The Indian Ocean's Curieuse Island is known for its golden sands, giant roaming tortoises, and towering coco de mer palms, found only one other place on earth. It's also part of a larger Marine National Park that's seeing the adverse effects of climate change. You can help assess the health of the surrounding waters' coral reefs and the island's coastal ecosystem by measuring coral growth and identifying biodiversity hotspots using digital photography and underwater video. Then in your downtime, you can dive, snorkel, or soak in the rays on the beach.
You Need: Twelve days in April. To take part in the research's diving aspects, you must be scuba certified (CMAS 2 star = PADI Rescue or BASC Sports), have at least 30 logged dives, have recent diving experience and bring along your own equipment. ($3075; govoluntouring.com)