Last day of class – are we ready to go?

Friday after the final lecture and presentations we did a last check to make sure everyone has all the needed gear for the trip.

Last minute gear check before our departure on Monday.

Last minute gear check before our departure on Monday.

Last class day before we head out for the southern climes of Ecuador. Larissa gave her final lecture about the human history of the Galapagos. What a revelation this was for all of us. We think of the islands as being pristine ecosystems where natural selection and evolution are playing out as the unsuspecting world rolls by. How far that is from the reality! We read a recent book by Bruce Epler (Amazon) that details the long history of humans pillaging the islands for tortoises (food) and whales, and the more recent history of colonization by scoundrels and lost souls of all stripes.

To help us all become familiar with the various organisms on the islands, each student has become our resident expert on 7 species which should be very helpful in our studies and field excursions.The students each gave a 10 minute multimedia presentation on two Galapagonian species we’re likely to see on the trip. What a fantastic job they did! We have assembled their information into a common species field guide to take along. You could sense that everyone’s’ anticipation of the trip dramatically increased after the presentations.


Jake modeling the latest in high fashion head gear.

The last activity of the day was our final gear check. Everyone lugged their bags and backpacks to a lab in Carnegie where we could spread out and dole out whatever extra gear we’re taking for the course. Students partnered up to check each others gear lists and confirm we were set. We also got a sneak peak at some of the new headgear folks are bringing along!

Official departure is about 3:30 am Monday.  Galapagos here we come!


(Contributor and photos: Greg Anderson)