Who benefits from the Imaging Foundation?
The Imaging Foundation work benefits other nonprofit, educational and environmental organizations, local community groups, and various grass root organizations with related goals to protect the earth. The Imaging Foundation reaches out to organizations needing images to help facilitate public awareness of the environment and its marvelous creatures with an overall emphasis on protecting the earth and ecology.
What is the Purpose of the Imaging Foundation? Why?
Leaders at the Imaging Foundation believe that video and still images are essential elements in both education and environmental advocacy. Rarely do budgets support professional imagery acquisition. These images are vital to captivating a student audience. By providing this service to a range of individuals and organizations, the imaging Foundation plays a pivotal role in the success of their mission.
How Does the Imaging Foundation Support its Mission?
Volunteers have been the backbone of our organization. Their contributions in both time and funding have kept our organization growing. Special programs such as our Internship Program have found independent funding sources. Foundation expeditions are supported by the cumulative funding of the team and we are currently seeking government and private grants and donations.
Do I need to know how to scuba dive?
No, diving is not required to contribute to expeditions or to the Imaging Foundation. However, if you intend to participate in the underwater portion of an expedition -- which in most cases is the largest part -- you will need to be a certified diver, and have your C-Card with you. If any specialty diving courses are necessary (e.g. Nitrox certification), these should be taken prior to the expedition. There will NOT be time during the actual expedition for any of these courses. Non-divers content to stay on the boat, or to participate in any other activities, are certainly welcome to join the group.
What if we want to acquire an additional certification before the trip, such as Nitrox or Advanced?
If you want to get additional training prior to the trip AT the expedition site, we will gladly make arrangements for you also. Otherwise, we suggest you get your additional training at home before the expedition. On live-aboard expeditions, training is not available during the expedition since it would take away from the goals of the project.
Do I need to bring a camera?
No, a camera is not necessary to participate in any expedition. If you do bring a camera, we welcome photographers of all skill levels. activities described for your trip.
Will photography seminars be presented on the expeditions?
Not typically. Our photography and imaging professionals are quite happy to help with technical problems and to lend advice when extra time is available. However, expeditions are very goal-oriented, time restraints and duties prevent us from presenting formal photography seminars.
Are divers asked to perform specific tasks to assist with the Imaging Foundation's mission and to support the trip's tax deductible status?
We are truly interested in making a difference, and to that end we want to make sure members understand the working atmosphere of the trip. Each expedition has its own set of goals. Geographical location, conditions, local wildlife, visiting experts, and available tools are among the pivotal factors which help shape each expedition. Each participant is asked to contribute to the expedition focus. Everyone's tax situation is specific to that individual. IRS regulations specify that a minimum of 8 hours per day be spent on expedition tasks. You should consult your tax advisor and/or go to the IRS website. We do not require that you learn any special skills -- unless you want to! Assistance with identification and image captioning, research, writing, computer graphics, data entry, or myriad other tasks may be requested. Whenever possible, we try to fit each participant with projects they enjoy and match their previous experiences.
What sort of training will be provided?
Depending on the expedition, its goals and the personnel on board, you will have access to expert advice on such subjects as flora & fauna identification, underwater photography, image captioning, and more. Don't forget that you, too, may have special skills or expert knowledge relating to the expedition and its activities, and others will be glad to have your input.
If I am already diving, doesn't that count toward my work contribution?
No, under most conditions dive time is considered free time, you are never required to participate in the diving, but are encouraged to do so, because you will have the time of your life. Your membership contribution to the expedition will be the above water assistance you give to our group.
>So, in essence, we travel with a purpose. We work, we dive, and we explore some more, and the day goes on. We're looking for participants who embrace their duties and view them as a value-added trip component. Candidates, who fit well, are people who enjoy learning and value a total immersion experience
Are there age restrictions?
Participants should be 14 years old or older to be a part of the general expeditions. A parent or guardian must accompany all minors on such trips.
Student expeditions are designed for the 16-19 age group. These expeditions are adult supervision and parents are not required to accompany the students. If you have any specific questions about a particular expedition please contact the Imaging Foundation office.
I have specific dietary needs/restrictions. Can you accommodate me?
We will do everything within our power to accommodate each team member. Please be aware the local trip operator performs the purchasing/preparation of the trip meals. Please contact the Imaging Foundation office for any specific needs.
Are there health restrictions?
You should be in generally good health and be capable of participating in the activities described for your trip. Please visit Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for details regarding your trip destinations and specific vaccination or health related issues. Due to the remoteness of most expedition locations, immediate medical assistance might not be readily available.
If I get sick, how can I leave the expedition to get medical care?
We require that participants have medical insurance that will cover you while on the expedition, medical evacuation insurance for the duration of the trip, and dive insurance if your trip involves diving. All three forms of insurance can be obtained from the Divers Alert Network (DAN).
DAN offers free access to their 24 / 7 diving medical hotline to all. DAN also provides various helpful dive medicine & safety-related publications and services.
With Membership, DAN offers reasonably-priced trip insurance and a number of benefits, including TravelAssist -- which covers up to $100,000 in medical emergency evacuation costs.
Members can also choose to purchase insurance policies, selecting from several comprehensive medical / accident insurance & equipment insurance plans.
Does my donation cover all my expenses on the expedition, or do I need to bring extra cash and / or credit cards?
We advise bringing credit cards, an ATM card, and cash. There are some expenses that fall outside of the stated trip cost. These extras may include pre and post IF trip travel, gifts, incidentals, tips, transfer costs, and unforeseen expenses.
Why do you charge a membership fee?
As a non-profit organization utilizing volunteer staff only, we rely on donations of various sorts to run our day-to-day operations. When those costs are combined with the increased costs of doing business with foreign entities, we feel that the $75 membership fee is minimal for the quality of the expedition that you will be experiencing. This fee was introduced effective January 2007. Membership fees are good for one year effective from the date the fee is paid. Any expeditions booked during the membership year are covered by the fee.
How do I make payments?
Payment Options are as Follows:
Pay by phone (360-570-3453) using credit card : VISA, MC or AMEX - $1000.00 deposit. The remainder will be charged to the same credit card on a payment schedule and the balance 90 days prior to the expedition.
- *Pay by check, minimum $1000.00 deposit, to receive the cash discount. The balance will be due on a set payment schedule. There will be a $25.00 late payment fee charged on all payments not made on time.
- *Pay by wire transfer, $1000.00 minimum to be eligible for cash discount, plus wire transfer fee ($15.00). Call or e-mail to obtain wiring instructions. The balance will be due on a set payment schedule. There will be a $25.00 late payment fee charged on all payments not made on time.
Please send check payments, in US dollars, made out to:
908 East Bay Dr. NE, #E102
Olympia, WA 98506
Call or email us with any questions.
Is financial assistance available?
Yes, there are many grants and scholarships available. A search on " Google" or " Yahoo" will reveal that there is a lot of funding for these kinds of activities. Many participants believe funding is only available for scientists, students and teachers. An Internet search may reward you with some pleasant surprises. Grant money is often available for many private individuals interested in volunteering for nonprofit programs. If you work for a large firm or government agency, that may be the place to start. Many businesses provide funds to employees interested in philanthropic endeavors. Some links you may wish to try are:
THE FOUNDATION CENTER (subscription required, but 80,000 grants are listed & searchable)
THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION & TRAINING FOUNDATION (NEETF)
The Imaging Foundation will post more grant links as we locate appropriate sources. You are your own best resource in finding grant money.
Can I get my money refunded if for some reason I cannot go on the expedition?
No refunds are available. Any monies you have paid will be considered a donation to Imaging Foundation and you will be eligible to receive a tax-deductible statement. Therefore, we strongly suggest you acquire trip insurance through DAN Services via the link from our website.
Will I need a passport and / or visa?
ost destinations require a valid passport (at least 6 months prior to expiration) . US citizens can visit The Bureau of Consular Affairs website to check the trip destination requirements regarding passport and visa. If you are a non-US citizen please check the website of your country of citizenship regarding the trip destination requirements for entry. It is the responsibility of all passengers to obtain the appropriate visas for their expedition. If you have any questions please contact the Imaging Foundation.If you want to get additional training prior to the trip AT the expedition site, we will gladly make arrangements for you also. Otherwise, we suggest you get your additional training at home before the expedition. On live-aboard expeditions, training is not available during the expedition since it would take away from the goals of the project.
What kind of gear or personal items do I need to bring with me?
In general, plan on bringing along your mask, fins, wetsuit and snorkel. In many locations even non-divers can get an appreciation for the local aquatic life with these items. (Check the websites of individual expeditions for availability of rental scuba gear by location / dive vessel.) Since Imaging Foundation trips are working expeditions, it's probably best to bring along only your essential toiletries, medications, practical clothing and appropriate shoes. Clothing needs will vary by destination/season. Please check the expedition page for your trip for general guidelines.
Will I be able to use my cell phone or check my email?
Usually cell phone reception will be impossible. Communication is available from each site, but access may vary. Internet communication may be impossible or expensive from our boat expeditions. Please contact the Imaging Foundation office for more information.
If we want to stay additional nights before or after the expedition, do we go through Imaging Foundation or on our own?
Whenever possible, we try to extend our project for a few extra days. We think that if our volunteers travel around the world, they should get to see as much of the country as possible. Please note that if the trip extension is not focused, it will not be tax deductible. Whenever possible, we try to attend to all the details for our group. We encourage participants to sign up for all components of the trip through the Imaging Foundation. Whenever possible, volunteers are met at the airport, and we will be staying at the same hotel. This is often mandatory, as we usually begin our orientation and task portion as soon as possible.
What kind of rooms / accommodations can I expect?
It is best to plan on expecting accommodations to be on the comfortable & spartan, rather than on the luxurious side. Usually a link is provided on each expedition page, to the destination website where specific information can be found.
How quickly do your expeditions sell?
We always would like our expeditions to be sold out quickly, and our experience, so far, has not proved us wrong. Our Tonga and Cocos trip sold out in a matter of weeks. So the sooner you book your reservation, the more likely you are to get a spot in your adventurous and conscience-minded expedition of choice.