UMCP Galápagos 2006
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, 2002, and 2004, the directors of ELT have 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.

Student photographs marine iguanas sunning themselves on South Plazas 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 2006. The course was designed for CPS students, but was open to all. In the end, fourteen students (eleven from the ELT program), were selected. Together with William Lucin, a guide from the Ecuadorian National Park Service, the UMCP Galápagos 2006 participants explored twelve 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 2006 trip, the directors of Earth, Life & Time are enthusiastic in their plans for a return to the Galàpagos in the summer of 2008!

The prickly-pear-tree scrub of Santa Fe Island.