UMCP Galápagos 2004
Who We Are

College Park Scholars is a two-year residential honors enrichment program for academically talented incoming students. Within CPS are twelve different specific programs, each with a particular interdisciplinary focus. The focus of the CPS-Earth, Life & Time Program is Natural History: the scientific understanding and appreciation of the natural world, and how that understanding aids us as individuals and as a society.

In the summers of 2000 and 2002 the directors of ELT led field courses in the Natural History of the Galápagos Archipelago. This location was central to the discovery of evolution by natural selection, and maintains much of its pristine wildlife and magnificent volcanic landscapes.

Students examine heads of coral, exposed by tectonic uplift in 1954, on the Urbina Bay trail on Isabela Island.

The success of that class, GEOL 388 Field Studies II: The Natural History of the Galápagos Islands, on those occasions, encouraged the directors to return in the summer of 2004. The course was designed for CPS students, but was open to all. In the end, thirteen students (nine from the ELT program), were selected. Together with Luis Sangolqui Tapia, a guide from the Ecuadorian National Park Service, the UMCP Galápagos 2004 participants explored nine of the islands in the Archipelago.

Upon their return to the University of Maryland, the students and faculty assembled this website in the hopes that it proves useful to educators, students, and others interested in the Natural History of these islands. With the success of the 2004 trip, the directors of Earth, Life & Time are enthusiastic in their plans for a return to the Galàpagos in the summer of 2006!

Walking in the forested highlands of Santa Cruz Island.