BU Abroad: Finding the Galapagos

A visit to the islands where modern biology incubated

By Devin Hahn. Text by Benjamin Hall

In the video above, Jaclyn Aliperti (CAS’10) explains why the Galapagos Islands are every naturalist’s must-see.

“After spending time doing research in the tropics, I realized how much I’ve grown to love obtaining hands-on experience in the field,” says Jaclyn Aliperti.

Aliperti (CAS’10) spent last spring in the Ecuador Tropical Ecology Program, studying in the field and at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. “My time in Ecuador allowed me to immerse myself in Ecuadorian culture and take away a better understanding of the language, ideals, and way of life.”

The highlight of her experience, though, was a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands, “the place,” Aliperti says, “that ties everything together for me.” Like Darwin and countless naturalists before her, she reveled in the biodiversity found in the archipelago. “That such a small country could preserve and protect such biodiversity is something to look up to,” she says.

Seeing blue-footed boobies dance, swimming with sea lions, and witnessing sea turtles mate resonated deeply with Aliperti, who intends to study wildlife management after BU. “After college,” she says, “I hope to integrate my passion for the environment with my passion for animals in a way that allows me to conserve and/or medically treat wildlife.”

Devin Hahn can be reached at dhahn@bu.edu.

This article first appeared in BU Today on October 7, 2009.

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