2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (9–12 October 2011)
Paper No. 171-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

BREVARD COLLEGE'S 2011 FIELD TRIP TO THE GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS

REYNOLDS, Jim, CARLILE, Olivia, MCKEE, Stephen, REYNOLDS, Elena, and SONNER, Madeline, Science & Math, Brevard College, Brevard, NC 28712, reynoljh@brevard.edu

Field trips to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador are surprisingly easy to arrange but do require putting down ~30% cash up front to reserve a yacht. Although it is possible to arrange trips based out of one of the three towns in the islands, chartered yachts are highly recommended. Travel agencies in Quito quote prices and National Park-dictated yacht itineraries for the chosen dates. Prices vary between yachts and itineraries. A typical yacht sleeps 16 passengers serviced by a crew of 6-8 and a Park guide. All meals are prepared and consumed on board. Typical tours last 8 days and 7 nights. Night sailing between islands provides ample time for daylight hiking and snorkeling. Most tours visit 8-10 islands.

Brevard College has ~600 undergraduate students. The trip was open to all who were interested without any prerequisites. Each participant received 2 academic credits. The student rate was $3,750 which included airfare from Atlanta. Although only 4 students elected to participate, it was relatively easy to fill the remaining slots by advertising through various free internet media in the academic community.

The itinerary we followed started on Isla Santa Cruz with visits to pit craters, lava tubes, and wild giant tortoises. Day 2 visited Darwin Bay, a large, flooded caldera on Isla Genovesa, after sailing overnight from Isla Baltra and crossing the Equator. On Day 3, Islas Santiago and Bartolomé were explored, seeing pahoehoe lavas from the 1890’s and numerous related cinder cones. Day 4 visited the small island of Sombrero Chino and a green sand beach on Isla Santa Cruz. Sailing to Puerto Villamil on Isla Isabela overnight allowed daytime exploration of the town and a visit to the tortoise breeding center. Sailing up the west side of Isabela overnight allowed visits to the westernmost Isla Fernandina and NW Isabela and some of the best snorkeling in the islands on Day 6. Skirting the Equator around the north end of Isabela brought us to the west side of Isla Santiago and Isla Rábida on Day 7. The tour concluded on Day 8 with a circumnavigation of Isla Daphne Mayor before returning to the Baltra airport and returning home via Quito.

Alternate itineraries visit the older, inactive southern and eastern islands of Floreana, Española, San Cristobal, and Santa Fe. Two visits are required to see all of the islands, providing a good incentive for a return trip.

2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (9–12 October 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 171--Booth# 51
Geoscience Education (Posters) III
Minneapolis Convention Center: Hall C
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 421

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