Carolina undergrads enrolled in the Summer 2015 Galapagos Study Abroad program are on San Cristobal for their studies.

This year the summer program includes two courses taught by UNC and USFQ faculty, the first on marine ecology and the second on geographic information science.

Study Abroad faculty and students in the GEOG370 course setting up a GPS receiver for a beach mapping exercise
Study Abroad faculty and students in the GEOG370 course setting up a GPS receiver for a beach mapping exercise

The students are currently taking the geographic information science class: GEOG 370 “Introduction to Geographic Information”, taught by CGS director and professor of geography, Steve Walsh (UNC), Phil Page (UNC), and Carlos Mena (USFQ).  (Dr. Mena is a fellow tarheel; he completed his Ph.D. at Carolina in 2006.)

The GEOG 370 class is an introduction to current mapping technologies and effective use (including mapping and analysis) of geographic data.  Topics being covered include geographic information systems (GIS), GPS, and satellite imaging.  Class exercises are taking advantage of the Galapagos Science Center’s high-quality GIS lab as well as field time in the Galapagos environment.

Study Abroad faculty and students running a transect as part of a class mapping exercise.
Study Abroad faculty and students running a transect as part of a class mapping exercise.

The marine ecology course, MASC 490 “Interdisciplinary Marine Ecology and Conservation” was taught by Joel Fodrie (UNC Institute of Marine Sciences) and Luis Vineuza (USFQ). Classwork included a lot of time in water examining the near-shore marine habitat.  The students took a several-day visit to Isabela Island for marine ecology fieldwork as well as some recreation time (including a hike on one of Isabela’s volcano).

For more information on applying to future Galapagos Summer Study Abroad programs, please visit the program page at the Study Abroad website.