Internal Grants Awarded for Galapagos Research
Posted on December 9, 2019
Seven University of South Alabama faculty have been awarded internal grants to travel to the Galapagos Islands to establish research projects. It’s part of a recent collaboration with the Galapagos Science Center, a joint effort with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador.
The Center was formed in 2009 with a goal of performing research that will promote the conservation of the islands’ fragile ecosystems, and also be beneficial to the local communities by working in partnership with island residents.
The seven awarded faculty are Dr. Sean Powers, Dr. Alison Robertson, Dr. Ron Baker, and Dr. Brian Dzwonkowski, all from the department of marine sciences; Dr. Kevin White from the department of civil, coastal and environmental engineering; and Dr. Alex Beebe and Dr. Steven Schultze of the department of earth sciences. The $3,000 travel grants will get researchers to the islands to establish collaborations and do preliminary work on their proposed projects. Topics range from sustainable water infrastructure and management practices to microclimates to fisheries management. This is only the first round of the travel grants, for research that required permitting from the park service. More opportunities exist for collaborations in medical and social science research.
Located in the Pacific Ocean over 500 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are known for inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution during his scientific voyage on the HMS Beagle. Because of their geographic isolation, the islands have a large number of unique species and are a national park and marine reserve of Ecuador, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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