Enhancing Global Research Opportunities

A blue-footed booby poses on a rock in the islands

Distinguished emeritus and research professor Stephen Walsh wanted to give UNC-Chapel Hill students the opportunity to witness and study something incredible. That’s why the emeritus founding director set out to grow both the UNC Center for Galápagos Studies (CGS) — a group of North Carolina researchers with projects on the islands — and the Galápagos Science Center. Now, more than 10 years later, Diego Riveros-Iregui, a geography professor who specializes in hydrology, and Amanda Thompson, a professor of anthropology and nutrition, are taking the reins as interim co-directors of the two centers.

Thompson will manage most of the center’s administrative tasks, like developing a five-year plan and maintaining relationships within the International Galápagos Science Consortium, a network of collaborating institutions and scientists. Riveros-Iregui will focus on encouraging more Carolina faculty, staff, and students to conduct research in the Galápagos, streamlining data management and sharing, and growing the study abroad program.

“Students who study abroad in the Galápagos often point to it as their favorite part of their Carolina experience,” said Thompson. “That’s something we want to continue to enhance and provide opportunities to do.”

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