It's no secret that environmental concerns, climate change and scientific research could look very different under the new administration. While budget cuts could be looming in some areas such as the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, a new way to fund research into climate change and the environment is emerging. While the concept of eco-tourism has always been successful in a certain niche market, it could become more important. Many research projects that are seeing a decrease in funding have turned to partnering with environmental tourism companies to accomplish some of their very important work.
Buzz Aldrin, despite his health scare, recently publicized the opportunities tourists have at the bottom of the world. Those tourist expeditions are also providing assistance to researchers, who, without sufficient funding, would have no other way to continue their work. And the tourists seem to like the opportunity they have to advance science. It's a partnership that while, unprecedented, could be the "new normal" in terms of research funding. Scientists will have to become increasingly creative in finding ways to fund their work if traditional methods become scarce. Happily, there seems to be a good supply of tourists ready to jump in and help the cause.