16th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology
Galápago Islands, República del Ecuador
March 15-22, 2014
(Field trips March 10-15 and March 22-30)
"Let me tell you a bit about a magic (and relatively inexpensive) place called Galapagos! "The Galapagos Islands in the same way as Hawaii have been generated by a hot spot and are therefore all volcanic. We have had various expeditions there in recent years, most of them with experienced U.S. cavers lead by Aaron Addison from Washington University in St. Louis Missouri besides my own Ecuadorian teams. The recent findings are spectacular including not only easily accessible lava tubes but also inner parts of volcanoes, one with an inner depth of 101m, besides others. The not yet published, volcanic, entomological and paleontological (among other research) results are also nothing less than spectacular. "As being part of an Army University called ESPE close to Quito, we have many advantages other universities do not have like installations in the islands, cheap quality transport to the islands and at the islands, infrastructure, etc. We are right now in a transition time of becoming the most powerful university including aerial and naval infrastructure by incorporating the INOCAR (Ecuadorian Oceanographic Naval Institute). besides others in the soon new named University of the Armed Forces (Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas). The Director of the university General Carlos Rodriguez has been the witness of honor in the foundation of the Ecuadorian Scientific Speleological Society and an amateur caver as well as a big fan of research activities in the Galapagos.
"About Galapagos besides geology, I guess, there is no need to talk much about. It's amazing, it's extraordinary, it's unique. If you would like me to send to you pictures of myself and my students or friends swimming with sharks, dolphins, manta rays, playing with sea lions or sea turtles etc or having contact with hawks, blue footed boobies etc in cm distances just let me know!
From Dr. Theofilos Toulkeridis