FAU High School Students Visit Galápagos Islands for Research

By brittany sylvestri | 7/10/2019

For the first time ever, a group of FAU High School (FAUHS) students recently traveled to the Galápagos Islands for a summer course to conduct field research. 

During this course, the students engaged in the undergraduate research process by conducting an observational study on sea lion behavior in the Galápagos. They examined the impact of human beach use on the sea lions’ activity patterns and feeding of their pups.  

“This opportunity represents not only the first time FAUHS students have participated in a university study abroad program, but also a chance for them to visit and research in an extremely special place that is home to several wildlife species not found anywhere else in the world,” said Tricia Meredith, Ph.D., director of research at A.D. Henderson & FAU High School. “The trip was a life-changing experience for the students that will also benefit them professionally.” 

Prior to the trip, the students conducted a literature review on the topic which helped to design their research study. While in the Galápagos, they collected their data, as well as visited a local high school to speak with students about the research project, the role of sea lions, and animal conservation in the culture. After analyzing the data, the students wrote a manuscript for publication in a scientific journal.   

“The students hope their research findings help bring awareness to the impact that people, and particularly tourists, have on the other species that they share the environment with,” said Meredith.