Tag archives for Galapagos
Hi, this Emily from National Geographic Kid’s first expedition to the Galapagos Islands back in 2006! At the beginning of the expedition, I was a curious nine year old in third grade, but at the end of the expedition I was an inspired, audacious, bold, confident and differentiated nine year old in third grade. Needless to say, my experience with the National Geographic crew in the Galapagos Islands greatly affected my perspective on conservation as well as my outlook on the future and what I would like to become. One interest in particular that the Galapagos trip sparked was my interest in marine biology. Before the expedition, I had no memorable experiences in the ocean to speak of, but after that one time snorkeling in the pristine reef by pinnacle rock, I was awestruck. I had never seen anything so beautiful in nature before and I think that one experience was one that will change the course of my life.
Since then, I’ve recently been to marine biology camp in San Diego, California where I learned more about ocean life, but was inspired to go because of my experience in the Galapagos. I’ve also found myself having more of an appreciation and love for science since the trip which is probably because I was lucky enough to see scientific knowledge being put to use at a young age, unlike many of the people surrounding me. I’ve also spent a day in the field with a herpetologist which, no doubt, taught me a lot, and gave me a more hands-on look at why conservation is important in my own backyard.
One thing that has been keeping my involved with National Geographic are the annual Explorers Symposiums in Washington D.C which my mom and I have been making it a point to attend. I feel extremely privileged to, every year, be able to see, meet and listen to legendary conservationists, activists, and scientists in every field. Every year after the event, I feel a renewed sense of inspiration and love for the earth, the same inspiration that I felt after coming back from the Galapagos. This year’s symposium felt extra special because, although the more famous and legendary explorers are great, I got to meet some emerging explorers with interests that pertained to me even more than usual. One of the speakers and emerging explorers that I really felt a connection to, was Mattias Klum, a Swedish photographer and film-maker. I enjoyed hearing him speak about his job and philosophy because I think my future career may be more along the lines of what he is doing now, and it’s always nice to be able to look up to someone.
Right now, I am looking forward to moving to North Carolina with the knowledge that I’ll be in reachable distance to one of my fellow Galapagos Explorers and hopes that I’ll be closer to the ocean and will have new opportunities to meet people like the ones that I always do at the symposium, which I will undoubtedly continue to attend as long as they happen!
Saturday, Nov. 27
The flight from Baltra arrived in Quito Sucre International Airport. We
were immediately escorted to the Hilton Colon Hotel, where we would stay
for the next three days.
That afternoon, we decided to go to the Mitad del Mundo or the center of
the world. This is the monument dedicated to the location of the Equator.
Did you know that?
We learned that the equatorial monument was not exactly on the Equator
and second museum, which was built later, actually was. We visited the
GPS-accurate one first. It was called the Museo Inti-Nan. We learned
about many native Amerindian cultures in the area, including the Shuar
tribe, which makes the famous tsantsas or shrunken heads and there was a tsantsas on display. How eerie!
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Monday, Nov. 22
We arrived in Floreana, the mystical island. Before breakfast, we had a small excursion to Post Office Bay. This was the post office of the Galapagos Islands. One would deposit mail in the mail box and anyone who could deliver it would pick it up.
After breakfast, we went deep-water snorkeling around Champion Islet, off the coast of Floreana. The waters were pretty cold that day at around 68 degrees F. We did manage to see and photograph fish, however. After snorkeling, we went in the glass bottom boat to see hundreds of different fish we didn’t see while snorkeling.
We went on a mission, by zodiac, to shoot the elusive Floreana mockingbird, now only found on Champion Islet (on Camera). We saw two of them, which was nearly 5% of their total population!
After lunch, we went kayaking in the waters off Punta Cormorant. It was really fun. We saw many turtles. We nearly bumped into a sea lion taking his afternoon nap. He was startled at our arrival. He groaned and then we left him to his nap.
Next was the hike on Floreana Island. This island was pretty green. There was a big lagoon right in the middle where we spotted some flamingos. We learned that these came from the Caribbean and were lost here! At the end of the hike, we came to the other side of the island. There we spotted countless turtle nests. Right off the beach, there were sharks and sting rays swimming. There was also an abundance of crabs on the rocks. Alas, it was getting dark and we had to leave the pristine landscape.
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The Galapagos Islands are located 600 miles off the coast of South America in the eastern Pacific Ocean. These islands are of volcanic origin and most were formed due to a hotspot under the earth. Their isolation has brought about their great biodiversity, where species vary from island to island.
It was a great privilege for me to go to the Galapagos and to retrace Darwin’s footsteps. We scheduled the trip to be during the Thanksgiving week. I was off from school that week and my birthday was coincidentally on Nov 26.
Hi, everyone! This is Becca, here to tell you all about the Explorers’ Symposium ’09 at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, on Thursday the 11th! I drove down from Pennsylvania and arrived at the symposium at 5 o’clock.
Before going into the hors d’oeuvres party, I walked around National Geographic’s really cool sculpture garden with my dad. It had statues of lots of different bugs, my favorite being a group of leaf-cutter ants carrying the greenery on their backs. That reminded me a lot of the trip to Peru and how much I miss all of the fabulous people on it.
Photograph by Gabriele Gentile
Scientists have discovered a new iguana species! These iguanas are unusual because they have pink skin.
The pink iguanas only live on the Wolf volcano, located on the Galápagos island of Isabela, off the coast of Ecuador. The future of this species is also in question. Their population is quite small. Scientists think that cats introduced to the island may be eating the baby iguanas.
Learn more about this discovery on National Geographic News.
See photos of other Ecuadorian animals in the Photo Gallery.