Worcester’s premier college-preparatory co-ed day school serving students from Central MA and MetroWest, Pre-K–Grade 12

Galapagos Summer Course


Field Research & Cultural Exchange in the Galapagos

June 15–29 and July 21–22, 2016

Instructor: Upper School Science Teacher MaryAnn DeMaria
Credit: 0.5 US Science Credit
Eligibility: Open to Bancroft students entering Grades 9–12

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This course is designed for students to research and study the geology, biology, history and ecology of the Galapagos Islands, with a focus on Charles Darwin and the process of evolution by natural selection. The course includes pre-travel work at Bancroft School where students will engage in mini-lessons on journaling, communicating in Spanish, and the history of the islands, offered by Bancroft faculty. The pre-travel work will also include lessons on Charles Darwin and evolution, offered by Mrs. DeMaria. This course is really a course within a course.

While traveling in the Galapagos Islands for 12 days, students will be engaged in Ecology Project International’s Island Ecology Program. As part of EPI’s course, students will engage in lessons offered by EPI Instructors, conduct field research on the giant tortoises, complete and present an independent research project, snorkel and hike on and around various islands, and participate in a cultural exchange program with a local school. Students should be strong swimmers and in very good physical condition.

Students will stay at La Peregrina (or similar), a small bed & breakfast in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, and the Pajaro Brujo Reserve, in the highlands of Santa Cruz, when doing field research on the giant tortoises. After returning from the trip, students will complete a final project. There is flexibility with this project, and Mrs. DeMaria will meet with each student to design a project that is most interesting to each student.


June 15–17, 2016 @ Bancroft School — Course work including mini-lessons in different aspects of Ecuadorian culture, as well as full lessons on evolution and natural selection.

June 18–29, 2016 @ Galapagos Islands — 12-day trip studying the geology, ecology, and biology of the Galapagos Islands with Ecology Project International (EPI), a non-profit organization that focuses on field science and cultural exchange. EPI is the only educational organization that is partnering with the Galapagos National Park Service. Highlights include field research monitoring giant tortoises, a cultural exchange with local students (day visit, no overnight stays), and an independent research project.

July 21–22, 2016 @ Bancroft School — Wrap up and presentation of final projects (dates flexible).

Cost: $6,595

Galapagos tortoise

This price includes all airfare, lodging, and meals while in Ecuador and the Galapagos, admissions, ground transport, and course credit. Students should bring an extra $100–$200 for souvenirs, meals at airports, and miscellaneous items. Cost does not include travel insurance (required by Bancroft School), medical insurance (required by EPI), meals at airports, souvenirs or any overweight baggage fees (students should follow EPI packing instructions).


October 30, 2015

January 20, 2016


  • Valid Passport required (cannot expire within 6 months from dates of travel)
  • International students will need additional paperwork and are responsible for obtaining all required documents, visas, etc.

Questions or Concerns?

MaryAnn DeMaria, Bancroft School
508-853-2640 x286

Simon Buzzard, Ecology Project International

Mrs. DeMaria in the Galapagos

Blue-footed boobies

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