Galapagos
Science Center

10 years in the Galapagos ensuring healthy social and ecological systems for future generations.

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador created the Galapagos Science Center (GSC) in 2011 to advance science and conservation in the Galapagos Islands and to extend a richer, more complete understanding of island ecosystems and the threats to their sustainability to the world.

The Galapagos Initiative aims to save the Galapagos Islands with an innovative, interdisciplinary, and sustainable strategy.

The GSC is located in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, in San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos Archipelago.

OUR GOALS

RESEARCH

Develop interdisciplinary research projects for the conservation and sustainability of the Galapagos Islands and across the planet through 5 basic pillars: environmental change, community & human health, conservation, oceans, and biodiversity.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Contribute to sustainable development and greater environmental awareness in the local community to better understand the complex interactions among people and the environment in which they live.

EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION

Host interdisciplinary research projects thanks to partnerships with the Galapagos National Park and other local public institutions. Several flagship projects have been strategically selected to provide hands-on learning experiences for local and international students.

GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS

Create a scientific network that is powered by a diversity of thought, perspectives, techniques, approaches, visions, and a data infrastructure that are leveraged through integrative science to create a collaborative global network of institutions and scholars for the innovative study of island ecosystems. 

GSC IMPACT

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Interdisciplinary research projects
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International and local students participating in research projects
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Community members benefited from the GSC in science and educational activities

GSC IMPACT

0
Interdisciplinary research projects
0
International and local students participating in research projects
0
Community members benefited from the GSC in science and educational activities

SPOTLIGHT

5th Galapagos Symposium on Research and Conservation

The 5th Galapagos Research and Conservation Symposium returns with outstanding speakers, compelling topics, and lots of knowledge. On June 25 and 26, join us at the Charles Darwin Convention Center for this important annual event organized by the Galapagos Science Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
Be part of this free event that is open to the entire community! Don’t miss the opportunity to learn and help ensure a sustainable future in Galapagos!

5th Galapagos Symposium on Research and Conservation

The 5th Galapagos Research and Conservation Symposium returns with outstanding speakers, compelling topics, and lots of knowledge. On June 25 and 26, join us at the Charles Darwin Convention Center for this important annual event organized by the Galapagos Science Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
Be part of this free event that is open to the entire community! Don’t miss the opportunity to learn and help ensure a sustainable future in Galapagos!

Galapagos Genetic Code (BARCODE)

In September 2020, the Galapagos Science Centre, in conjunction with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and the University of Exeter in the UK, launched the “Galapagos Genetic Code (Barcode)” project, whose objective is to catalogue the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands using genetic barcoding techniques. In other words, the unique genetic “fingerprint” of each species is lifted from its DNA. This opens up opportunities for conservation management in the Islands, as well as for deepening scientific knowledge about biodiversity. The project originated as a response against the economic impact on the Islands from COVID-19, employing people linked to tourism who had lost their income and who are active actors for conservation in the National Park. Learn more about this important project in the following link.

IMPACT

News

Equipo de investigación junto a las muestras recolectadas
The most ambitious citizen science project developed to catalog biodiversity...
Muestreo de la biodiversidad única de las islas
Studying the taxonomic and functional diversity of the microbial communities...

Publications

Fig. 1
Fernando Lopez, Larissa R. Oliveira, Yago Beux, Amanda Kessler, Susana...

ConCiencia

MAGAZINE

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In 2022, the Galapagos Science Center (GSC) and the broader UNC & USFQ Galapagos Initiative will celebrate its 10th Anniversary. We are proud to announce the World Summit on Island Sustainability scheduled to be held on June 26–30, 2022 at the Galapagos Science Center and the Community Convention Center on San Cristobal Island.

The content of the World Summit will be distributed globally through social media and results documented through papers published in a book written as part of the Galapagos Book Series by Springer Nature and edited by Steve Walsh (UNC) & Carlos Mena (USFQ) as well as Jill Stewart (UNC) and Juan Pablo Muñoz (GSC/USC). The book will be inclusive and accessible by the broader island community including scientists, managers, residents, tourists, and government and non-government organizations.

While the most obvious goal of organizing the World Summit on Island Sustainability is to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the GSC and the UNC-USFQ Galapagos Initiative, other goals will be addressed through special opportunities created as part of our operational planning of the World Summit.

For instance, we seek to elevate and highlight the Galapagos in the island conservation discourse, seeking to interact with other island networks in more obvious and conspicuous ways to benefit the Galapagos Islands, the UNC-USFQ Galapagos Initiative, and the world. We will seize the opportunity to further develop the I2N2 – International Islands Network-of-Networks. Further, we wish to highlight and emphasize multiple visions of a sustainable future for the Galapagos Islands and we cannot do this alone. Therefore, engaging the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Tourism, the Government Council of Galapagos, the Galapagos National Park, and local Galapagos authorities, including government and non-government organizations and local citizen groups, is imperative.

The Galapagos Science Center on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Borrowing from Hawaii’s and Guam’s Green Growth Program and the Global Island Partnership, we wish to examine existing global programs that emphasize island sustainability and their incorporation into life, policies, and circumstances in the Galapagos Islands. We will also seek to enhance our connections with the institutional members of our International Galapagos Science Consortium and expand the Consortium through the recruitment of other member institutions. We will also work to benefit islands and their local communities by working with citizen groups as well as important NGOs who seek to improve the natural conditions in the Galapagos and diminish the impact of the human dimension on the future of Galapagos’ ecosystems.

Lastly, we will use the World Summit to benefit UNC & USFQ and our constituencies through a strong and vibrant communication plan about the World Summit, creating corporate relationships as sponsors, identifying funding goals through donors, and benefiting our study abroad program for student engagement in the Galapagos Islands. We plan to develop and issue a Galapagos Sustainability Communique after the World Summit that includes the vision and insights of all its participants for a sustainable Galapagos with applicability to global island settings.

We are eager to hear your perspective and have you join us at the World Summit on Island Sustainability!