Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.59
Liaison Maria Ayala
Submission Date Dec. 26, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Universidad San Francisco de Quito
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Alexandra Velasco
Faculty/ Head sustainability project
Business School
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

The Galapagos Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) is a world-class academic and research institution offering hands-on academic programs for international and Ecuadorian students alike. Students partaking in our semester programs have the opportunity to choose between three tracks: Marine Ecology; Evolution, Ecology and Conservation; and People Politics and the Environment. GAIAS also offers tailor made programs, for faculty led programs by other universities and academic institutions. Established by Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in 2002, GAIAS was created with the support of the Galapagos National Park, the Municipality of San Cristobal, and the local government. GAIAS recognizes that effective environmental conservation requires accessible and sustainable economic alternatives for the local people. It is with this focus and understanding that GAIAS seeks to promote the development and replication of sustainable, non-extractive economic opportunities through access to quality higher education.

Since its establishment, GAIAS has become one of most important educational and research entities in the Galapagos, hosting more than 250 national and international students every year. This is in addition to local Galapagos residents who are pursuing their degrees through our USFQ-Galapagos extension.

Study Plan: 5 classes worth 3 credits each. Each class lasts between 2 to 3 weeks. During the students´ first month in Ecuador, they will take classes​ at USFQ’s main campus in Cumbaya. During the first month, they will also visit the Tiputini Biodiversity Station, a cloud forest and the Antisana Volcano. The other 4 classes are held at the GAIAS campus in the Galapagos. Through these hands-on classes students will have the opportunity to visit some of the most amazing places in the Galapagos and enjoy an education-based 4-day cruise.

Courses include:

Tropical Ecology
Native and Introduced Plants of the Galapagos
Evolutionary Biology
Introduction to Marine Ecosystems
Human Ecology and Maritime Communities


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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