Interdisciplinary Galapagos research: Project examples

Editor’s note: This sidebar accompanied a feature article in the spring ’11 issue of Carolina Arts & Sciencesmagazine on the Galapagos Islands.

The Galapagos Initiative includes wide-ranging research projects engaging faculty across disciplines. Here are just a few examples of recently funded projects:


UNC researchers Ronald Rindfuss, Kyle Crowder and Margarita Mooney (sociology) and USFQ researchers Carlos Mena and Diego Quiroga (geography) will seek to understand mobility to and within the Galapagos Islands, as well as how tourism and migration blend into one another and influence one another.

Economic Growth and the Impacts of Tourism

UNC political scientist Michele Hoymann will examine the use of tourism as an economic development strategy. She will survey local government, business and nonprofit leaders about their views on balancing sustainability and growth, the challenges to implementing a viable tourism strategy, how they have had to adapt their economic development approach over the past 20 years and their attitudes to the recent laws designed to promote sustainable tourism.

Nutrition, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

UNC researchers Margaret E. Bentley and Marci Campbell (nutrition) and Gabriela Valdivia (geography) will evaluate current nutritional status and food security as well as the determinants of health on San Cristóbal Island. The project includes an assessment of local agricultural practices and food production for local consumption, which may impact food security among residents.

Read more “Creative Collaborations” stories: Breathing Relief, Languages Across the Curriculum, Mentoring Chemistry, UNC-Duke N.C. Poverty Project, Globe-Trotting for Tardigrades, Real-Life Ethics, Electro-Acoustic Music, Tangled Up in Blues and Making Waves.