It is thanks to the example, inspiration, and support of Lee Hellman, Peggy Wolf, and Lois Vietri of College Park Scholars and Assistant Provost Ann Wylie that we even considered organizing this program. Douglas Gill of the Department of Biology provided indispensable insights from his own experiences organizing Galápagos tours, and his presentation to the Earth, Life, and Time colloquium aroused considerable interest on the part of potential participants.
Katherine McAdams and Elizabeth Pattison of College Park Scholars, Michael Brown of the Department of Geology, and Assistant Dean Deborah Bryant of the College of Computer, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences provided essential help. They showed us how to navigate the maze of university requirements for the establishing the GEOL388 classes and vigorously supported us in our interactions with the university administration.
For the actual travel arrangements of the excursion, we thank the staff of Travel-On. With their help, we traveled comfortably and without incident. Our thanks also go to the staff of Metropolitan Touring, and of the Hilton Colón Quito for getting us comfortably to the islands and back. The high educational quality of our experience in the Galápagos was facilitated by the officers and crew of the M/V Ambasador I who diligently saw to our comfort, swiftly and safely transported us to our field sites, and exerted considerable effort to accomodate the normal routine of their passenger ship to the pedagogical requirements of an academic group.
We are indebted to the guides and consultants whose shared expertise helped us realize the educational potential of this excursion. Luis Sangolqui Tapia, our naturalist-guide from the Ecuadorian National Park Service shouldered the excursion's real educational burden, ushering us safely through field sites and patiently explaining their natural history in painstaking cogent detail. We are grateful to Vanessa Patino of Metropolitan Touring, for her copious assistance moving us around Quito and for her wonderful tour of that very attractive city.
As always, our heart-felt gratitude goes to Rick Weaver of the University of Maryland Study Abroad Office. Without his creativity, precise intuition, patient instruction, and broad knowledge of the rewards and pitfalls of academic travel, this program would certainly not have reached a successful conclusion. We look forward to working with him in the future.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
John W. Merck, Jr.