Engage Students and Faculty
Every time we provide research fellowships for PhD students of all fields, support the kind of student travel that opens eager minds to new ideas, or give our students and faculty the freedom to explore complex questions about the nature of our world, we come ever closer to our mission of advancing science and conservation efforts in the Galapagos and promoting a richer understanding of ecologically sensitive and protected areas worldwide.
Connect the Campus
A strong interdisciplinary approach guides the study of the social, terrestrial, and marine sub-systems in the Galapagos. Academic work within the Galapagos Islands is a unique opportunity for the Carolina community to contribute to science and society by addressing questions that can be found nowhere else on the planet – and can only be answered through true interdisciplinary collaboration.
Impact Island Life
Residents and tourism in the Galapagos have increased exponentially, requiring complex policy decisions around the sustainable use of land, water and other resources. Faculty and students with a range of expertise can engage in long-running studies on the issues that impact the present-day Galapagos – water use, nutrition, farming, invasive species, land use, and the impacts of tourism. Scale-up of these studies will provide answers to similar questions being asked around the world.
Conserve Precious Resources
We have been invited by the Galapagos National Park and Ecuadorian government to develop a biobank to preserve biological material and DNA records for future generations. This will serve as a central repository for plant and animal specimens, eventually leading to more effective action and informed management. We also currently tag sea turtles and sharks to document migration and help conserve these species. Expanding this work to explore why and where fishes and marine mammals move relative to habitat dynamics and the forces of climate change can help us conserve threatened species for generations to come.
Create New Knowledge
We will develop a first of its kind integrated system to monitor social, terrestrial, and marine environments in the Galapagos Islands and for similarly challenged island ecosystems around the globe through our International Galapagos Science Consortium and the International Islands Network-of-Networks. This comprehensive and accessible data portal will assess scenarios of change that are linked to climate change, expanding human dimension, and social-ecological disturbances on island sustainability.