ACADEMICS

Can I opt out of a course?  Or join UGalapagos for only one or two courses?
No.  The program requires you to take the full roster of courses. 

How do I register for courses?
You will be registered for your UM Biology courses by Erica Moussa, Assistant Director of Study Abroad. 
You will also register for your courses with our host instituion, USFQ.

What textbooks and materials are required?
Bring your laptop, thumb drives and a digital camera with spare memory cards.  Many assingments require photo documentation.
You will be notified of which texts to buy, and while a few library copies may be available for short-term checkout, they will be in very high demand.
For use in several classes, you will need the following texts, which you should purchase and bring with you:

  • "The Beak of the Finch” by Weiner (paperback or kindle ~$14, read this book the summer before you come!)
    “Wildlife of the Galapagos” by Fitter, Fitter and Hosking (paperback, ~$20)
    "Flowering Plants of the Galapagos" by McMullen (paperback ~$30, recommended)

Do classes meet on weekends?
Classes seldom meet on weekends, but will meet if there is a special activity such as a field trip.  On weekends you might work on a research project, surf, go fishing with your family, study with your classmates, snorkel with sea lions, write a report or just hang out with friends and family.

During weekdays, how is our time organized? 
Classes are intense, but are not unremitting. In the morning, classes usually meet from nine to noon.  In many classes, you will have a field expereince in the afternoon.
In the Galapagos, you are fed breakfast before class on four days a week and you generally have from noon to 1:30 for lunch, which is on your own.  Many local restaurants have "set" offerings for six dollars. 

Money
Note that currency on the Galapagos Islands is American money.  Be sure to bring small denomination bills.  It is difficult to get change for even a twenty!  Sometimes even for a five!  Afternoon class, often in the field or the USFQ library, usually meets from 1:30 to 5:00.  You will often have time for a daily swim or surfing.

Does the program offer inquiry-based learning?|
Yes.  All UGalapagos courses deemphasize the classroom.  Lectures often merge directly into field work and back to analysis, assessment and writing.   The inquiries are not “hands-on” in that, by Galapagos park rules, people are not allowed to touch plants and must stay six feet away from animals.  Consequently, our studies are observational, but nonetheless can answer real questions.