Imagine the opportunity to walk in the legendary Charles Darwin’s footsteps. There's no better laboratory for the study of the natural world and conservation issues than in Ecuador's enchanted Galapagos Islands. Located in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles from the mainland, this unique archipelago is home to such astonishing creatures as the Galapagos giant tortoise, the Galapagos sea lion, the adorable Galapagos Penguin, the Blue-Footed Booby, the Frigatebird and the Galapagos Rosy Iguana, as well as the famous finches whose varying beak sizes inspired Darwin's theory of evolution. From the beautiful blue waters filled with species found only in this part of the world, to the highlands inhabited by giant tortoises, students will work to understand and help protect this fragile ecosystem. We will be expertly guided by Sebastian Torres, Senior Environmental Educator at the Charles Darwin Foundation and among the most renowned conservation experts in the world today.
Sebastian will take us to beaches, volcanic craters, lava tunnels, and a number of bird nesting sites. We will swim with Galapagos sea lions (which are very playful), and sea turtles, and visit an active volcano. Because of Sebastian's affiliation with the Charles Darwin Foundation, we will have the rare opportunity to visit the remote Espanola island, site of the Foundation's Endangered Giant Tortoise Rescue Project. Biology students will make their own independent observations of the terrestrial and marine wildlife and habitats. Business students will gain unique insights into the challenge of managing conservation-based economies, taking a deep dive into biosecurity, ecotourism, invasive species, illegal fishing, waste management, and many other topics. Students will then come together to discuss how ecotourism, biology, and research all interact and depend on each other.
Program Cost: $5,800.
This cost includes roundtrip airfare from Washington-Dulles airport, most meals, 3 SU credits, accommodations, excursions and in-country transportation.
Visas are not required for US citizens in Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands. Other nationalities should confirm with their embassy regarding visa regulations.