International Galapagos Science Consortium

What is the International
Galapagos Science Consortium?

The International Galapagos Science Consortium (IGSC), a network of collaborating institutions and scientists, is designed to provide operational support for the Galapagos Science Center and to form an alliance of international institutions including universities, research organizations, corporations, government agencies, and non-government organizations. The goal is to 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.

Membership in the International Galapagos Science Consortium (IGSC) provides the opportunity for international partners to access the Galapagos Science Center on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos for research, education, and community outreach. The Galapagos Science Center is a unique capacity that has been created through a strategic partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.

Benefits of Consortium membership

Why join the Consortium?

Membership in the Consortium affords the opportunity to work with members in showcasing research and education being conducted in a world-renowned protected area to better understand the social, terrestrial, and marine sub-systems in the Galapagos Islands as a template to examine other similarly challenged island ecosystems around the globe. The Consortium publicizes solutions, technologies, and outcomes with Consortium members to develop innovative data protocols, analytical methods, and synthesis of findings to address common interests.

There are three membership levels from which to choose from, each with varying levels of access. Membership is for an initial period of two years, followed by a review and assessment by the GSC Directors and by Consortium members. 

Levels of membership

If you would like further information on how
to become a Consortium member, please contact: 

Carlos Mena (USFQ)  

Amanda Thompson (UNC-CH)

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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!