The Galapagos Science Center (GSC), is a multidisciplinary research center located on San Cristóbal Island, which has been created thanks to the collaboration between USFQ and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill ( UNC) for scientific development in the Galapagos Islands.
This research center wants to promote the conservation of the fragile ecosystems of the islands and the development of the populations that inhabit them through scientific and intellectual development. The GSC is conceived as a multidisciplinary space with three fundamental axes: integrated scientific research, education, and community support.
Scientific research is based on the advancement of knowledge in natural and social sciences using the Galapagos as a natural laboratory, but always considering human communities as an essential part of Galapagos systems. UNC and USFQ are leaders in the training of undergraduate and graduate students and the GSC will serve to strengthen the education of our students (nationals and foreigners) through more intense inclusion in research.
Relations with the Galápagos community are very important and the GSC carries out its work in coordination with the Galápagos National Park, the Galápagos Regional Government Council, the Municipality of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the Charles Darwin Station and many other local and regional institutions. Likewise, interaction with the Galapagos community is vital, through associations of guides, parents, fishermen, etc. who provide feedback to research and education processes.
The challenges that the Galapagos Islands face are difficult: finding a balance between conservation and development. Therefore, USFQ and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill - UNC, beyond conjunctural opportunities, have come together to build a long-term scientific and academic association.
This alliance is based on the missions and strategic lines of institutional development of each of the institutions. UNC is the oldest public university in the United States and today one of the leading educational and research institutions in North America. USFQ is a leader in education and research in Latin America, commanding more than half of Ecuador's scientists, which positions it as one of the benchmarks for research and higher education in Ecuador.