, and a former leader at Earthwatch's largest funder, creating somewhat of a conflict of interest, as it could be argued the hire was made merely to retain the organization’s largest funder.

    Earthwatch is rumored to be eliminating their offering of expeditions to the public, and have even discussed closing the current Boston office entirely to move to a new less expensive region.

    What remains of Earthwatch personnel is talented, but heavily mid-level to junior-level underpaid staff that stays with the organization solely due to their passion for the mission. in summer months, the interns outnumber paid staff, because they work for free. All acquisition activity was halted more than six months ago, due to lack of funding, and the marketing team has been reduced from more than a dozen employees to one, so departments are no longer supported with strategic marketing.

    Earthwatch scientists are proclaimed as world-class, and its expeditions indeed do change perspectives of its volunteers. However, deep into 2014, while there are many fascinating volunteer stories, the organization has struggled to identify more than a handful of publishable outcomes of substance from it's portfolio of more than 50 expeditions.

    Moreover, one could estimate that the entire loss of revenue at Earthwatch could be offset if not for the conference Earthwatch is planning for it's scientists over the winter, that the Board is mandating. There is near zero revenue expectation from the event. Some of the other Earthwatch offices are in such disagreement with the conference, it has been grumbled that they are not participating with attendance at all.

    If you are a volunteer looking for a world-class experience, you can probably get it from Earthwatch. However, there are other less expensive options that have more publishable outcomes that you may wish to consider investing in. As a corporate partner, I would recommend researching the organization quite closely before making an investment. The project leads are wise, but their bosses could hinder a successful program.

    There is no need to get into the organization's financials, as the annual report is of public record, though the most recent data has not been posted for several years. Investors can make their own conclusions on financial health based on these documents.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Board: Rethink senior leadership. The current CEO is unable to give Earthwatch his full attention, as public record shows that he simultaneously owns and operates multiple senior living franchises. Plus, since he has limited non-profit background, many question his ability to think strategically, or with firm direction. Plus, it has been rumored that female staff can be made uncomfortable by some executive staff, not made simpler by an almost entirely male executive team. There are almost no directors within the organization, so the mid- and junior-level employees feel misguided, unsupervised, and unmentored. (Note: Within the last week, much of this mid-level staff was promoted to director level titles, once again, eliminating all middle management).

    Executives: When the directors of nearly every revenue-generating business unit are terminated, individuals must wonder if the people are the problem, or if the strategic leadership is the problem. Hire smart people to lead, and then trust those people to lead. Science should be cutting edge, new, and exciting. Not much of this remains at Earthwatch, and it’s unfortunate. Make a change, or risk extinction.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Company slipping.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Earthwatch full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Once a strong mission, the organization puts together expeditions for volunteers that are life changing.

    Cons

    Earthwatch no longer has a mission that is understood by staff, as the CEO changes direction all the time. Due to hemorrhaging of revenue, most director-level staff was terminated this summer, and the COO who was placed by HSBC, Earthwatch's leading funder is now in charge. As a result, attention has turned to corporate expeditions, and expeditions offered to the general public is no longer the focus.

    Because of revenue challenges, there is no longer permanent staff in Human Resources or Marketing, and the Chief Scientist works just one day a week from home. Morale is at an all-time low.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The Board needs to remove the CEO and COO. Earthwatch was a great organization for 40+ years, and in 6 months, these two individuals with a combined zero years of non-profit experience have run it into the ground. It is sad.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Confusion reigns

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Earthwatch full-time

    Pros

    Great coworkers, and getting the chance to work with research scientists around the world was exciting and interesting.

    Cons

    The organization has existed for more than 40 years, but somehow can't figure out its mission. Instead of trying an approach for enough time to see if it actually works, leadership changes its mind on which direction to take the organization with each big project. The CEO and other leaders do things that appear insane to appease the board (e.g., planning a conference with less than a year to go, when no one on staff has event planning experience and the org does not have funding for a conference), which makes it hard, as a staff member, to feel confident in the organization. It often feels impossible to do a good job due to the lack of resources and coherent direction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pick a strategy and go with it. And if you don't actually care about the fate of the organization, resign.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Worst Leadership Team Ever - I'd Turn Back If I Were You

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Earthwatch full-time

    Pros

    The staff are committed. If this is your first job out of college, and you can afford to live on beans, you will find plenty of peers.

    Cons

    The CEO is a nightmare with zero non-profit experience, zero fundraising experience and a leadership style straight out of the 1950's - lots of big talk, no action, all white male, top-down, yatta, yatta... His strategy changes every 5 minutes to cover up the fact that he has no idea what he's doing. The rest of the "leadership team" aren't much better.

    Huge turn-over, most of the people with experience have left (or gotten fired), and very little overall appreciation of staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really, there's no other advice but to ask them to resign so that people who know how to manage and lead can come in and take their place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Dont make the mistake I did

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Earthwatch full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are some smart, committed employees that make the workday bearable.

    Cons

    Rudderless management and a divided board makes working here a real challenge. High turnover and turmoil has resulted in many staff feeling defensive, depressed or divisive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Much more transparency is needed with staff, especially around finances. It felt like every few months we were chasing a new strategy to secure funds or had a new take on our mission.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Soon to be gone....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Earthwatch full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Staff is kind and enjoyable

    Cons

    Management and C-Leadership are a bunch of baffoons. Its time to have a clean sweep from the board to the leadership if this small dwindling organziation is to survive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Resign - make way for new blood and ideas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Good people, restrictive organization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Earthwatch as an intern for more than a year

    Pros

    - good work
    - fun staff

    Cons

    - unless you're one of the organization's scientists or directors, there is little to no involvement in actual environmental work - it is mainly coordination.
    - the work is "coordination" - which is not usually what's advertised on the organization's job posts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to lower staff more often

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great people, bad management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Earthwatch full-time

    Pros

    Earthwatch is a mission driven organization with solid environmental research. It's one of the few places with travel opportunities and employs some really great people.

    Cons

    There is virtually no HR department, so it's nearly impossible to get anyone to listen to you. The leadership is nonexistent in some departments, and people are really left to manage themselves. Due to a lack of management, there isn't much opportunity for growth because you don't get recognized for hard work. Also, lack of management leads to people feeling overworked. Due to these issues Earthwatch has awful retention rates. Don't expect a raise anytime soon, because you're not going to get it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you don't value your employees, they will not stay at your organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    not sure what this means

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Earthwatch

    Pros

    Great mission, not much more to say

    Cons

    Low salaries, very limited development opportunities

    Doesn't Recommend

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