Preserving a natural treasure

Nicci and Martin Gafinowitz

In July 2019, Nicci ’16 (MSIS) and Martin Gafinowitz joined a small group visiting the UNC Center for Galapagos Studies. Meeting with faculty and students to learn about the center’s cutting-edge research and work to combat environment challenges facing the Galapagos Islands inspired the Gafinowitzes to make a gift to the center.

Located 600 miles off mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are not immune from environmental challenges: Marine pollution, global warming, increasing tourism and invasive species threaten the archipelago’s delicate ecology.

Jointly operated by UNC-Chapel Hill and Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, the Galapagos Science Center is the only university science facility of its kind in the Galapagos and was founded to advance conservation efforts and extend knowledge of global environmental change. By studying the Galapagos, scientists will also better understand ecologically vulnerable areas worldwide.

“It is inspiring to find Carolina playing such a leading role in this historically and environmentally prominent location,” Martin Gafinowitz said. “We were impressed to see UNC working in harmony with a distant country to promote sustainability.”

Read the complete Carolina Story to learn about this gift…


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