The Galapagos Science Center (GSC) is a research, education and outreach facility on San Cristobal Island built in 2011 that is jointly administered by the University of San Francisco Quito (USFQ) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). The 20,000-square-foot GSC houses four state of the art laboratories, each with a dedicated research focus: terrestrial ecology, marine ecology and oceanography, microbiology and genetics, and data science and visualization.

The GSC also offers multiples spaces for scientist to meet and work together, research spaces for faculty and students, and multipurpose spaces for community outreach and education events.


Terrestrial Ecology Laboratory

The Terrestrial Ecology Lab supports fundamental and groundbreaking ecological research that is essential to conservation efforts and improving quality of life in the archipelago and beyond.

Marine Ecology Laboratory

The activities carried out in the Marine Ecology Lab are focused on ecological, biological and genetic studies of different populations of marine species that inhabit both the open sea and intertidal zones of the Galapagos.

Microbiology and Molecular Biology Lab

The Microbiology and Biomolecular Lab provides the equipment researchers need to work with different biological samples for clinical, microbiological, and genetic studies.

Data Science and Visualization Lab

No research facility is complete without the tools needed to track, model and visualize information and data.


The meeting room connects GSC researchers and its staff to international science collaborators to advance science.

Teleconference and monitor, including conference table with seating for 20 people


The community hall is a hybrid space used for study abroad courses, citizen science projects, or to disseminate research findings to the local community.

Projector, speaker and seating for 60 people, including a back outdoor patio área

Follow Us

Scroll to Top

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!