During fall break, I traveled with thirteen other Notre Dame undergraduate students to the Galápagos Islands as part of a new science course, Practicum in Field Environmental Biology. Under the direction of Biological Science Professors, Gary Lamberti and Malcolm Fraser, we explored the islands and investigated individual research projects, which focused on observation of unique species in the islands.
Throughout the week, our tour guide, Luis, offered insight into the amazing characteristics of the islands and explained how each island’s environment is conducive to the success of unique species. I have never been in a place quite like it, where you have to compete with sea lions for a space to sit on the boardwalk, or where iguanas will walk right in front of you and completely disregard your presence. The Galapagos Islands are the perfect example of nature existing with no fear of humans, and the protection of them and respect for the environment there was unquestionable.