RALEIGH — Born of fire, the Galapagos Islands support high levels of flora and fauna that live in the shadows of its volcanoes and nowhere else on the planet. Indeed, the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve is world renowned for its iconic and charismatic species — such as the giant tortoises, marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, and Darwin finches — that reside in these “Enchanted Islands.” But this special place is at risk from direct and indirect consequences of a growing human population.
Come hear how students and scholars from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are taking conservation efforts to new extremes when Stephen Walsh presents “Walking in the Footsteps of Darwin: Carolina’s New Galapagos Science Center” at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Monday, September 19 at 7 pm. Free.
This May, the Galapagos Science Center was dedicated by delegations from UNC-Chapel Hill and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Ecuador. Walsh, a professor of geography and director of the Center for Galapagos Studies at UNC, is also co-director of the new Center, which is located on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Archipelago of Ecuador. The goal of the Center is to address the complex interactions of population, health and environment in the Galapagos Islands. Already, interdisciplinary and integrative research, education and community outreach programs have been developed by leading scholars at UNC and USFQ.
“The Galapagos Science Center is dedicated to making a significant and lasting contribution to science and society through integrative programs that are conducted in the classroom, field and laboratory,” Walsh says. “With labs in Microbiology, Marine Ecology, Terrestrial Ecology, and Spatial Analysis & Modeling, UNC is prepared to conduct compelling and transformative research, teach interdisciplinary courses that integrate the social, natural, spatial and computation sciences, and engage local communities through outreach programs that link North Carolinians and the World to the Galapagos Islands.”
Prior to the lecture, from 6 to 7pm, NC State University post-doctoral students will present posters on their current research projects.