Opportunities To Study And Implement Energy Conservation In The Galapagos For University Students And Faculty

In conjunction with the government of Ecuador and high schools in the Galapagos, GalapagoSolar is initiating several programs for University students to help in eliminating the use of fossil fuels in the Galapagos by the year 2015. These four programs are briefly (more details below):

-eMON (Energy Monitoring). Monitoring the use of electricity and replacement of inefficient electrical appliances and apparatuses in the Galapagos.

-EVs (Electrical Vehicles). Replacement of one half of the fossil fuel powered vehicles with electric powered vehicles on San Cristobal where there is an existing green energy source of electricity that is not being fully utilized.

- Bioclimatic/Alternative Design and Construction Methods. Development of construction methods and designs in the Galapagos that will minimize the energy consumption of buildings both in their construction and use.

- “K thru 12” Volunteer-Taught School. Design and implementation of a K thru 12 bi-lingual curriculum that can be taught be visiting professors to offer the children of the Galapagos an education commensurate with the responsibility of protecting their birth right, the Islands of the Galapagos.

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In the Galapagos these are important programs; however they will also have applications throughout the world. It is intended that the experience of participating in one of these programs will lead to the implementation of similar programs in other communities.

The Galapagos Islands are perhaps the most famous of all the World Heritage Sites and a location that everyone in the world has a vested interest in protecting. They are also a location most people want to visit. Their notoriety assists with garnering attention for and participation in these programs.

We began working in the Galapagos in 2002 for the above reasons. We worked extensively with the e8 (www.e8.org) for the installation of the three 850 kW wind turbines that were installed, and we financed and installed solar panels on two schools in the Galapagos. We developed a community project working with the local high school kids to educate the community about the immediate and long term costs of the use/abuse of electricity and offered economically viable solutions within the framework of a government-subsidized cost of energy.

We have an experienced, dedicated team living on San Cristobal who are “Colonal Permanentes” of the Galapagos, with excellent English and people skills. This team has close community and governmental ties which are critical in the realization of these kinds of programs in a location as remote as the Galapagos Islands are.

We’re moving forward and want to bring as many assets (financial support, people and institutions) to bear on these projects as possible. Will you please take some time to evaluate our projects and consider if they would be a good fit for you or your institution. We know these projects are valuable to the Galapagos, that participation in them will be a valuable experience for students and we hope with their success that similar projects will be implemented in other locations throughout the world.

GalapagoSolar is proposing a three month term of study (approx. June through August, the High School vacation takes place here January through March), though we are open to suggestions and flexible in designing a curriculum that fits the needs of its participants. University students will be working in conjunction with the GalapagoSolar team and local high school students in one of the four project areas mentioned above and detailed below.

Arriving university students will be completely immersed in the community of San Cristobal, taking part in an intra-cultural exchange while helping to move this World Heritage Site closer to an independent sustainable use of energy.

An initial orientation for arriving students and faculty about the Galapagos and the issues faced here (economic, social, political) is a fundamental part of the term of study along with an experience that is close to or equivocates the experiences most visitor/tourists receive.

Come To Galapagos, CIA, LTDA, a locally owned and operated tour company with close government and community ties, has been working toward the creation of a sustainable economic model for years and has volunteered their services for not only this initial orientation, but also in the coordination of home stays, hotels and flights from the continent and overall general care of arriving students and/or faculty (www.cometogalapagos.com).