UMCP Galápagos 2000
Who We Are


College Park Scholars is a two-year living-learning community for freshmen and sophomores of high academic and community acheivement. 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 related disciplines of Historical Geology, Paleontology, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology, Meterology and Oceanography, and other similar fields of study. Additionally, the ELT program concentrates on the history of Science and the development of scientific modes of thinking.

In the summer of 1999 the directors of the then-brand new CPS-ELT program began to develop plans for a study-abroad trip to to the Galápagos Archipelago. This location was selected for its centrality to the discovery of evolution by natural selection, and for the fact that it maintains much of its pristine wildlife and magnificent undeveloped volcanic landscapes.

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The students of UMCP Galápagos 2000 on Isla Bartholomé.

The class that developed, GEOL 388/CPSP 318G Field Studies II: The Natural History of the Galápagos Islands, was designed for CPS students, but was open to all current University of Maryland College Park students. In the end, thirteen students (twelve undergraduates and one graduate), including representatives of several different CPS and Honors programs, were selected. Accompanying the students and directors were chaperone Betty Seigel and U.S. National Park Service representative Nancy Brown. Together with William Cox and Lenin Villacís, guides from the Ecuadorian National Park Service, the UMCP Galápagos 2000 participants explored eight 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 2000 trip, the directors of Earth, Life & Time are enthusiastic in their plans for a return to the Galàpagos in the summer of 2001!

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The participants of the UMCP Galápagos 2000 trip, their Ecuadorian National Park Service Guides, and some of the crew of the M/V Corinthian pose in front of Pinnacle Rock, Bartholomé.