Our Purpose & Promise
A unique collaborative partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador has been the genesis of powerful projects that are exploring the challenges facing one of the world’s most priceless gems – The Galapagos Islands. As a world-renowned National Park, Marine Reserve, and World Heritage Site, the Galapagos Islands are at risk from the threats associated with human population growth and economic development.
The joint UNC-USFQ Galapagos Science Center – a state-of-the-art research center located on San Cristobal Island, and the only university science facility of its kind in the Galapagos – fosters research, education, and outreach programs to advance science and conservation efforts in the Galapagos. The goal is to then extend these learnings and promote better understanding of ecologically sensitive and protected areas worldwide as we seek to understand complex interactions between population, health, and environment in the “Enchanted Islands.”
The Center for Galapagos Studies will engage the best and brightest minds and intense passions to address the complex interactions among social, terrestrial, and marine environments through an integrated perspective that emphasizes coupled human and natural systems. Our goal is that UNC’s work in the Galapagos will be a model for understanding similarly challenged environments around the world and the social-ecological threats to island sustainability.