2023 Christmas Newsletter

We proudly present our Holiday Newssletter.
The Galapagos Science Center (GSC) greets you and wishes you happy holidays. The GSC promotes local and international scientific collaboration for the benefit of global science and the Galápagos through research, education, and community outreach.

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Galapagos Pinnipeds, Challenges to Their Survival

Pinnipeds endemic to the Galapagos archipelago are in endangered conservation status. The Galapagos sea lion, Zalophus wollebaeki, and Galapagos fur seal, Arctocephalus galapagoensis, have adapted to an ecosystem with high environmental variability and unpredictable marine productivity to survive.

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The 6th Galápagos Research and Conservation Symposium will be held on Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at the Charles Darwin Convention Center on San Cristóbal, Galápagos. This important multidisciplinary event is organized by the Galapagos Science Center, with the sponsorship of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito with the endorsement of the Galapagos National Park.


Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristóbal Island, will host the 5th Galapagos Research and Conservation Symposium. This significant multidisciplinary event  will feature scientific presentations and community-focused talks, showcasing research and initiatives related to conservation, environmental change, biodiversity and oceans, health, and community initiatives.

World Summit on Island Sustainability

In 2022, the Galapagos Science Center (GSC) and the broader UNC & USFQ Galapagos Initiative celebrated its 10th Anniversary. The GSC hosted the World Summit on Island Sustainability on June 26–30, 2022 at the Galapagos Science Center and the Community Convention Center on San Cristobal Island.



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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!